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Intro: CEDAR's API

This chapter presents CEDAR's API, or Application Programming Interface. It covers the CEDAR API documentation, different ways to access the API, and detailed methods to access CEDAR information using the API, including retrieving metadata and submitting new metadata.

Introduction to the CEDAR API

CEDAR is written in a way that all of its services are accessible via a RESTful API. A focused subset of those services are "open services", intended for any CEDAR user to use as they wish. In our CEDAR guide we will describe the use of these open services.

To use the CEDAR API you will need the software tooling required to make queries directly to the API. This tooling can be a simple operating system command like 'curl', the API Swagger documentation built-in testing commands, an API accession tool, or a complete software application. Most of our documentation uses examples with curl to demonstrate API access.

About your API Key

You will also need a CEDAR API key to access the API. For most people this is the CEDAR API key for their own account.

For developers creating an application, we suggest using a separate account dedicated to your application. This API key may have to be changed on occasion, and it should be decoupled from your personal account API key.

You can find your CEDAR API key by logging in to your CEDAR account, then navigating to your profile page. Your API key, and basic information about using it, should be visible on this page.

In this manual we use the expression YOUR_API_KEY to stand in for the UUID string of characters that is your API key. Whenever you see YOUR_API_KEY in a command, replace that text with your API key before trying to use the command.