Appendix B. RHN API Access

In an effort to provide customers with added flexibility, RHN makes an application programming interface (API) available. This interface can be found by clicking Help at the top-right corner of the RHN website, then clicking API in the left navigation bar. Or you may go directly to: https://rhn.redhat.com/rpc/api/. Use this URL for your XMLRPC server and your browser.
The RHN API is based upon XML-RPC, which allows distinct pieces of software on disparate systems to make remote procedure calls using XML over HTTP. For this reason, any calls you make are expected to meet the constraints of XML-RPC. You can find out more at http://www.xmlrpc.com/.
This section bypasses a list of available methods and classes in favor of tips for using the API efficiently. These include steps for determining required values and a sample script that makes some of the calls.

B.1. Using the auth Class and Getting the Session

It is worth noting that you will almost invariably use the auth class first. This class offers a single method, login. Use this to establish an RHN session. It requires values for three parameters: username, password, and duration. The first two come directly from your RHN account, while the third is the length of time the session should last in seconds, typically 1200. It returns a session string than can be used in all other methods.