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REST - INSOMNIA(c)

Updated: Nov 17, 2019

This week let's take another peek at the FoodKeeper API. We’ll review the endpoints and how to submit a request to retrieve data. Before we jump into this you need to download and install a REST client. I highly recommend Insomnia, the app not the sleep disorder, (download it here) I’ll wait…

Now that you have Insomnia installed let’s talk about endpoints. Last week we covered the four primary HTTP verbs used with REST. Did you have a chance to visit https://www.restapitutorial.com despite the name of the website these aren’t tutorials on how to make REST calls but more like development guidelines for developers writing REST API’s. So why did I recommend it? Because understanding how a good RESTful API is designed will make it easier to craft your REST calls. So the 4 basic HTTP verbs (POST, GET, PUT and DELETE) are CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operations.

· POST = Create

· GET = Read

· PUT = Update

· DELETE = Delete

Kind of makes sense, right?


These also make up the endpoints you access with your REST client. In JAVA we add an annotation to the class and the getter and setter methods to define the endpoint. For the FoodKeeper API we are using the Spring Framework (https://spring.io/) to help setup the Rest components.

After all the imports are declared the class must be annotated with @RestController so that the compiler knows how to process it. Each endpoint must be annotated to reflect what it does. A POST endpoint would be annotated like this:


@PostMapping("/list/new")


The part in parenthesis indicates the URL path that you would pass as part of the REST Client call and is the actual endpoint. Let’s look at an online example. In a new tab on your browser go to: http://dummy.restapiexample.com/

The site lists 5 public endpoints you can practice against:

· GET /employee

· GET /employee/{id}

· POST /create

· PUT /update/{id}

· DELETE /delete/{id}

Note the curly braces with id in between them – this indicates that you will be passing a value. Open your REST client, in Insomnia you would type in the URL in the White field in the top center of the screen and select the REST Method to the left of it:



Click the Send button and watch the Right hand column you will see it populate with employees. This is the first entry in the list that was returned for me:


Play around and get familiar with your REST Client and hit some of the other endpoints at http://dummy.restapiexample.com/

TIP: For the endpoints above with {id} just append the url string with a number like this:

http://dummy.restapiexample.com/api/v1/employees/6821

All right go play and learn something!

#CS@Worcester #CS448

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