What are API Documents?

Find out about API Docs and what they're for

What is an API?

You might’ve heard of an API before, and it’s important for backends, so here’s what it is and how it works: API stands for Application Programming Interface, and it is a way for information from one program to be shared with other programs.

Imagine you’re at a fast food restaurant. You can’t get your food until you order, and you have to order through the cashier. Think of the cashier as an API. The API takes your order, reports it to the kitchen, and the kitchen makes your food.

When you have a program on your laptop, it can do a lot of digging around and talking to parts of your laptop. However, it cannot go over to LinkedIn and mess with data there, because just like the restaurant doesn’t want you in the kitchen, LinkedIn doesn’t want your programs in their data. So LinkedIn offers an API: a menu for ordering specific stuff. The program on your laptop makes an order through LinkedIn’s API and LinkedIn fulfills the order.

How are they related to the Model Builder?

The Crowdbotics Model Builder uses self-documenting API endpoints. If you check the “API” checkbox, then on the next deployment the API endpoints and corresponding documentation will be generated for that data model. This will then appear at the API docs page for that app. There is only a single API docs page for each app. 

This documentation includes the valid parameters you can submit and any notes from the comments in the code. This saves you the effort of writing your own documentation after the fact.

This type of documentation comes directly from Django Rest Framework, so you will get it anytime you’re building backends with Django (even if you don’t use the Crowdbotics Model Builder).

Storing and manipulating data is the fundamental purpose of all apps. With the Crowdbotics model builder, you can create your app's foundation all on your own – no coding required.