PlexTrac is an application that helps users collect, transform, display, and analyze vulnerability data. It consists of two parts: the backend, which stores and manages the data, and the frontend (the PlexTrac platform), which allows the user to view and interact with it.
The API is the connecting link between the two parts. It's a set of instructions that informs the backend to create, delete, update, or return data to the user.
The frontend sends requests to the backend to store or modify data and queries it to display the required information to the user. The backend executes these requests and returns the necessary data.
Each customer instance of PlexTrac is an independent app with a frontend, backend, and API.
Developers can benefit from using a web app that self-consumes its API, allowing the app to utilize its API resources. This ensures the API is tested and reliable as the app uses it. PlexTrac is an example of a web app that self-consumes its API, enabling UI interactions to be treated as API requests directly sent to the server.
This allows external applications to integrate with PlexTrac and will enable users to manage data with custom scripts. All functionality within the platform is accessible through the API, making it a reliable and efficient way for developers to access data or services that would typically require manual processes or multiple UI interactions.
To use the backend database, a user needs to initiate an action by sending requests to it. This is made possible through the PlexTrac platform, which serves as the frontend interface for sending API requests. By interacting with the UI components, users can become the driving force behind the requests sent to the backend by simply clicking a button on the Plextrac platform.
When interacting with the backend, one can send API requests through various means, including the PlexTrac platform, command line, Postman API Platform, custom scripts, or even a personalized frontend. Regardless of the chosen method, the process involves the user initiating a driving action, such as:
- entering the request on the command line
- creating and sending a Postman request
- executing a script
The extent of what can be achieved with the API depends on the resources involved, whether it's a simple command line request or a custom frontend that replaces the PlexTrac platform.
When deciding whether to use the API or the platform, it's worth considering some key factors. One of the main advantages of using the platform is its simplicity. If a task can be completed with just one click, there may not be any need to use the API.
When it comes to interacting with and managing data, the API is a superior option. It offers developers a dependable and effective means of accessing data or services that would otherwise demand manual procedures or numerous user interface interactions.
In addition, using APIs instead of the platform is beneficial because automation is possible through scripts. Scripts can perform multiple interactions at once, making bulk operations possible and saving time.