Combining all business data as effortlessly as possible is the goal for many modern enterprises. ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) is one method by which multiple data sources of varying types are all channeled via data pipelines into one data warehouse. This allows businesses to gain key profit-boosting insights faster. There are many methods of pulling all this data together into a useable format. Today we’re going to explore the benefits of the REST API connector.

Table of Contents

  1. What is REST API?
  2. What is a REST API Connector?
  3. Use Cases for REST API Connectors
  4. Using Xplenty's REST API Connector
  5. Keeping Everything Connected with Xplenty

Customer Story
Customer Story
Keith connected multiple data sources with Amazon Redshift to transform, organize and analyze their customer data.
MongoDB MongoDB
Amazon Redshift Amazon Redshift
David Schuman
Dave Schuman
CTO and Co-Founder at Raise.me
They really have provided an interface to this world of data transformation that works. It’s intuitive, it’s easy to deal with [...] and when it gets a little too confusing for us, [Xplenty’s customer support team] will work for an entire day sometimes on just trying to help us solve our problem, and they never give up until it’s solved.
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What is REST API?

REST API or RESTful API stands for Representational State Transfer API (Application Programming Interface). An API is a set of rules or methods which allows one application to interact with others, often with the goal of finding and returning data in a specific format.

At its simplest, REST focuses on presenting data to a client in a format it can use. REST is a programming architectural style designed to make communication in digital systems more efficient, by working with references to the relevant data rather than a complete copy of the data in whole.

REST uses HTTP requests in much of its architecture. This means that many developers turn to REST API because of its familiar set of protocols and syntax. Developing using RESTful architecture means using the architecture of the web itself to your advantage. That’s why so many services utilize REST API.

Because REST is not a standard or protocol, not all REST APIs talk to each other without help. This can be problematic when collating and integrating data, and is one of the limitations most noted by developers, particularly in terms of sharing and transferring data.

That’s where a REST API connector comes in handy.

What is a REST API Connector?

A REST API connector allows users the flexibility to connect to any existing REST API and quickly extract the necessary data. The connector’s only job is to connect to and show the required information from the relevant API. This removes the need for developers or data analysts to program their own connectors, which can be painstaking and time-consuming, especially when you have multiple REST sources to connect to and query. Of course, not all businesses have onsite developers. That is why a company's data management partnerships can be crucial.

Use Cases for REST API Connectors

One of the most common and popular uses for the REST API connector is to collate data from a number of REST APIs and merge them into a cloud-based data storage system such as Amazon Redshift or Google BigQuery.

As a leading ETL platform, Xplenty allows you to integrate your RESTful API services with a range of other digital and cloud-based services. A few examples include:

  • Shopify
  • BigCommerce
  • Hubspot
  • MailChimp

The key benefit of the connector is that it forges links to just about any REST data source, allowing you to create effective data pipelines that match your business’s needs exactly.

It also allows constant updates to the data sources, so new platforms and applications are all easily connected as long as they are using RESTful architecture.

Customer Story
Customer Story
Keith connected multiple data sources with Amazon Redshift to transform, organize and analyze their customer data.
Amazon Redshift Amazon Redshift
David Schuman
Keith Slater
Senior Developer at Creative Anvil
Before we started with Xplenty, we were trying to move data from many different data sources into Redshift. Xplenty has helped us do that quickly and easily. The best feature of the platform is having the ability to manipulate data as needed without the process being overly complex. Also, the support is great - they’re always responsive and willing to help.
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Using Xplenty's REST API Connector

A few basic instructions allow you to tell Xplenty what data you want to retrieve and what format you wish it to come back to you in. The key parts of an API include:

  • Method i.e. what type of connection you're making
  • URL or endpoint
  • Headers which hold relevant information
  • Body, information about the incoming data
  • Credentials which prove you have the right of access to this data

The primary method used to retrieve data is "GET", which retrieves data without changing it. Other commands include "POST" which can create and update data, "PATCH" for partial modifications, or "PUT" when using an API as a destination.

The connector will normally use a URL which is a combination of the base Xplenty API URL and a suffix dedicated to the desired endpoint. Headers can include more detailed requests about the data you're retrieving.

Keeping Everything Connected with Xplenty

Any service that uses REST API is accessible with our REST API connector. When you configure your data pipelines, you’ll be able to access all your crucial business data right to the business intelligence tools you need. Having a dedicated ETL service with a user-friendly interface takes the stress out of figuring out your own in-house data management service, which can become costly and frustrating.

Related Reading: In-House ETL vs Xplenty: Comparison and Overview

Xplenty is all about working with the modern cloud and the diverse range of data sources businesses have to wrangle these days. It’s no longer simply about customer databases and lists of email addresses. Online chats, clicks, and shares on social media, interactions with apps, and website hits are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to business-critical data. Use Xplenty and connect to a range of data sources and business tools such as Salesforce, QuickBooks, and MongoDB, and discover the incredible insights and analysis that in-depth, accurate data can bring to your business. 

Schedule a conversation with Xplenty and discover how we can help you connect to all your business data effectively.