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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
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LVL 108

Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
Comment Utility
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
Comment Utility
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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Accepted Solution

by:
nap0leon earned 500 total points
Comment Utility
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
Comment Utility
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
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Author Closing Comment

by:ambientsbs
Comment Utility
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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