Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow. – Anthony J. D’Angelo
As you know, there are a lot of similarities between with QlikView and QlikSense, yet they are loads of differences between the two products. Scripting engine, Set Analysis, and the associative model are similar however Qlik opened gates for developers to extend the offering thru multiple APIs for QlikSense.
I am sure you haven’t heard this for the first time. There is no excuse for not understanding what an API is! When I first heard this term. It gave me a sense of false ego gratification – made me think that I’m more intelligent than I’m. However, when someone spoke to me about the API, it seemed like I intuitively know what they were talking about but never really understood the meaning.
But, what the heck is an API?
API stands for “Application Programming Interface“. API is super important in the web world. API allows one piece of software to talk to another software. To be more specific, it is certain functionality which caters business capabilities exposed over the internet for other applications to use. Being little more specific, as humans, we rely on a user interface to access any data via the web. However, machines do not need the user interface. So, data gets transferred via the internet thru an API (generally in JSON format). Once data is received, API replies a structured response.
It’s important to note that pieces of software can talk to each other with or without an API. So, not all software talk to another software necessarily use APIs.
Imagine this example:
You live in London and work near Bank station. However, there is tube strike and you were looking to take a bus instead of a tube. However, you don’t know when is the next bus. So, you unlocked your phone to check on TFL (Transport for London) journey planner. But you realised that you have City Mapper app installed on your mobile. And it is intuitive and easy to check on City Mapper compared to opening the browser on your mobile and typing the URI in the address bar. But ever wondered how does City Mapper know the bus timings? For that matter, not just the City Mapper. You can also ask Alexa, and she can answer it too. And neither of them work for TFL. So, both – City Mapper and Amazon Alexa use the TFL API. And these apps doesn’t require a UI to get the data from the TFL. It is because TFL offers public API which provides these details.
So, there are two main events – request and response.
Qlik offers a set of APIs to developers:
|Engine API||JSON RPC|
|Custom Component API||Web component|
|App Integration API||URL integration|
|Single Integration API||URL integration|
|Leonardo UI||UI library|
I highly recommend you to going thru the above link which has good documentation about the API functionality.
Example non-Qlik APIs:
Google Maps API
There are hundreds of them. But I do hope you understand what is an API!
Part 2 will be REST API.