Bring your own REST API

Bring your own REST API

Over the last few months, we've added tons of integrations, like ChatGPT, GPT Vision, web scraping, maps data and more. These let you make apps that do work for you.

But what if there's something we don't support? Or you have existing data behind some API somewhere that you'd like to use in a Create built app?

Starting today, you can create custom integrations that talk to any REST API.

That means you can now make tools that use and take action on your own data.

You can also make tools talk to anything that comes with a REST API out of box, like Xano, Airtable, Supabase, or any other public API we don't yet support that has an Open API spec.

You have the same power that your developer has.

Personal tools

Once a custom integration is set up, it's as easy to use as any other integration. You just press "/" to add it. Then, just describe how you want to use it.

Using a custom internal API called "Marketplace" after adding it

Imagine you're a PM at a marketplace like Etsy and you want to build a tool for your ops or customer service team to manage orders.

Your description can start out simple: "Make me an admin app for /<name-of-your-api-here>". Create will know what to do, from writing the code for the UI to hooking up interactions to the API endpoints. If it gets something wrong, just add more details.

What's really cool is that you don't need to manually specify any of the queries. No more digging through the endpoint docs and wondering if you're calling the right thing. You can just describe how you want the app to behave and Create figures out how to write the code for it. We do this by reading the API spec you give us during set up and factoring it in as we write the code for your app.

This makes it way easier for non technical users on your team to make their own tools, rather than asking their eng counterparts to prioritize their requests.

So to carry on with our Etsy orders admin as an example, after you include your custom API as an integration, you can write things like:

  • "Show orders in a table" to have Create build a table that fetches and displays the order data from your API.
  • "Add a refund button on every row that refunds that order" and Create will hit the POST /refund endpoint.
  • "Show the seller's email address instead of the seller id for every order" and Create will join the seller table and order table using your API endpoints.
  • "Summarize the text of all the reviews for each listing using /ChatGPT and put them in a column" and Create will write the code to pipe your reviews to AI for analysis.
  • "Show all the previous interactions with this customer in a side panel using the /<insert-name-of-custom-CRM-integration>" to build tools that take advantage of multiple custom integrations in the same app.

Forget complex drag and drop or visual builders where you have to follow the arrows to each box. This upgrade lets you make powerful custom tools in just a few sentences. Once you set up an API, anyone on your team can use it in any app they want to make.

So a week later, your co-worker at imaginary Etsy now spins up a new dashboard visualization of all incoming orders.

When you're experimenting with a new integration, you probably don't want Create to hit your actual API (just in case anything goes wrong). So when you're building your app, we generate fake data for your API responses based on the API spec so that you can test what it will be like in production.

Once you publish your app, if you have a Create Pro plan, Create hits your real API endpoints when people use your app.

Setting up a new API

Most ways you can set up a REST API also make it easy to generate or publish an API spec for it.

To let Create know about your API, upload the Open API spec for your API as a "custom integration" from your dashboard and name it something recognizable. After that, like all other integrations, when writing your description, you can press "/" to bring up a menu that lets you tell Create to use it.

If you have your own REST API, you can typically find or generate a YML or JSON of your Open API spec. If you need help, invite your eng team using the share menu – they'll know what an "Open API spec" is.

If you've bought Create Pro, you can add up to 10 custom integrations.

As always, if you need any help, join our Discord community for answers to your questions from the team.