The REST API in a nutshell

The REST API is very easy to use. From a technical standpoint is simply comes down that your website or app sends HTTP requests to Copernica's servers: HTTP GET requests to fetch data, and POST and PUT requests to modify data. These requests are processed by our API servers, and the requested data is sent back in a format that can easily be handled by computers (JSON).

Registering your app

To prevent that unauthorized applications get access to the API, you must first register your website or app with Copernica. Only after you have registered and you have a valid API access token, you can start making calls to the REST API.

The registration form for the REST API can be found on the dashboard of the Copernica website. This is probably not the location that you had expected, because we usually use the Marketing Suite of the Publisher for these kind of configuration forms. However, the REST API registration forms can only be found on the the dashboard on www.copernica.com. If you register an application, it is best to use a descriptive name, for example the address of the website from where you will be making the API calls.

Copernica uses the OAuth protocol to authorize applications to access the REST API. This is a standardized protocol in which you first have to register the application that is going to make the API calls, and then you have to link this application to one or more accounts. It is possible to give a single application access to multiple accounts. The Copernica dashboard has forms to perform both steps: registering the application, and linking it to accounts.

After you've registered your application and have linked it to your account, you receive an API access token. This is a long string of alphanumeric characters that you should pass to each API call. Once you have this access token, you can test whether you have access to the API by entering the following URL in your browser:

https://api.copernica.com/v1/identify?access_token=youraccesstoken

The text "youraccesstoken" should of course be replaced by the access token that was given to you in the dashboard. If you have successfully completed the registration process, this method returns a JSON object with the name of your company and account.

HTTP requests

The REST API uses the HTTP protocol for exchanging data. Your website or app simply can simply send a HTTP request to one of our API servers to fetch or update data. There are four types of requests that are supported:

  • HTTP GET to fetch data
  • HTTP POST to add/append data
  • HTTP PUT to edit/modify data
  • HTTP DELETE to remove data

This distinction is important. It makes a big difference whether you send a HTTP GET or a HTTP POST request to the server. GET is used for retrieving data, and POST/PUT to modify things.

In practice the difference between HTTP POST and HTTP PUT is not so sharp. For most URL's our servers treat the POST and PUT requests completely the same. If you send a POST request to a method that only supports PUT, we treat your call as if it was a PUT call. However, there are methods that do treat PUT and POST differently, so we recommend to stick to the recommendations: POST is used for adding data, and PUT for modify'ing.

Every API request requires a access_token parameter. You can simply add this parameter to the URL as a regular get-parameter.

More information

De following articles also contain information about the REST API: