API documentation for ActiveCell
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API documentation for Activecell

You can use this site to understand how to connect to the Activecell API. We use it ourselves, as a matter of fact, not only for our pet projects and to load up sample data...but indeed our application itself uses the API exclusively to retrieve and persist data.

Editor's note on API documentation format: This API documentation site draws heavily if not completely from 37signals API documentation. We feel they really got it right and that others should get their API documentation into such a simple and digestible format. Hat's off to the crew at 37signals. Thanks for the inspiration!

Editor's note on Sample Data: Our sample data is pulled from AMC's tv show Mad Men. Some company names and user names and various other ideas are drawn from the plots of this show but aren't intended to reflect any actual business transactions or relationships. It's just sample data!

Making a request

All URLs start with https://[subdomain].activecell.com/api/v1/. SSL only. The path is prefixed with the account id and the API version. If we change the API in backward-incompatible ways, we'll bump the version marker and maintain stable support for the old URLs.

To make a request for all the channels for your company, you would append the channels index path to the base url. If your company domain was "sterlingcooper" you would form something like https://sterlingcooper.activecell.com/api/v1/channels.json. In curl, that looks like:

curl -u user:pass -H 'User-Agent: MyApp (don.draper@sterlingcooper.com)' https://sterlingcooper.activecell.com/api/v1/channels.json

To create something, it's the same deal except you also have to include the Content-Type header and the JSON data:

curl -u username:password \
  -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
  -H 'User-Agent: MyApp (don.draper@sterlingcooper.com)' \
  -d '{ "name": "My new channel!" }' \

That's all!


If you're making a private integration with Activecell for your own purposes, you can use HTTP Basic authentication. This is secure since all requests use SSL.

Future: If you're making a public integration with Activecell for others to enjoy, you must use OAuth 2. This allows users to authorize your application to use Activecell on their behalf without having to copy/paste API tokens or touch sensitive login info.

No XML, just JSON

We only support JSON for serialization of data. Our format is to have no root element and we use snake_case to describe attribute keys. This means that you have to send Content-Type: application/json; charset=utf-8 when you're POSTing or PUTing data into Activecell. All API URLs end in .json to indicate that they accept and return JSON.

You'll receive a 415 Unsupported Media Type response code if you attempt to use a different URL suffix or leave out the Content-Type header.

Use HTTP caching

You must make use of the HTTP freshness headers to lessen the load on our servers (and increase the speed of your application!). Most requests we return will include an ETag or Last-Modified header. When you first request a resource, store this value, and then submit them back to us on subsequent requests as If-None-Match and If-Modified-Since. If the resource hasn't changed, you'll see a 304 Not Modified response, which saves you the time and bandwidth of sending something you already have.

Handling errors

If Activecell is having trouble, you might see a 5xx error. 500 means that the app is entirely down, but you might also see 502 Bad Gateway, 503 Service Unavailable, or 504 Gateway Timeout. It's your responsibility in all of these cases to retry your request later.

We have another API for checking our system status at http://status.activecell.com/api.

Rate limiting

You can perform up to 500 requests per 10 second period from the same IP address for the same account. If you exceed this limit, you'll get a 429 Too Many Requests response for subsequent requests. Check the Retry-After header to see how many seconds to wait before retrying the request.

API ready for use

Canonical data (get only):

Company data:

Product data:

Customer data:

Employee data:

Vendor data:



Help us make it better

Please tell us how we can make the API better. If you have a specific feature request or if you found a bug, please use GitHub issues. Fork these docs and send a pull request with improvements.