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Why do you need to register to use an API?

Question

Many API services, including the one utilized in this lesson, require registration to use them. Why do you need to register to use an API?

Answer

There are several reasons that some API services require registration to utilize.

One important reason is that it adds a level of security to the service. By linking API requests to some account, if there is any malicious use of the service, then it can trace it back to that account. Also, without requiring registration, there can be many anonymous users that can abuse the system or service without a way to trace back to some specific account.

Another reason that an API service might require registration is that the service stores information per user, so in order for a user to keep their data, they must have an account that it can connect to. For example, Rebrandly, which is used in this lesson, stores your shortened URL’s, so that you can add, remove, or edit the ones that you have created.

One other reason registration is required for some API services is that the service may have a limit on the amount of requests that can be made over a period of time. This is sometimes due to load on the servers, because each API request to the server costs energy and time. With registration, it becomes easier to set this limit per user account.

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