WAPIQ: Web API Query Language

Feb 25, 2017  
Go  API  WAPIQ  Parser 

Open Sourced On Github


After working on several project involving frequent web API interactions, including: response parsing and request assembling, you could say I’ve had enough of it… So I wrote a library/query language in Golang which attempts to shorten the amount of time to map arbitrary JSON responses and setting up web API request behaviours.

What does it look like?

I went for something of a hybrid between a query language like SQL, and that of a configuration or declarative format like JSON. This allows scoping dynamic naming without taking up too much space: we want something succinct enough, reusable, and easily maintainable if the API’s response changes in the future.


WAPIQ consists of several types of command keywords:

  • API configures API endpoints, configured once before running queries off of.
  • GET or POST configures HTTP requests from an API, specify query parameters, head, body, relative path and all that good stuff.
  • MAP configures how to output the data from a GET or POST request.
  • /<action> can be run separately after the above commands have been loaded. Queries the WAPI, returns the specified MAP response according to some WHERE conditions.

Usage By Example

Below goes through a quick Google Places API example, more examples can be found in the GitHub repository.


# Create new API configuration to interact with Google Places
"GooglePlaces" API {
  path `https://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/place/`
  args {
    "key" `YOUR_API_KEY`

So, the above WAPIQ snippet declares a new API called GooglePlaces, with a base path, and a argument store for any later requests that use this API (more on this later). Also, notice that # is our full-line comment character.

Example Request Configuration

# Create a new GET http request
"search" GET {
  path `nearbysearch/json`
  type `json`
  query [

Similar in syntax to the previous example; this snippet creates a new HTTP GET request called search. It has a path which gets appended to the API path, sets the expected return type, and the next bit declares possible query parameters that can be added to the URL for any future search request made.

Now that we have set up a very basic API and action for it (Also: Notice how each request configuration does not explicitly reference the API, so we could use it on multiple APIs if you wanted to). So, we want to MAP our API requests to a format of our liking. To do this we use the MAP configuration.

Example Map Configuration

# Create a new MAP between Place and our search request
"Place" MAP "GooglePlaces" {
  "search" {
    "id"        `results.place_id`
    "name"      `results.name`
    "types"     `results.types`
    "location"  `results.geometry.location`
    "address"   `results.vicinity`

Right, so this is where it gets interesting: This creates a new response called Place with our previously created GooglePlaces API. Within this scope, we reference our declared search GET request. Place returns 5 fields: id, name, types, location, and address. If we were to map another response that still fills search we can add another scoped action within our MAP block. But for now, we will just be mapping search fields with JSON paths.

JSON Paths? Let’s use the below as an example:

"location" `results.geometry.location`

Alright, so in our standard Google Places API response, we expect a JSON response that looks similar to this:

  "results": [
    "geometry": {
      "location": {
        "lat": "some_float",
        "lon": "some_float",

Our JSON path string will find all objects satisfying any object in results, in each result, a geometry object, in each geometry, a location, and finally in each location a lat and lon value. - Quite powerful and easy to change in the future if the API response changes in the future.

Handling JSON Array elements using @ Expressions

Some APIs use arrays with an expected set of information (without naming the key of the value in the pair). In order to handle these responses, WAPIQ uses the @ character when specifying the index in the array. Here is an example that is used when handling responses from the Bitfinex exchange API (See more in the giy repo at examples/Bitfinex.wapiq):

"Trade" MAP "Bitfinex" {
  "trades" {
    "Id"              @0,0
    "Mts"             @0,1
    "Amount"          @0,2
    "Price"           @0,3
  "funding" {
    "Id"              @0,0
    "Mts"             @0,1
    "Amount"          @0,2
    "Rate"            @0,3
    "Period"          @0,4

In the above example, @0,0 is used to read a json value from a response like this one, where <> are used as placeholders to identify each embedded array indexes (if it was @0 we take the first object in the array, each concecutive , between values gives the next index as the child). Here is an example:


The first @0 specifies the first embedded array object, [[<here>],...], and the second identifies the first element (at index 0) inside that array.

If we wanted to just read the first element in an array, we just use @0, and @1 is the next element, etc.

File Includes

So let’s say you’re implementing a particularily intricate API using WAPIQ, but you are struggling with the separation of concerns of each script. For example, you are implementing a public or common portion of the API, and want to separate the authentication endpoints. In order to handle this, you can use include statements using a preceding ^ character followed by the filename (excluding the .wapiq filename extension).

As an example, the Bitfinex example is split into Bitfinex.wapiq and Bitfinex_Auth.wapiq:

# Include common API from Bitfinex.wapiq

"wallets" POST {
  path "auth/wallets"
  head [

At the moment WAPIQ does not support inheritance of objects (potential in the future), but this at least allows file separation.


On to the good stuff, now that we’ve set up a WAPIQ configuration, let’s query and return some results!

/search FOR Place WHERE
  name `cruise`
  location `-33.8670,151.1957`
  radius `500`
  types `food`

WAPIQ resembles SQL a lot here, we precede our query with a /, and we want to return a response FOR our mapped Place , under the conditions outlined after the WHERE keyword. In this case, we’re looking for a cruise near the supplied lat and lon location with 500km as our radius… Oh and something that offers food.

The WHERE clause is optional - if no arguments are given the request sends with default arguments given in the associated API args (if any are given). In this case a query parameter named key was declared in our GooglePlaces example. Alternatively, we could override the key argument with a different value if you so choose.

Behind the scenes, this fires off a request to:


Which, depending on if you invoked from the Go wrapper or CLI will resolve to the following JSON or go struct:

         "address":"32 The Promenade, King Street Wharf 5, Sydney",
         "name":"Australian Cruise Group",

To sum up, that’s the initial version of the library so far, you can access WAPIQ through a CLI, load your configurations through *.wapiq files, or execute and query through Golang using the WAPIQ library.


./wapiq -f some/configuration.wapiq -q="/search FOR Something WHERE conditions `plausible`;"
  • -q: Run a query directly within the CLI.
  • -f: Load and execute an external wapiq file.

Go Wrapper

package main
import "github.com/Tiggilyboo/wapiq"

func main(){
  w := &wapiq.WAPIQ{}
  w = w.New()

  w.Load("../examples/GooglePlaces.wapiq", false)

  // r is a map[string]interface{} and can be casted directly into GoLang models
  r := w.Query("/Search FOR Places;")

  // Alternatively, output into JSON, which could be serialized into another interface/language if needed

That’s all for now, thanks for reading!