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You may be wondering why the image for this blog post features two people shaking hands. The answer is simple, and it comes in the form of the following wisdom provided by Hostwinds' Art Director/Human Encyclopedia:
API keys don't work like a 'key.' API keys are more of a handshake.
Speaking of, have you by any chance heard about those excellent API keys that the cool and hip kids are talking about these days? What's that? No one cool or hip is talking about API keys? Fair point. That said, here at Hostwinds, we embrace being web hosting nerds, and we enjoy it!
On that note, today, we will be talking about API keys and API key management in the Hostwinds Cloud Portal. Did you know that "API" actually stands for "Amazing & Perfect Invention?" Just kidding. That said, API keys are amazing and perfect inventions, and we will explain why in just a little bit. Now that we are on the subject of goofiness and fun, why don't we get right into the corny puns and dad jokes?
Exhibit A: API Keys are something that you would be very wise to cAPItalize on.
One dad joke down, many more to go. Onto the core of this blog piece, where we will define and explain things about API keys. As the heading below suggests, let's start with APIs.
We will now answer the heading's question. What's that? It's implied that the heading would be answered, so there was no need to insert that first sentence? What a wise audience you are! We learn so much from the rhetorical responses you give to our rhetorical questions.
Definition of API: API stands for Application Program Interface. APIs dictate how software applications are used, obtained, or shared.
Three Sentences to Sum Up APIs: APIs work together behind the scenes to produce what we see on websites. There can be multiple companies and working parts involved in this "working together" we speak of. APIs are the regulations and systems that bring numerous complex components of a site together.
Example of API: Let's say you have a website containing information stored in a database. A company wants to access that information for their website. In this example, you would use an API to give them automatic access to the data in your database.
Example of a Hilarious Tech Joke Provided By the Hostwinds Support Team:
A password hacker walks into a bar.
The password hacker orders a drink.
Then a dRinK.
Then a Dr!nk.
Then a driiiNK.
Then a DRi!ink.
Another Example of API: A company can give out an API to coders. When the coders build websites, they can add the company's info to the site without having to hard code it. What a great opportunity to shamelessly plug a previous Facebook/LinkedIn/Instagram social media post from the Hostwinds Team called "Why API Keys Are Great."
First off, the post states, "First off, an API (application program interface) is what permits people to acquire online information from a company over the internet. For example, APIs allow companies like Google and Twitter to give website developers access to huge chunks of information to add to the websites they create."
Another example we mention in that social media post: "You can login to certain websites using your Gmail or Facebook accounts because those companies used APIs to give website developers the ability to pull their data."
We go further into the topic by explaining, "API Keys are great because they can identify the application trying to get the information. They can also limit the amount of programs that gain access to the data in addition to checking if the program trying to acquire the info is approved to do so by the API owner."
What a beautiful segway to our subsequent API key discussion!
API keys are identifiers. API keys come with a public and private key.
Definition of API Key: As mentioned previously, API keys identify and authenticate the application that wants to access the API.
2 Things API Keys Can Help You Do:
1. Pinpoint the application or applications accessing your API
2. Validate/check/approve the applications requesting access to your API
The individual accessing the API won't be found by the API key, but the application will. API keys also tell you the number of applications accessing the API.
Companies like Facebook wouldn't need an API key because they don't care who accesses their API. On the other hand, smaller businesses would want to track and limit those accessing their API for privacy and security purposes.
Here's How You Use an API key:
You give your public key to others to grant them access to portions of your environment. You keep the private key to yourself. The API key takes care of the authentication and identification parts we just mentioned.
Hostwinds enables you to manage your API keys in one central location conveniently. Now that we have covered all the API key basics, please join us as we tour through the API key section of the Hostwinds Cloud Portal.
First and foremost, some important news: Hostwinds offers an API.
The link below will direct you to it:
The "Hostwinds Cloud API Overview" guide explains that "Hostwinds clients who wish to have even more options to access and control cloud servers have a fully functioning API. This allows you to develop a unique user interface and is something you can completely customize."
Visit https://www.hostwinds.com/guide/hostwinds-cloud-api-overview/ to read more about Hostwinds' Cloud API.
As per usual, we'll run through a mini-tutorial about accessing Hostwinds' API and creating API keys in the Cloud Portal.
First Thing's First: Login to your client account (https://clients.hostwinds.com/clientarea.php).
Second Thing's Second: Click the "Cloud Control" drop-down menu on the royal blue navigation bar at the top of the Client Area >> Click "Cloud Portal."
Third Thing's…A Charm: Click the "Account" drop-down on the white navigation bar at the top of the Cloud Portal >> Click "API Keys."
Notice the blue "API Documentation" button on the top right of the page.
Click that button to navigate to the Hostwinds Cloud API.
Now we are ready to create an API key. To achieve this, follow these steps:
Step 1: While on the API page in the Cloud Portal, click the green "Create API Key" button to the left of the "API Documentation" button.
Step 2: Fill out the pop-up form that is shown in the image below >> Click the blue "Create Key" button >> And that's a wrap, team.
(Corny Dad Joke Coming Up:) Now that we've created an API key, let's use it to unlock the conclusion!
To make room for another Hostwinds Support Team tech joke, we've condensed the main points of this conclusion below:
1. API keys are tremendously beneficial tools.
2. API key management in the Hostwinds Cloud Portal is easy and convenient.
3. The Hostwinds Team appreciates you.
Onto the joke:
A QA engineer walks into a bar.
The QA engineer orders one drink and receives one drink.
Then the QA engineer orders 99 drinks and receives 99 drinks.
The QA engineer orders -1 drinks and receives no drinks.
The QA engineer asks where the bathroom is. ERROR.
Farewell, for now, friends!
Written by Hostwinds Team / July 26, 2019