What is SalesHood’s Reporting API? (Web REST APIs 101)

We are all about learning here at SalesHood, and so we’ve put together this article that covers the very basics of what SalesHood’s reporting API (sometimes referred to as Export API or Advanced Analytics API) does and how it works.

So, what is a web REST API anyway?

In the simplest terms, it is a method of requesting data from a source location over the internet. 

Here’s what it looks like behind the scenes:

SalesHood has a physical server dedicated to the reporting API. In that server are two important things: raw data, and a schema.

You can think of the schema like a skeleton — without it, our data has no structure. If we asked the computer to give us data without having a schema to follow, information would be retrieved as a jumbled mess (if at all).

The schema organizes the data into unique datasets. Each dataset has rows, columns, and values just like any table you’d see in Excel or Google sheets. 

How do I get my data?

While the data physically lives in a server box, we can pull it over the internet using a URL request

The request needs three things to work: who the host is (the server address), parameter(s) (what data we want), and a secure token (the key that unlocks the data, and prevents requesters from seeing stuff that isn’t theirs on the server).

Here’s an example of a fully formed request (please be advised that this is not a working request and will yield an error if used):

https://api.Saleshood.com/api/v1/get_datasets?type=user
HTTP Header (Token): eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJzdWIiOiIxMjM0NTY3ODkwIiwibmFtZSI6IkpvaG4gRG9lIiwiaWF0IjoxNTE2MjM5MDIyfQ.SflKxwRJSMeKKF2QT4fwpMeJf36POk6yJV_adQssw5c

Now let’s breakdown the different parts:

https://api.Saleshood.com/api/v1 

This is the host address (to our server) which will be replying to our request.

/get_datasets?type=user 

This part of the request is the parameter. This says, “Hey server, send me the user dataset.” to which the machine will reply with the table associated with this type name according to the schema (the skeleton).

HTTP Header (Token): eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJzdWIiOiIxMjM0NTY3ODkwIiwibmFtZSI6IkpvaG4gRG9lIiwiaWF0IjoxNTE2MjM5MDIyfQ.SflKxwRJSMeKKF2QT4fwpMeJf36POk6yJV_adQssw5c

In the application being used to pull the API data (for example, Power BI, Salesforce, Tableau, etc.) there will be an option to add an HTTP header to the request. In our case, we must add an HTTP header called “Token”.  This part of the request is the key which grants permission for us to access a specific instance’s data, and the token itself is generated using instance information that the Development Team pulls for us. Without a Token HTTP header, the server will reply to our request with an error instead of data.

What is a BI tool?

If a schema is the skeleton, think of a BI (business intelligence) tool as everything else that wraps around it. It can do things like: define relationships between datasets, execute formulas, create visualizations, and also store more than one dataset (they don’t have to all be APIs either!). BI tools are where all the magic happens. The possibilities are nearly endless!

I hope that this brief walkthrough helped to explain SalesHood’s Advanced Analytics Web REST API, but please reach out to victoria.riley@saleshood.com if you need further assistance with anything API related.

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