Apigee API Generator: Easily Create APIs For Your Apigee Suite

Apigee and DreamFactory

Apigee is great at managing your existing APIs – but how can you bring new technologies into your Apigee suite that lack an appropriate API?

As it happens, DreamFactory is perfectly suited to creating a REST API fast for whatever datasource you need, and it can now be plugged straight into Apigee. In this blog post I will be breaking down how to go from a datasource with no API to having a fully Swagger documented and secure API managed in Apigee in no time, courtesy of DreamFactory’s Apigee API Generator.

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Authenticating APIs with Okta and DreamFactory

DreamFactory Okta
DreamFactory Okta
In our previous blog we dove into OpenID Connect, now let’s take a look at Okta. DreamFactory’s Okta integration works flawlessly, providing rock solid security and easy identity management. Many developers wish to integrate Okta into their application authentication infrastructure, and DreamFactory offers a straightforward solution for doing so. It is time to simplify the way your users connect to apps.

As of version 2.8 DreamFactory has supported Okta allowing you to use Okta based authentication in conjunction with your APIs. With DreamFactory’s easy to understand web-based administration console, you can easily configure your application work-flow in a snap. DreamFactory and Okta simplify the way your users to connect so your team can spend more time on developing the things that matter.

It’s time to leave the days of pain and suffering of integrating complicated authorization in the past for the future of development with DreamFactory. If you would like to learn more about how easy it is and see it in action, check out our guide chapter dedicated to all things authorization. What are you waiting for? Spin up for a free trial today!

Authenticating APIs with OpenID Connect and DreamFactory

DreamFactory OpenID
DreamFactory OpenID
One of DreamFactory’s most popular features is the wide-ranging authentication support. DreamFactory supports authorization methods to meet everyone’s needs from the single developer start-up to the thousand employee enterprise company. DreamFactory has connectors for Active Directory, LDAP, OAuth through well-known identity providers such as OpenID Connect, and SAML 2.0. Leveraging DreamFactory’s OpenID Connect has never been easier. OpenID affords users the convenience of using an existing account for signing into different websites. You can forget about managing 20 different passwords from now on! Since version 2.7 DreamFactory has supported OpenID allowing you to use OpenID based authentication in conjunction with your APIs. With the easy to use interface of DreamFactory, you can have your authorization flow done in no time. DreamFactory and OpenID does the heavy lifting giving you a session token at which point your application can persist it and include it with subsequent requests. It’s time to leave the days of pain and suffering of integrating complicated authorization in the past for the future of development with DreamFactory. If you would like to learn more about how easy it is and see it in action, check out our guide chapter dedicated to all things authorization. What are you waiting for? Spin up for a free trial today!

NoSQL vs SQL: Understand the Differences and Make the Best Choice

nosql vs sql
NoSQL vs SQL
The tough choice of NoSQL vs SQL. An important decision for any business that may pay the price for down the road if you don’t plan accordingly. Here, we break down the important distinctions and discuss NoSQL vs SQL for you to make an informed decision.

What is NoSQL

NoSQL or Not Only SQL is an alternative to relational databases such as MySQL, Postgres, and SQL Server. Typically NoSQL databases are popular for working with large sets of data as data is stored in the form of flat collections so reading or writing operations is much faster. There is also less management for NoSQL databases as they support automatic repair, data distribution, and simpler data models. MongoDB, Couchbase, and Cassandra are popular NoSQL databases, but what do their queries look like? If NoSQL is all about leaving SQL behind, then what happens? These are fair questions, for example MongoDB uses its own syntax that kind of resembles JavaScript. Let’s take a look:
db.inventory.find( { status: "D" } )
In the above query the example selects from the inventory collection all documents where the status equals “D”. It is not too difficult to follow, but does feel a little foreign if you are used to SQL.

What is SQL

SQL or Structured Query Language is a language used in programming and designed for managing data held in a relational database management system. Some examples of popular SQL databases are Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and Postgres. One of many reasons for its popularity is how portable it is. SQL can be used in the program in PCs, servers, laptops, and even some of the mobile phones. Unlike NoSQL databases, SQL databases have an established, well defined standard. The language is also very straightforward, let’s take a look at it:
SELECT * FROM inventory WHERE status = "D"
In the above query the example selects from the inventory collection all documents where the status equals “D”. Sound familiar? That is because it is doing the same thing the MongoDB query is doing.

Which is Better?

This all depends on what your goals are. SQL databases tend to be beneficial for companies that have a clear business structure and do not plan on making many changes to their database structure. If your company has rapid growth or no clear schema definitions then a NoSQL database is the right choice for you. If you’re uncertain about which type of database is best for your business, you can schedule a consultation with one of our experts today.

What if you want to use a SQL database but not learn SQL or the opposite, use a NoSQL database without learning how to handle the data? That is where DreamFactory comes into play, interact with your data without having to learn SQL. In minutes generate an API from nearly any datasource that is fully documented and secure without code. Contact an expert today to learn how to cut development cost and time in half.

Rakuten RapidAPI and DreamFactory Partner Up On Open API Adoption

Rakuten RapidAPI and DreamFactory partner up on open API adoption

We’re excited to announce that Rakuten RapidAPI, the world’s largest API marketplace is teaming up with DreamFactory, the fastest API creation and management platform. Our goal is to help our developer users streamline API development, usage and distribution.

Rakuten RapidAPI and DreamFactory tools and services will allow developers to seamlessly create swagger format APIs, easily monetize and consume public APIs, and launch new services quickly and securely.

RapidAPI and DreamFactory

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Monitoring APIs with Grafana

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DreamFactory, Prometheus, Docker, and Grafana
DreamFactory, Prometheus, Docker, and Grafana

Now that we have explored monitoring apis with Prometheus, lets take a look at monitoring our APIs with Grafana. You may have noticed from the previous blog that Prometheus is awesome, but takes some time to fully flesh out and their dashboards aren’t the best. Good thing Grafana specializes in data visualization. We will not even have to configure all our Prometheus queries, so let’s get started.

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Monitoring APIs with Prometheus

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DreamFactory, Prometheus, Docker, and Grafana
DreamFactory, Prometheus, Docker, and Grafana

Have you ever wanted a quick and easy way to monitor your Docker environment? Do you want to have an API monitor with minimal configuration? Well it looks like there has never been a better time to monitor your API as there is a plethora of awesome tools out there to help us such as Prometheus and Grafana.

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Creating a Microsoft SQL Server API in Less Than 5 minutes with DreamFactory

DreamFactory and Microsoft SQL Server
DreamFactory and Microsoft SQL Server

Do you have a ton of data sources and do not know how to expose them? Do you know you need a Microsoft SQL Server API but don’t know where to begin to build it? Look no further, DreamFactory can take any database and generate a fully documented and secure REST API faster than making a sandwich. All you need is your database credentials and DreamFactory will handle the rest, instantly generating Swagger documentation and securing your API by way of API keys. Follow along with the blog or our video below!

Installing DreamFactory

In order to get started you must install DreamFactory, which is Open Source and gives you the ability to try out a numerous amount of popular databases. To spin up your own hosted environment for free click here.

Generating the SQL Server API

Now the fun part. Once you have DreamFactory up and running you will be on the Admin panel. From there you will navigate to the Services tab to connect your database for your API. For example I have selected a Microsoft SQL Server database but it is nearly identical for any database you will be connecting to. Connecting your database typically only requires filling out these 5 fields as shown below.

SQL Server API

Upon saving there will be a success window pop-up saying “Service saved successfully”. What it doesn’t tell you is all the magic it just did behind the scenes. In just that short amount of time, it generated your REST API. So now if you navigate to the API Docs tab you can see your new documentation for the API and actually interact with it via the “Try it out” button.

SQL Server API

Securing and Interacting with the API

I can end it here now that you have generated your API, but where is the fun in that? Now let’s actually see the API in action! First things first, let’s generate an API key to be paired with the API for security purposes. DreamFactory does not allow access to the API without being authenticated. Let’s navigate to the Roles tab and create a Role for our API. This Role with correspond with the API key so different users can have different privileges based off different keys.

SQL Server API

For my Role I have pointed it to the SQL Server Service we just created and told it to only allow GET calls on the endpoints. This will ensure anyone using this API key will not be able to, for example delete data from the database. We must now link this Role to an API key. If we now go to the Apps tab we can create a new API key with the corresponding Role.

SQL Server API

Once we hit save we are able to see the API key generated for our use. Just to show how it works I will be using Insomnia, a popular HTTP service, to call our DreamFactory API. I will call the customers table, passing the API key in the headers for authentication.

SQL Server API

Conclusion

As you can see I have access to our new API and how much time did that take? Way less time than building this API yourself! If you would like to find out exactly how much time and money DreamFactory can save you, check out our API calculator. Otherwise what are you waiting for? Go build your next application using DreamFactory already!

If you have any questions about the platform, or just APIs in general, we’d love to hear from you! Contact us.

API Calculator: Understanding the costs behind building an API-based application

Do you want to save money, deploy projects faster, and spend more time on developing application experiences that enthrall users? Then it’s practically a certainty APIs will play a critical role in your software development process. Accordingly, you’ll want to obtain a fairly accurate understanding of the cost and time required to building an API. But it’s important to understand that there’s much more to an API than just coding an interface to some data source such as a database. Whether you are planning on hiring a contractor or assign a new project to your team, an API calculator can help you understand the time and cost required to develop a mission-critical part of your next project. Continue reading “API Calculator: Understanding the costs behind building an API-based application”

Learning About The Bitnami System Database

Database Code Lines

The Elusive Bitnami System Database

If you want to spin up a fast API solution, DreamFactory is a great way to do that with a Bitnami install. Within minutes you can have a fully documented and secure REST API to utilize. Just like any program bundle, there are lots of features to learn and interact with.  Outside of a Docker Swarm or AWS ELB setup, it is pretty hard to find a way to spin up a DreamFactory instance faster. We are going to dive in a bit further to find out how to interact with the system database. Continue reading “Learning About The Bitnami System Database”