What is the purpose of our API?
DaniWeb's API allows you to write your own applications that leverage our entire database. You can essentially tap into every aspect of the raw database and build features and functionality that aren't currently implemented on the site. You can also write web-based applications, native desktop applications or even mobile applications that replicate nearly all of DaniWeb. Additionally, we make it easy to build Daniweb into your existing website or application.
How can I get started?
The simplest way to tap into our database is to make calls to our RSS feeds. Our RSS feeds return our latest articles optionally filtered by forum or article type. RSS feeds can be plopped into a syndication service or news reader, so you can read our latest content from within Microsoft Outlook, for example. If you want to add fresh content to your own website, you can easily make a request for a feed, and then loop through the list of articles, manipulate and display them however you like. Pretty much every programming language designed for the web has either native support or an easily accessible library to request and parse RSS feeds.
How does the API work?
What is OAuth and why do I want to use it?
Without OAuth, you can make API calls that request all of our publicly-accessible content, such as forums, members, articles and posts. However, if you want to write an application that caters to existing members, and you want your application to be able to access private areas of your end-users' profiles, or post on their behalf, then you need OAuth. OAuth allows your application to automatically detect which member is using it without the member having to share anything about themselves. Additionally, it allows your application to authenticate itself to our API with the DaniWeb member credentials of an end-user who is using it, without the need for the end-user to share their login credentials. Essentially, you would send your application's end-user to a webpage where we ask them if they authorize your application to access their account. Once they say yes, then your application is given an access token which is unique to your application and the individual end-user. Whenever you need to access the API on behalf of the end-user, you send the access token along with the request.
What is an example use case of OAuth?
As an example of a use case, OAuth offers the ability to create a Log In with DaniWeb feature to replace or extend your website's own signup and/or login mechanism. It can do this because the end-user just needs to click a single authorize button, and your application will be able to instantly gain access to their username, email address, avatar, and other profile settings. You'll have everything that you need to create your own well-rounded profile for them within your own database, on their behalf. This way, they don't need to fill out a sign up form on your site if they already have a DaniWeb profile. With over a million members to tap into, it's been proven that one-click signup can significantly increase your website's conversation rate!
I'm a visual person; Do you have any working examples?