Get authorization keys

Almost every API has a method in place to authenticate requests. You usually have to provide an API key in your requests to get a response. Requiring authorization allows API publishers to do the following:

  • License access to the API
  • Rate limit the number of requests
  • Control availability of certain features within the API, and more

Keep in mind how users authorize calls with an API — this is something you usually cover in API documentation. Later in the course we will dive into authorization methods in more detail.

In order to run the code samples in this course, you will need to use your own API keys, since these keys are usually treated like personal passwords and not given out or published openly on a web page.

Get the Mashape authorization keys

To get the authorization keys to use the Mashape API, you must sign up for a Mashape account.

  1. On market.mashape.com, click Sign Up in the upper-right corner and create an account.

    It’s easiest if you first create an account on GitHub, and then just click SIGNUP WITH GITHUB in the Mashape login window.

  2. Click Applications on the top navigation bar, and then select Default Application.
  3. In the upper-right corner, click Get the Keys.

    Mashape -- getting the keys

    If you don’t see the Get the Keys button, make sure you click Applications > Default Application on the top navigation bar first. You may have to horizontally scroll to the right (eek!) to see the Get the Keys button.

  4. When the Environment Keys dialog appears, click Copy to copy the keys. (Choose the Testing keys, since this type allows you to make unlimited requests.)

    Mashape keys

  5. Open a text editor and paste the key so that you can easily access it later when you construct a call.

Get the Aeris Weather API secret and ID

Now let’s get the keys for the Aeris Weather API. The Aeris Weather API requires both a secret and ID to make requests.

  1. Go to http://www.aerisweather.com and click Sign Up in the upper-right corner.
  2. Under Developer, click TRY FOR FREE. (Note that the free version limits the number of requests per day and per minute you can make.)
  3. Enter a username, email, and password, and then click SIGN UP FOR FREE to create an Aeris account. Then sign in.
  4. After you sign up for an account, click Account in the upper-right corner.

  5. Click Apps (on the second navigation row, to the right of “Usage”), and then click New Application.

    Aeris account

  6. In the dialog box, enter the following:
    • Application Name: My biking app (or something)
    • Application Namespace: localhost
  7. Click Save App.

Once your app registers, you should see an ID, secret, and namespace for the app. Copy this information into a text file, since you’ll need it to make requests.

Text editor tips

When you’re working with code, you use a text editor (to work in plain text) instead of a rich text editor (which would provide a WYSIWYG interface). Many developers use different text editors. Here are a few choices:

These editors provide features that let you better manage the text. Choose the one you want. (Personally, I use Sublime Text when I’m working with code samples, and Atom when I’m working with Jekyll projects.) Avoid using TextEdit since it adds some formatting behind the scenes that can corrupt your content.

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