Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Azure Cognitive Services - Translator Text API - Calling from Postman

Azure cognitive service suit offers a lot of different APIs. One if it is language translation. It is named as Translator Text API. The good point is that it is offered as freemium meaning there is a free tier.

Calling the Translator API

Since it is service it is offered as web service. There are so many samples to use this service from different languages such as C#, JavaScript, PHP etc... which are available in their GitHub repo. But there is tutorial how can we simply call it from Postman which is web developers best friend to consume APIs.

Steps

Unlike many other APIs, this involves 2 step process. Steps given below
  1. Get the token from Azure using STS url which is currently https://api.cognitive.microsoft.com/sts/v1.0/issueToken. This URL is present in Azure portal when we navigate to Translate service instance. This may change in future.
    1. Calling this URL has to be POST with "Ocp-Apim-Subscription-Key" in the header. The value for this header is the keys present in Azure portal.
    2. The result of this call will give us a short lived token which has to be used in next step
    3. Once the token expires, we have to get renew. 10 mins is the expiry.
  2. Now using the token we can call the real, web service located at below URL
    1. https://api.microsofttranslator.com/v2/Http.svc
    2. This method accepts some parameters a query string and some parameters via POST / request data.

Example

Below goes the screenshots. 

Getting Translator Text API Keys from Azure portal. Image credits to MSDN Blogs. This key is used in next step to get token.

The above screenshot shows how to call token service from Postman to get the short lived token used for actual API call. The Ocp-Apim-Subscription-Key should be kept secret as it will help others to use our quota. It has to be changed explicitly if it is leaked.

The above image shows the real Translator Text API call. API needs the token obtained in the previous step. The token has to be prefixed with Bearer and a space before using in this call via Authorization header.
This API accepts required parameter in a hybrid way. Some are in the query string and some can be in optional POST request.
Make sure the optional post request body is properly formatted. One such format is given below.

If the POST request body has any format mismatch the request will be rejected by the server.

Happy posting...

References & more reading

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/data_otaku/2016/11/05/goofing-around-with-the-cognitive-services-translator-api/
https://dev.cognitive.microsoft.com/docs/services/57346a70b4769d2694911369/operations/57346edcb5816c23e4bf7421
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff512423.aspx

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