by Tony Harris • September 14, 2021
DreamFactory specialises in REST API generation for any number of database types however an underrepresented benefit is the ability to mount and manage any third party API via a HTTP service connector. This gives you the ability to generate documentation and secure an existing API as if it were created natively within DreamFactory. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities in terms of creating sophisticated API-driven applications, because once mounted you can create powerful workflows involving multiple APIs.
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This article will highlight how easy it is to mount an existing Airtable API within DreamFactory. Airtable is a spreadsheet-database hybrid with the easy management of a database, and the ease of building of a spreadsheet. Airtable integrates with Dropbox, Google Drive, Box or OneDrive to synchronize across devices, and Google Calendar to set reminders and alerts for upcoming tasks. With this integration you can keep the entire team working on the same project from anywhere in the world.
Connecting a remote HTTP API to DreamFactory is easily accomplished in a few short steps. As with all DreamFactory services, you’ll begin by logging into your DreamFactory instance, selecting the Services tab, and clicking the Create link located in the left-hand menu bar. From there you’ll choose the HTTP Service connector located within the Remote Service category:
It is worth noting at this juncture that this process is standardised for any type of service you see in the above drop down speaking to the versatility and ease of use of the DreamFactory platform. Furthermore, thanks to the DreamFactory system APIs this process can be done entirely programmatically via an externally configured console.
From here the user will assign a name, label and a description to identify the service once it is created. The name will play a role as the namespace for the generated API URI structure and is restricted to alphanumeric characters only. The label and description are used as referential information and can be assigned anything you please. So it is at this stage we will name our service Airtable API.
We are then able to configure the remote service via the DreamFactory Config Overview:
Here we will retrieve the remote APIs URL from the Airtable API documentation. It is then as simple as adding your unique API key into the Parameters section and defining whether you require caching and what verbs you want to enable by default (GET, PUSH etc)
Upon clicking save you have just created a remote service that now allows you to interact with that REST API as if it were a natively created API in the DreamFactory platform. That means you now have full OpenAPI documentation for 39 endpoints and the ability to integrate with additional security tools such as Active Directory, Okta or any number of DreamFactory authentication connectors.
Of course as with all DreamFactory REST APIs you will have to secure your Airtable API with minimum role based access controls before it can be made public. You can also add headers, add service definitions and script some powerful automated workflows with the DreamFactory scripting engine.
In a few short minutes you can have your Airtable API ready to integrate alongside any number of other Enterprise applications, data sources or network APIs. DreamFactory allows you to create, mount and manage any number of third party REST APIs with ease under a unified admin dashboard. Talk to the team today to learn more about how DreamFactory accelerates application development and decreases developer time and cost.
Want to know more about how we can help you mount and manage any number of third party APIs? DreamFactory is an API generation platform that can help your business secure data and get information into the hands of those that need it the most.
Ready to get started? You can build an API in minutes with your existing database or take a test drive with our sample data. Sign up for a 14-day free trial and start creating your APIs today.
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