PlexTrac App

PlexTrac is a data aggregation app that allows the user to collect, transform, display, and analysis vulnerability data. The app composes of the backend, which manages and stores the data, and the PlexTrac platform or frontend, which allows the user to view and interact with the data.
The API is what connects the front and backend. It's a set of instructions or requests, built into the backend, that tell the backend to create, delete, update, or return data to the requester.
The frontend interacts with the backend by sending these requests to the backend to store or modify data. It also queries the backend to send data which it then display to the user. The backend interacts with the frontend by executing the requests sent to it and returning any requested data.
Each customer instance of PlexTrac is a stand alone app that has its own front and backend, and therefore, its own API.

Self-Consumed API

A web app that self-consumes its API is a web app that can use its own API resources. This provides a number of advantages for developers who want to use the API, as it means that the API is already tested and reliable, since the web app itself is using it.
PlexTrac self-consumes its own API, so a button click or other UI interaction can be thought of as sending an API request from the UI to the server. The server then processes the request and sends a response back to the UI. This process is similar to what happens when an API request is manually sent. The difference is that the API request is sent directly to the server and the UI is not involved. The server processes the request and sends a response back to wherever the request was sent from. This makes it possible to integrate external applications with an instance of PlexTrac, allowing users to control and manage data with custom scripts.
If an API endpoint can be thought of as an interaction with the UI, this means all functionality inside the platform is accessible through the API.
Using the API is a great way to interact with data in a programmatic fashion. APIs provide developers with a reliable and efficient way to access data or services that would otherwise require manual processes or multiple UI interactions.

Driving Action

Since the backend is just the database holding information, there must be a driving action that sends requests to the backend telling it what to do. The PlexTrac platform is a frontend that allows users to send API requests to the backend by interacting with components of the UI. The user becomes the driving action when clicking a button in the Plextrac platform that fires off requests to the backend.
Using the API is the act of sending API requests to the backend. This can be done via the PlexTrac platform, the command line, the Postman API Platform, a custom script, or a full-blown custom frontend. Each of these methods must be started with a driving action, such as:
  • a user entering the request on the command line
  • a user creating and sending a Postman request
  • a user executing a script
From a single request made from a command line to a custom frontend that replaces the PlexTrac platform, the resources involved determine what can be accomplished with the API.

API vs. PlexTrac Platform

Since the API provides the same functionality as the platform, it's important to note some common reasons to use one over the other. One of the biggest reasons for using the platform is simplicity: If the task can be accomplished by clicking one button, no reason exists to use the API over this simple action.
However, if a need exists to interact with and manipulate data, the API is a better choice and can provide developers with a reliable and efficient way to access data or services that would otherwise require manual processes or multiple user interface interactions.
Automation is also an important reason for using APIs over the platform, as a script can condense multiple interactions into the action of running the script. Scripts can perform a single interaction multiple times and automate bulk operations.
© 2022 PlexTrac, Inc. All rights reserved.