September 21, 2016

New Feature: API Functionality

Andrew Pitts

Technical Post

From the outset we have aimed to make network analysis accessible to everyone, especially people who don't want to write any code. For that reason we have invested a lot of time into making the Polinode user interface relatively simple to use and, we hope, intuitive. You certainly don't need to write a line of code in order to use Polinode. However, there are quite a few power users who have been asking for the ability to interface with Polinode programmatically for a while. Today we are announcing that this is now possible via our new API (Application Programming Interface)! The below is therefore necessarily a bit technical - if you don't mind writing a bit of code or even if you are not a developer but are nevertheless interested please read on!

Introducing our API

Our new API (Application Programming Interface) means that it is now possible to create, retrieve, update and delete networks in Polinode by writing some fairly simple code. Since it's a REST API we support essentially any programming language you would like to use. Currently, the API is only available for operating on Networks, not Surveys. If you are interested in API access to Surveys please send us an email at and we'll let you know when it's available. Also, in order to obtain API access you will need to have a paid Polinode account which start at just $20 / month.

In order to use the API you will first need to generate a public key and a private key from within Polinode. You can do this by clicking on your name in the top right hand corner of your screen and clicking on API Access as demonstrated by the screenshot below.

Once you've obtained your API keys, you will use the HTTP Basic Auth protocol as demonstrated in this example using Python and in this example using node.js. You will find the full documentation for the API here. Also, don't forget that markdown is supported by the API so you can do some very powerful things using URL's as node or edge attributes for example.

What Does this Make Possible?

Hopefully you are as excited as we are about using this new functionality! Perhaps you've already got some ideas about the kinds of things you will build. In a general sense this allows you to build near real-time integrations with Polinode networks. So you could, for example, pull data from a social network such as Twitter at the end of every day and create or update a Polinode network using that data. Or, you could take communication data from within an organization such as email log files or instant message exports and update a Polinode network at the end of every hour. These are just a few ideas! We can't wait to see what you build and, if you need a hand with the development, let us know as that is something we are happy to quote on.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to add a comment below or send us an email at

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