How to Make Requests to Yelp’s API v3 (Fusion)

I recently worked on updating an app I made a couple of years ago, that was using Yelp’s API. I was running into some issues deploying the older version of the app to Heroku, so I decided to update the API it was using to the latest version for Yelp, v3.

As I’m writing this, I found that the Yelp API documentation was a little confusing. The older API required a consumer key, consumer secret, token, and token secret. The Yelp Fusion API only requires an Authorization parameter.

Authentication for the Yelp API is outlined here, although I had to do a bit of fiddling around until I was able to successfully make an API GET request. Here’s what Postman looked like once I was able to make a successful call (click the image to see a larger view):

Something I wasn’t aware of from the APIs I’ve worked with, is that the Headers required a Content-Type with the value application/json and an Authorization with a value that started with the word Bearer, a space, and then the API key I had received from Yelp. So the value looked something like Bearer 203498lksjsdlkfej9if

If you’re curious about how I wrote the code for my application, you can take a look at my github repo for the app, What am I Even Doing?

A Brief Overview of Node.js and Express.js

If you’ve worked with JavaScript frameworks and libraries, chances are that you’ve heard of Node.js and Express.js. So for those who are unfamiliar to these terms – what exactly are they?

Node.js

Node.js is an open-source JavaScript runtime environment, that uses Google’s V8 JavaScript engine, where you can build server applications. Node.js is not a framework, although it has many modules that are written in JavaScript. It has event-driven architecture that is capable of asynchronous I/O, otherwise none as a form of input/output processing that allows other processing to continue before the transfer of data has finished.

Express.js

Express.js is a web application framework for Node.js, that’s used for building APIs. It is also known for being a backend component of the MEAN stack.

I’ve worked with Node.js and Express.js to create APIs, so I feel like I can never think about one of them without having the other one come to mind.

WDI Day Forty-Eight: Web Sockets and Lab Time

Web sockets are a way that users can interact in real time with each other on websites. During class we did a quick tutorial where we created a chatroom – it was some pretty cool stuff. After walking through the chatroom with socket.io, we tried to add Angular to the mix, and yet again it tripped me up a bit.

In the afternoon the instructors announced the web socket lab, where we will have to build a game with the MEAN stack and use web sockets. I can’t believe how many labs we’ve had – here I thought this weekend I would be able to get a head start on my final project. Looks like I’ll be refactoring the lab that was due this morning and have to complete yet another project.

I still feel pretty shaky with Angular JS, so I’m going to attempt to do several tutorials over the weekend. I did manage to put a basic MEAN stack framework in place for my lab project that I’ll work on customizing more tomorrow. I am also going to attempt to create Tic Tac Toe.

WDI Day Forty-Seven: MEAN Lab

The MEAN stack is pretty difficult to work with – at least it is for someone who is completely new to it. I enjoy working with Mongo DB, Node.js, and Express.js. The problem child in the stack is Angular – I’m realizing I’m not grasping everything that I thought I was.

Today was the last day to work on our MEAN stack lab. I decided to create an app where users can post their projects and have other users critique their projects. Users can upvote/downvote projects as well as critiques.

I was able to successfully complete the following:

  • Have users create new projects, delete existing projects, and view all projects
  • Have users upvote/downvote projects
  • Have users add critiques for different projects
  • Have users view all critiques made on projects
  • Have users upvote/downvote critiques
  • Seed the database with dummy data
  • Use show/hide Angular directives to make a better user experience

At this time, I have yet to do the following:

  • Allow users to update posts
  • Add the ability to delete comments
  • Create RegEx to prevent users from submitting critiques if the critique uses banned words or phrases
  • Polished styling (I was only able to do some preliminary styling)
  • Launch the app to Heroku

Although building this application was a huge struggle, I felt as though the application functioned a lot better than my project 3. It was also quite a learning experience!

WDI Day Forty-Six: Building a MEAN App & Starting a MEAN Lab

We had an introduction to adding Angular to the mix when building apps with Mongo DB, Express JS, and Node JS. However, the intro was a little too brief for everyone’s liking. Essentially we walked through an exercise that incorporated Angular with the rest of the stack, but not many of us were feeling at all confident with this new component.

After attempting to complete the in-class assignment, we were introduced to our lab for the week – building a MEAN stack application. We could either work in groups or alone. Although I enjoy working with others, when I’m struggling to retain new information, I do much better being able to struggle and absorb things on my own a little bit before returning to the group. Thus I opted for working on my own project.

It was a bit of a struggle – I tried to walk through the in-class assignment several times, but was unable to build something that could function. Next I started Googling all sorts of tutorials, desperate to find a working example of a way to format and use all these different pieces together. Luckily, I finally stumbled upon something that worked and helped me add basic CRUD functionality to the app. Once I had the working pieces in place, I pretty much called it a day. I was pretty sleep deprived from the day before, but I did indeed successfully complete a large chunk for the lab.

I’m hoping that tomorrow goes well and that I can successfully refine this application. I have a sturdy foundation now–all I want to do now is add to it and read over a few documents to make sure I’m understanding everything involved with the basics for the MEAN stack.