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Adding a string to URL accessing someone else's API

Posted on 2012-03-12
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Last Modified: 2012-03-15
Hello Experts,

I'm currently using a search API provided by another website where I can add parameters in my URL string in order to return certain results in an XML file.

Right now, my URL string looks like such:

api.mydomain.com/search?source=CRAIG&category=VAUT&authID=<my authorization id>


This returns a very large xml file worth of data. One of the pieces of data that is returned in my XML is subcategory_2 = "cars & trucks - by owner". How would I go about adding that to my URL to filter my results by it. Basically, what I'm looking for is the equivalent to:

api.mydomain.com/search?source=CRAIG&category=VAUT&subcategory_2=cars+&+trucks+-+by+owner&authid=<my authorization id>.

Obviously, my URL doesn't work correctly, but if someone can tell me how to accomplish what I'm showing above properly that would be awesome!
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Question by:ambientsbs
5 Comments
 
LVL 111

Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 37712228
You should ask the provider of the API for instructions on how to use the API.  Any answer we give you here would be at best a guess.
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Author Comment

by:ambientsbs
ID: 37712241
I've reached out to them and didn't get a response yet. Just thought I would ask how to put

"cars & trucks - by owner"

into a search string. Can you tell me what the syntax would be to do that traditionally? I believe that will work for what I'm looking for. Thanks!
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LVL 18

Accepted Solution

by:
nap0leon earned 2000 total points
ID: 37714314
URL encoded, "cars & trucks - by owner"
is "cars%20%26%20trucks%20-%20by%20owner"

[space] = %20
& = %26

You'll really need to see their full API doc to even know if you can search by subcategory2.  Good luck!
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LVL 25

Expert Comment

by:kevp75
ID: 37725297
Yes, you are at their mercy at best.

At worst, get the entire XML as you are currently doing, end then search that for the string you need
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:ambientsbs
ID: 37725508
This was pretty close to what I needed.....I used "cars+%26+trucks+-+by+owner" and got the results I needed. Thanks for your help!
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