Google Apps Platform

Write your First App: Prerequisites

These instructions can help you create a small but functional client application using the Google Tasks API. You'll need a Google Account for testing purposes. If you already have a test account with a project registered in the API Console, then you're all set; you can visit the Google Tasks user interface to set up, edit, or view your test data.

There are two ways to invoke the API:

  • Using REST directly.
  • Using client libraries.

Before you can start coding, there are a few things you need to do.

Contents

Get a Google Account

You need a Google Account for testing purposes. If you already have a test account, then you're all set.

Try out Google Tasks

This API documentation assumes that you've used Google Tasks, and that you're familiar with web programming concepts and web data formats.

If you haven't used Google Tasks, then try out the user interface before starting to code.

Register your project

Before you can send requests to the Google Tasks API, you have to register your client with the Google APIs Console. You do this by creating a project—a named collection of settings and API access information—in the Console.

To register, visit the APIs Console. If you aren't already signed in, then sign in with your Google Account.

If you see a "Create project" button, click it to create a new project.

Select the Services pane, and activate the Google Tasks API. If the Terms of Service appear, read and accept them.

Now your project is created and your client is registered.

Registering with the Console provides you with an API key, which is a way to identify your client to Google. Later, when you're ready to add the API key to your client, you can return to the Console and visit the API Access pane. The API key is near the bottom of that pane, in the section titled "Simple API Access."

Learn about REST

There are two ways to invoke the API:

If you decide not to use client libraries, you'll need to understand the basics of REST.

REST is a style of software architecture that provides a convenient and consistent approach to requesting and modifying data.

The term REST is short for "Representational State Transfer." In the context of Google APIs, it refers to using HTTP verbs to retrieve and modify representations of data stored by Google.

In a RESTful system, resources are stored in a data store; a client sends a request that the server perform a particular action (such as creating, retrieving, updating, or deleting a resource), and the server performs the action and sends a response, often in the form of a representation of the specified resource.

In Google's RESTful APIs, the client specifies an action using an HTTP verb such as POST, GET, PUT, or DELETE. It specifies a resource by a globally-unique URI of the following form:

https://www.googleapis.com/apiName/apiVersion/resourcePath?parameters

Because all API resources have unique HTTP-accessible URIs, REST enables data caching and is optimized to work with the web's distributed infrastructure.

For more information about REST, you may find the following third-party documents useful:

REST in the Google Tasks API

The Google Tasks API operations map directly to REST HTTP verbs.

The specific formats for Google Tasks API URIs are:

https://www.googleapis.com/tasks/v1/lists/taskListID/tasks?parameters
https://www.googleapis.com/tasks/v1/users/userID/lists?parameters

The full set of URIs used for each supported operation in the API is summarized in the Tasks API Reference document

Learn about the JSON data format

The Google Tasks APIreturns data in JSON format.

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a common Internet format that provides a simple method of representing arbitrary data structures. According to json.org, JSON is a text format that is completely language-independent but uses conventions that are familiar to programmers of the C-family of languages, including C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, Perl, Python, and many others.

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