When interacting with APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), you might come across a useful command called 'jq' that can help you manipulate and format the data received from the API. In this article, we will explain what 'jq' is and how to use it with an example API call.
What is 'jq'?
'jq' is a command-line tool for processing JSON data. It is used to parse, filter, and format JSON output, making it easier to read and work with. By using 'jq' with an API call, you can transform the raw JSON response into a more structured and human-readable format.
Using 'jq' with an API Call
Let's take the following API call as an example:
curl -X 'GET' \
-H 'api-token: <insert_api_token>' \
-H 'accept: application/json' | jq
The API call retrieves a list of products from an IriusRisk instance. Without 'jq', the response might look like a complex and unformatted JSON object, which can be challenging to interpret. However, by using 'jq' with the command, you can easily enhance the readability of the response.
Here's what 'jq' has done in this example:
jqhas applied indentation to make the JSON data more human-readable. This means it has added spaces and newlines to structure the JSON data in a more organized way. The original JSON data was compacted into a single line, and
jqhas formatted it with indentation to improve readability.
jqhas inserted line breaks to separate different elements and objects within the JSON data. This makes it easier to visually distinguish between different parts of the JSON structure.
jqhas ensured that key-value pairs within objects are consistently formatted with a newline after each comma. It also indents nested objects to clearly show the hierarchy.
Array Wrapping: Your original JSON data was enclosed in square brackets
, indicating it's an array.
jqpreserved this array structure in the output, which is why you see the square brackets
[ ]in the formatted JSON.
jqhas formatted the JSON object itself by indenting its keys and values and separating them with colons and commas, which is the standard JSON object formatting.
'jq' is a versatile command-line tool that enhances the usability of JSON data received from API calls. By using 'jq', you can format, filter, and manipulate JSON responses to make them more accessible and relevant to your needs. It's a valuable addition to your API interaction toolkit, especially when dealing with complex and unformatted JSON data. In summary, using 'jq' with an API call is a powerful way to make JSON responses more readable and extract the information you need effectively. It's a valuable tool for developers, administrators, and anyone working with APIs to streamline their workflow and improve data analysis.