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What is a GET Request?

A GET request, in simple terms, is a way for you to grab data from a data source with the help of the internet.

It’s done using the GET request method, which is a very common HTTP request method (like POST, PUT, or DELETE).

Despite the capitalization, “GET” is not an acronym, so it doesn’t stand for anything. But an easy way to understand the GET method is by thinking of it as “GETting” data from a source.

How does a GET request work?

HTTP request methods can get very complicated, but we’ll try to keep things simple for the sake of clarity.

HTTP request methods (often called HTTP verbs) are kind of like actions which you can tell an API to do.

This makes more sense if you imagine the API as a waiter in a restaurant.

In the waiter analogy, we can think of GET requests as food orders.

If the user is a customer, and the server is the kitchen, then some sort of link has to exist for the two to communicate.

The link that makes this communication possible is the waiter — or the API.

If you want food delivered to your table, you need to tell the waiter your order so he can take it to the kitchen. After a while, the waiter delivers your meal to you, just as you like it.

What’s happening here is very similar to what happens when a GET request is being performed.

When you tell the API that you want to retrieve information, you send a GET request to the server. After it processes your request, you receive the information in a nice, organized pile.

When to use a GET request

Here are a few examples of why you might want to perform a GET request:

  • Banking API – Getting a transaction’s detailed information
  • Flight API – Getting flight status, delays, prices, and schedules
  • Joke API – Getting a list of jokes
  • SEO API – Getting updated SEO data including search volume and CPC
  • Trading API – Getting updated stock prices in real-time
  • Web Mapping API – Getting precise coordinates of a location

I could list countless examples of GET requests, but even with just 6 examples, it’s easy to notice the pattern.

Anytime you need information for whatever purpose, you use the GET request to retrieve it from the source.

Performing a GET request with Apipheny

In the video below our team member, Meelad, demonstrates how you can perform a GET request with Apipheny’s easy-to-use interface.

In the video, Meelad chooses the GET method in the dropdown list then enters the desired API URL Path.

The way his request is setup tells Apipheny that he wants to retrieve (or GET) data from the API.

Once he clicks “Run”, Apipheny processes the request. And after a few seconds, the data he requested appears straight into the spreadsheet.

Import API data directly into Google Sheets

Do a lot of copy-pasting?

We used to, as well.

But it took up too much of our time.

Introducing Apipheny, a Google Sheets add-on that lets you import data directly into Google Sheets — and save up to an hour of your workday.

It lets you connect virtually any API to Google Sheets — in just a matter of seconds.

This means you can now import data directly from your favorite data sources — and finally stop switching between tabs with your fingers stuck on Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V.

Apipheny lets you do the following things:

  • Skip the scripting & coding part of APIs.
  • Retrieve and send data from your favorite data sources easily, using the GET and POST request features.
  • Access virtually any REST API, whether it’s JSON or CSV.
  • Get the data you need in a nice, clean, list on your spreadsheet with the JSON converter.
  • Save time by automating your API calls with the Save and Schedule features.

Try it for free. No credit card needed.

Learn more about APIs by reading these next:

Popular API Tutorials

API Knowledge

What is an API?

What is an API URL?

What are parameters?

What is an endpoint?

What is an API key/token?

What is basic authentication?

What are headers?

What is a GET request?

What is a POST request?

Import JSON to Google Sheets

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