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Using APIs for Network Automation

Cisco via Coursera


This course will provide a solid foundation for understanding how APIs are utilized in network automation by discussing important topics such as data encoding formats, REST APIs, and the Python Requests library. Upon completion of the course, you will be equipped with the necessary skills to utilize APIs in your network automation solution and be able to describe the usefulness of APIs in this context. This course is primarily intended for network engineers, systems engineers, network architects, and managers interested in learning the fundamentals of network automation and network APIs. By the end of the course, you will be able to: - Describe the need for data encoding formats and study various data encoding formats. - Interpret and construct HTTP-Based APIs calls to network devices. - Construct and interpret Python scripts using the Python requests module to automate devices that have HTTP-based APIs. To be successful in this course, you should be proficient in fundamental network routing & switching technologies, understand the basics of Python programming (3-6 mos exp.) and have some familiarity with Linux.


  • Course Introduction for Using APIs for Network Automation
    • In this module, we will review the topics and what you will learn in this course.
  • Reviewing Data Formats and Data Encoding
    • The foundational programming topic of data encoding formats is an essential skill for understanding the more advanced concepts like APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and Python programmability. In this course, you will first learn about the two main data encoding formats, XML (extensible markup language) and JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), which are commonly used in APIs. This course also introduces YAML, a structured data format and markup language commonly used for configuration files in automation and is gaining popularity due to its ease of readability for humans.
  • Introducing HTTP Network APIs
    • The application programming interface (API) enables unrelated applications to interface with each other without having to understand how each other works or share the same programmatic language. APIs are becoming more commonplace in today’s digital age and are enabling a world of automation and interactivity. Network Engineers need to understand how to leverage APIs as vendors like Cisco are designing APIs for many of their products, enabling the ease of Network Automation and creating more possibilities to interact with 3rd party non-networking products.
  • Using Python Requests to Automate HTTP-Based APIs
    • Nearly any platform or commercial product comes with some sort of application programming interface (API) capability, many of which are HTTP APIs. These APIs can be used for machine-to-machine communication for network automation and can be the catalyst that you need to fully accelerate your network automation journey. You have seen how you can use Postman for testing and exploring HTTP APIs, but to do anything with the API, while in a programming language like Python, you need to use an HTTP client. One such client, which is presented in this section, is the Requests module for Python.

Taught by

Cisco Learning & Certifications


4.7 rating at Coursera based on 15 ratings

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