This technical document outlines the authentication process using API keys for accessing our services. API keys serve as a secure and straightforward means of authentication for developers working with our APIs. This guide covers essential concepts, practical usage, and security considerations for API keys in both sandbox and production environments.
Table of Contents
1. API Key Fundamentals
1.1 Understanding API Keys
An API key is a unique identifier that serves as an authentication token. It allows applications and developers to verify their identity when making requests to our APIs. This simple yet effective mechanism controls access to our resources and tracks usage.
1.2 Types of API Keys
We offer two distinct types of API keys for different environments:
Sandbox API Keys: Designed for testing and development purposes in a controlled environment. These keys have restricted access and usage limits.
Production API Keys: Reserved for accessing our production services, where live data and operations occur. These keys provide full access to our services and demand the highest level of security.
2. Obtaining API Keys
2.1 Sandbox API Keys
To acquire sandbox API keys, refer to our developer documentation for sandbox environments. Typically, obtaining these keys is straightforward, and they are intended for testing and development. Your company will be given access to these keys early on in the implementation phase
2.2 Production API Keys
Production API keys require a formal request and approval process. To obtain production API keys, reach out to our API support team. These keys grant access to live data and operations and must be treated with utmost care. Your company will be granted a set of these keys once approved for production
3. Using API Keys
3.1 Inclusion in Headers
When making API requests, include your API key in the request header as ‘x-api-key’. Consult the specific API documentation for precise instructions on including your API key in requests.
GET /api/resource Host: api.example.com x-api-key: YOUR_API_KEY
3.2 Rate Limiting
To ensure fair usage and prevent misuse, our APIs may impose rate limits. Review the API documentation for details regarding rate limits for each endpoint. Exceeding these limits may lead to temporary access suspension.
4. Security Considerations
4.1 API Key Security
Securing Your Keys: Treat API keys as sensitive credentials. Never expose them in public code repositories, client-side applications, or insecure locations.
Environment Variables: Store API keys as environment variables or within a secure configuration file, keeping them separate from your codebase.
Access Control: Limit access to API keys to authorized personnel only. Avoid indiscriminate sharing.
4.2 Monitoring and Logging
Implement robust monitoring and logging for API key usage. Monitor for unusual activity and set up alerts for suspicious behavior. Maintain logs of API key usage to track access, including who accessed resources and when.
API keys offer a fundamental authentication method for accessing our services. By adhering to the best practices outlined in this document, you can ensure the security and reliability of your API integrations. Remember that sandbox and production API keys serve distinct purposes, aligning with your development and production requirements.
For technical inquiries or assistance related to API keys or authentication, please reach out to our API support team.