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Accelerate your development using the Apigee API console

January 18, 2011

It seems these days that every service provider must offer a developer API for their services if they are to attract partners. This rise of the API economy has been well documented and discussed for some time. What may be a bit more lacking than APIs themselves, however, are tools to make API usage simpler for the average third party developer. Apigee is a company bent on changing that.

I briefly introduced Apigee’s PayPal API Console in a recent PayPal DevZone blog post. There’s much more to be said and shown with the console, however, so let’s explore!

What is the Apigee PayPal API Console?

First up, let’s briefly revisit just what the console is and the kinds of things you can do with it.

Apigee announced their free PayPal API console at the Innovate 2010 conference. They noted in their announcement:

The API Console provides a really easy way to learn, debug, and test the APIs by allowing you to view request and response pairs, drill into errors, and share code snapshots with others.

PayPal Senior Director Damon Hougland provided his own description in a post on The PayPal Blog:

If you’re like me and want to play with APIs before actually writing code, I think you’ll really like what our friends at Apigee.com have just built. They’ve released a new API console that provides a great way for PayPal X developers to send and receive API calls…using various input parameters to see how APIs work and interact

Key point: You use the console to send test requests and it then displays the PayPal development sandbox responses back to you.

The console is in effect a sort of browser based cURL for Web API programmers. As such the console lets you very rapidly explore APIs and test out ideas before you code them into your application. (By the way, if you are interested in seeing how cURL itself can be used to make PayPal API calls, refer to Travis Robertson‘s post “Chained Payments Using NVP and CURL in 4 Easy Steps“.)

You can get a good feel for what the console enables you to do and how to use it from this Apigee video demo:

Click here to read the rest of the article including the APIs available to you, how to use the console, and linking multiple calls together on the PayPal X Developer Network.

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