Web APIs can pass in parameters in three different ways: 1.) Query Fields, 2.) Request Header Fields, and 3.) in the Request Body. This article will explain how to retrieve the value of a parameter for each of these scenarios.

Query Fields

Query fields (aka query params) appear in the URL and are separated from the main resource endpoint with the question mark ("?") character and then followed with one or more parameters. Each parameter is separated with the ampersand ("&") character. Parameters normally take the form of a name/value pair. The equal sign ("=") character is used to separate the field name from the field value. Query fields can appear alone as a label, but this rare and discouraged because the meaning of a label is ambiguous (e.g., Does a label without a value imply an empty value? Is a label without a value meant to be a value in and of itself by virtue of appearing in the URL?).

Here are a few examples of well-formed query fields:

GET https://www.examples.org/parts?color=red

GET https://www.examples.org/customers?status=active&state=NY

POST https://www.examples.org/oauth?token=5DS7o0QFQ2olod2bIOKDKw9glo3hMx

If query fields are important to your API (which is likely since you need to allow them to be accepted in the first place) you'll want to retrieve the value of each query field. This could be done by parsing the full URL yourself (which is automatically stored in the FullEndpointURL variable). However, we recommend you use the GetQueryField service. Here is what our code might look like:

// https://www.examples.org/parts?color=red
PartColor   = HTTP_Services('GetQueryField', 'color')
CustStatus  = HTTP_Services('GetQueryField', 'status')

// https://www.examples.org/customers?status=active&state=NY
CustState   = HTTP_Services('GetQueryField', 'state')

// https://www.examples.org/oauth?token=5DS7o0QFQ2olod2bIOKDKw9glo3hMx
Token       = HTTP_Services('GetQueryField', 'token')

Query fields are case sensitive.

Request Headers Fields

HTTP requests can also include header fields, There are a number of pre-defined header fields but developers can also define their own.

Please review the Required Settings section in the Registry Configuration article to properly enable custom header fields.

Here are a few examples of header fields:

Authorization: Basic dGVzdDp0ZXN0
Accept: image/jpeg
Accept-Encoding: gzip, deflate

Like query fields, header fields are also name/value pairs. However, these must be retrieved using the GetRequestHeaderField service:

Authorization   = HTTP_Services('GetRequestHeaderField', 'Authorization')
Accept          = HTTP_Services('GetRequestHeaderField', 'Accept')
AcceptEncoding  = HTTP_Services('GetRequestHeaderField', 'Accept-Encoding')

Unlike query fields, header fields are not case-sensitive.

Request Body

While query fields and request header fields must conform to the patterns noted in the HTTP specification, parameters in the request body are always developer-defined and must be documented carefully. It is impossible to cover every possible response format and media type, so we'll focus on the two most likely cases: JSON (e.g., {"status" : "active"}) and XML (e.g., <status>active</status>). Regardless of the media type, use the GetHTTPValue service to retrieve the content of the body and then parse the data with the best tools available.

If the response body is formatted as JSON, we recommend using the SRP_JSON library to parse and retrieve the parameter value. Here is a simple example:

Body    = HTTP_Services('GetHTTPPostString')
If SRP_JSON(objBody, 'Parse', Body) EQ '' then
    CustStatus  = SRP_JSON(objBody, 'GetValue', 'status')
    SRP_JSON(objBody, 'Release')

For an XML formatted response body, we recommend using the SRP_Extract_XML library. Again, here is a simple example:

Body        = HTTP_Services('GetHTTPPostString')
CustStatus  = SRP_Extract_XML(Body, 'status/text()')
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