Draft APNIC APIs released

By on 27 Mar 2017

Category: Tech matters

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Co-developer Jordan Tay presented the new APIs to Members attending the Members Services session at APRICOT 2017.

As announced at APRICOT 2017, APNIC has begun developing a new set of service APIs (application programming interfaces) for its Members.

While APNIC offers APIs for services like RPKI and Whois, these tend to be specialized and can be difficult to use. The new APIs we’ve developed are designed from the ground up with ease of use, and adherence to modern standards, a primary goal.

With the new set of APIs, Members and IPAM software vendors will be able to integrate their existing software with APNIC’s products, allowing users to effectively manage their resources automatically through their own software, improving efficiency.

New features
The new APIs offered will come in four different categories:
•    Internet resource management
•    RDNS management
•    Route management
•    Whois management

By providing APIs to all these services, we’ve covered services that are most important to Members, and allow Members to manage everything network-related on their own software without any manual updates to MyAPNIC.

API Design

When the Secretariat set out to design an API for Members, we didn’t want to implement a set of APIs that just exposed a bunch of endpoints to the forms that already existed in MyAPNIC. Instead, we wanted to simplify the process for Members so the services could be used quickly with minimum knowledge.

To achieve this, we have designed the API to abstract whois and its processes away so Members can use it without being whois experts. For example, Members who assign resources to their own customers currently have to use whois to register those assignments. This requires an understanding of potentially tricky concepts, like maintainer authorization. It also requires customer-contact mappings to be managed out-of-band, due to the lack of any facility for that within whois.

To help with this, the API supports much simpler assignment by allowing customers and contacts to be managed together, in-band, using sensible defaults where possible. See the draft for more detail.

While abstractions are great, we understand that not all of Members are building new systems or are willing to overhaul existing systems to cater to this API. Therefore, as part of the new set of APIs, we are also introducing a set of APIs for whois management.

Intended for Members who prefer fine control over their whois objects, the whois management API exposes a simple CRUD (Create, Read, Update & Delete) interface for whois objects. Members using their own software to manage whois objects directly won’t have to overhaul their software, just simply change the API calls to the new Whois API.

API Draft and feedback

We encourage APNIC Members and IPAM vendors to read the first public draft of the new API and contact us if you have any questions or feedback.

The APNIC API is all about catering to the needs of Members, so if there is functionality that you would like to see added, or if the API does not cater to your use case, the Secretariat would like to hear from you.

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The views expressed by the authors of this blog are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of APNIC. Please note a Code of Conduct applies to this blog.

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