Playing with the API

One great feature of the Thingsquare platform is the ability to connect it to customer-specific software, such as a database system or your own app. This is done by using the Thingsquare API.

The Thingsquare API is a so-called REST API, which is an industry standard type of API with bindings available for every common programming language and platform.

Today we are looking at how to get started working with the API. This assumes a bit of experience with the command line and the curl command.


The Thingsquare platform architecture.

The API

The API allows accessing devices and their data remotely and securely, using just standard HTTPS requests.

Today we are going to use the Demo Mode to play around with the API!

Step 0: Install curl

Before doing anything, you’ll need to have the curl program installed. The curl utility lets you perform REST API calls directly from the command line.

If you do not have curl installed, download and install it:

Step 1: Turn on Demo Mode

Open the Thingsquare Device Viewer app, either on your iOS/Android phone or in your browser, turn on Demo Mode, and enable Remote access.

If you do not yet have a user account, create one.

Tap the Demo Mode button …

… flip the switch …

… and enable remote access with the Remote access checkbox

Step 2: Make a note of the device ID

After making the device remotely accessible, the device has acquired a unique device ID. This ID will be used to access the device via the API.

The device ID can be found on the Details tab, all the way down. You may need to tilt your device to see the full device ID.

Go to the Details tab and scroll all the way down

Tilt the device to see the full device ID

Make a note of your device ID – it will be used below.

Step 3: Create an API session

Next step is to create an API token for API access to your devices. Go to the Account tab and tap the API access checkbox.

Go to the Account tab and create an API access token

Make a note of the API access token – this will be needed now.

Now we create an API session with the API access token above. This is done using the curl command below:

curl -c sessioncookie.txt -X POST --data token=TOKEN https://0ac48bf3-9fab-4bad-8455-e394808eda6b.developer.thingsquare.com/0/session/

You should replace the word TOKEN with your own access token.

This should result in a single line of output:

user-ok

And the API session is setup!

Step 4: Set the color of the demo device

Now we have created an API session that we can use to send and receive data to and from our devices.

We do this with another curl command – note the -b switch (it was -c above):

curl -b sessioncookie.txt -X POST --data value=#00ff00 https://0ac48bf3-9fab-4bad-8455-e394808eda6b.developer.thingsquare.com/0/devices/ID/d/leds

Where you should replace the word ID with the device ID that you saw under the Details tab in the app.

This should now make the virtual lamp shine up with a horrible green light. Change the #00ff00 in the command above to set a nicer color. The colors are standard HTML hex colors.

A horrible green colored light.

Next steps

To learn more about the Thingsquare platform API, check out our developer documentation! Specifically:


July 21, 2016

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