How to use an API

How to use an API

APIs enable software teams to build sophisticated applications, connect their system with internal and external services, integrate with other solutions to extend the solution they offer. Take the popular image background remover website remove.bg as an example; not only this website allows you to upload your image and remove the background but also it offers an API that you can use to integrate with your software. APIs like Remove BG allows software teams to provide a solution to their customer for such a complex technical problem. In this article, we go through 4 ways to use APIs.

Table of Contents

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Free APIs to play with

If you don’t have any API handy to try it out, feel free to use one of the free APIs in our list.

  • The Rick and Morty API is available in REST and GraphQL. Please check the docs section for more information about how to use their API.
  • HTTP Bin offers API for different usecases. For example, you can send requests to /anything endpoint. The response contains the request information.


Use APIs via a programming language

One way to use an API is via a programming language, as all programming languages support sending HTTP requests to APIs. Sometimes, it makes more sense to use an open-source library to work with APIs as open-source libraries simplify working with APIs drastically. Nowadays, programmers publish open source libraries in Github. Head to Github website and search for “HTTP client”; you can even filter the result based on your programming language of choice. The screenshot below shows some HTTP client libraries for JavaScript.

Screenshot of Github search results for HTTP client


Use APIs via an HTTP client

As we mentioned in our What is API article, APIs are computer programs without a user interface. HTTP clients allow you to interact with APIs, just like the way you would use your keyboard or mouse to interact with a desktop application. There are varieties of HTTP clients, both free and paid to use. The screenshot below shows Postman, a popular HTTP client application.

Postman app


Use APIs via Command-line

If you’re familiar with terminals, you can use terminal commands including cURL or wget to use APIs. The screenshot below shows how one would send a GET request to fetch information from an API.

cURL command line tool result


Use APIs via browser

Another creative way of using APIs is by coding Javascript in the browser. Open the Developer Tool of your browser and switch to the console tap, then paste the following code:

fetch("https://rickandmortyapi.com/api/character/2").then((r) => r.json()).then((r) => console.log(JSON.stringify(r, null, 2)));

The following result will be printed for you.

cURL command line tool result

Looking for a Postman alternative?

Testfully's free plan offers 5 team members, unlimited sessions, Multi-step tests, team collaboration, historical test results and many more features. Import from Postman supported!

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