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Rails: What is an API's endpoint?


An endpoint, as I imagine they may be using it in this course, is simply a route defined by your rails application. In terms of an API (which can mean many things and is worth further research on your part), hitting that endpoint will serve up a resource from your application, or perform some form of action. An example may explain this better..

Say we have an application that handles users and we want our API to expose the users resource. If we follow RESTful convention for our API we will expose seven distinct 'endpoints' linked to seven distinct 'actions' (index, show, create, update, destroy, new, edit) surrounding users.

When building our API, we would make is so anyone who visits "www.myapp.com/users" via a get request is returned some data representation of all users in our application. "/users" is the endpoint. Likewise performing a post action to "/users" with valid data is how we create new users. "/users" is still the endpoint but under different context. If you wanted data for just a single user, it may look something like "www.myapp.com/users/1" in which case "/users/1" is the endpoint.

It is important to keep in mind that this example merely follows convention and is not an end all be all.

I would check out the Rails guide on routing if you want more information - http://guides.rubyonrails.org/routing.html


Categories : Ruby On Rails

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