What Really is an API?

March 28, 2019 at 12:59 pm


Sure, sure, we all know that API stands for Application Programming Interface, but what does that mean really, and why is EVERYONE talking about APIs in IT today? This post seeks to provide this information for you!

Let’s tackle the easy part first. APIs are so talked about these days because there has been a real push to make network devices and systems programmable. In order to accomplish this, we need easy and simple to use APIs to make it happen.

If we look at AWS Cloud as an example, Amazon is going to great lengths to make a wide variety of APIs available to engineers that are working with their cloud. This fosters automation and orchestration in working with their systems and makes sure that these staff members are not stuck learning new languages.

Now let’s focus on what an API is. Really!

The job of the API is to create a set of routines, protocols, and tools for constructing software in such a manner that it is easy to communicate with, and so that it can easily interact with other software components. Back to the AWS example, Amazon provides an S3 REST API for use with their famous storage service. This makes it easy for you to interact with and manage your S3 buckets using code. It makes your environment easily programmable.

APIs typically have four common components:

  • Methods – describe the mechanisms that make the API function; methods might dictate how resources communicate and how they are encapsulated
  • Actions – these are verbs that describe the intent of the API call; for example, a REST API might use a GET to retrieve information
  • Objects – the resource a user is trying to access; a great example of an object would be a Uniform Resource Identifier that points to the object itself
  • Formats – this is how data is represented; for example, it might be XML or JSON

APIs make software more accessible, stable, modular and help with abstraction. Abstraction means that we can deal with high-level logic against the application, and we are shielded from the complexities of how the software actually gets the job done.

CompTIA Cloud Essentials – Cloud vs Outsourcing

March 13, 2019 at 9:24 pm

Cloud Essentials

One area that students tend to have a little trouble with in Cloud Essentials is the subtle (and not so subtle) differences we are expected to know between the use of public cloud and outsourcing. After all, at first glance, the use of public cloud really seems to be pretty identical to outsourcing your IT.

Here are the ways in which the two are very similar. Memorize these if you are getting ready for your exam:

  • Your IT department lacks some skills that are required in order for you to get some project or goal achieved; this is why you might do public cloud or outsourcing
  • You lack the physical assets you need to get the job done so you outsource or use public cloud
  • You might get a “vendor lock-in” situation in either case, where you are pretty much stuck with that vendor for a longer time period than you might want

Here are ways in which the two differ – again – you should memorize these if the exam is in your future:

  • Public cloud is very specific to IT, where outsourcing can encompass many non-IT aspects of your business
  • Outsourcing tends to feature much longer contract lengths and more involved contract terms; with cloud computing, we do not have to be locked into long or complex contracts
  • Outsourcing tends to offer much more granular options than with public cloud; for example, you might outsource front line support for a single application and the outsourcing company will provide the staff that are very knowledgable in that application

Be on the lookout for more posts that will challenge you in the tougher areas of Cloud Essentials! Thanks for reading!


The Cloud Essentials Super Challenge Quiz!

March 8, 2019 at 10:31 pm

Are you ready for your Cloud Essentials Super Challenge Quiz??? Have fun and good luck!

The Cloud Essentials Super Challenge Quiz!

Congratulations - you have completed The Cloud Essentials Super Challenge Quiz!. You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%. Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%
Your answers are highlighted below.
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Cloud Essentials

CompTIA Cloud Essentials Pre-Test

March 5, 2019 at 8:37 pm

Are you ready to challenge yourself with some sample CompTIA Cloud Essentials exam questions?

Here you go!

CompTIA Cloud Essentials Pretest

Congratulations - you have completed CompTIA Cloud Essentials Pretest. You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%. Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%
Your answers are highlighted below.
Shaded items are complete.

New CBT Nuggets Course: AWS Security – Data Security

January 23, 2019 at 9:53 pm

AWS Security

During the 55-video, intermediate-level course, trainer Bart Castle teaches learners how to secure data using the Amazon Web Services cloud platform. Topics covered in this training include data storage services like S3, Glacier, EBS, RDS and more as well as common data encryption options and practices.

This training is in support of the AWS Security Specialty certification, and therefore, makes up just a portion of the requisite topics. Additionally, this course is aimed at anyone who works in an AWS environment or wants to learn more about cloud security practices.

Topics covered in this training include:

  • S3 object and bucket security
  • Data-in-transit security options
  • Client and Server-side encryption techniques
  • Encryption key management
  • AWS storage services security (EBS, RDS, Instance Storage, Glacier, DynamoDB etc)

This course includes:

  • 5 hours of training
  • 55 videos
  • In-video quizzes