Cisco Prime Infrastructure REST API for python

Cisco, Prime, API, REST, request
pip install piapi==0.1.2


piapi AKA Prime Infrastructure API

The piapi library ease the interaction with the Cisco Prime Infrastructure REST API with python. piapi implements a unique class known as PIAPI has the unique entry point for all requests made against the API.



  • Fix issue with PUT request and json parameters.


  • Add support of Cisco Prime Infrastructure virtual domain.
  • Skip the grequests library for concurrent requests and use threading instead (grequests doesn't work with multiprocessing)


  • Major fixes with the request methods.


  • Initial release.


    pip install piapi


    pip install https://github.com/maximumG/piapi/archive/master.zip

Cisco Prime Infrastructure REST API

Prime Infrastructure Network Monitoring/Configuration solution exposes a classic REST API to get access to several resource. The resources are of 2 types:

  • Data resources: exposes several statistics/metric of the network and often requested using HTTP GET (e.g. client summary, alarms,…)
  • Service resources: exposes several services to modify the configuration of the NMS/network and often used with HTTP POST, PUT and DELETE

Check the Cisco Prime Infrastructure REST API documentation available at https://{pi-server}/webacs/api/v1/

Note that piapi library is only interacting with the REST API using JSON structure.

How does piapi works ?

Basic Usage

The following code resumes all functionalities of the PIAPI class.

from piapi import PIAPI

api = PIAPI("https://pi-server/", "username" , "password")


#  Request a Data resource from the API
api.request("Clients", params={"connectionType": "LIGHTWEIGHTWIRELESS"})

#  Request a Action resource from the API
to_delete = {"deviceDeleteCandidates": {"ipAddresses": {"ipAddress": ""}}}
api.request("deleteDevices", params=to_delete)

We can request several properties from the class such as resources, data_resources, action_resources. These properties are list of available resources that are exposed from the REST API. The resources can used after when calling the API with the request method.

The request method is the generic entry point to interact with the REST API. It needs to be called using the resource’s name as required argument and some params. All requests will return the response as JSON structure.

Also note that the requests for data resources always returns a detailed JSON structure and not the summary one.

Rate Limiting

The Cisco Prime API is using rate limiting features to protect the server from request’s overloading. This means that the API is restricting requests from a user inside a window of time.

To ‘bypass’ and embrace this rate limiting feature, the request method can be tuned using optional parameters:

  • paging_size: the maximum result that can be present in a page (default : 1000)
  • concurrent_requests: the number of requests that can be sent in parallel (default : 5)
  • hold: time in second to wait between each chunk of concurrent requests (default : 1)

Check the Cisco Prime Infrastructure REST API documentation to known more about the rate limiting feature and how it can be tuned internally.

PIAPI Caching feature

Some REST API call can be extensively long, depending on what you want to retrieve. For that matter, the PIAPI class implements a caching mechanism for data resources only. When calling the request method for the same couple resource+parameters more than once, the method will return the already stored result instead of running the request again.

api = PIAPI("https://pi-server/", "username" , "password")

# This request will be run against the REST API (could take a long time)
api.request("Clients", params={"connectionType": "LIGHTWEIGHTWIRELESS"})

# This request will comes directly from the cache PIAPI class (faster return of data)
api.request("Clients", params={"connectionType": "LIGHTWEIGHTWIRELESS"})

You can explicitly avoid using the cache by setting the check_cache argument to False in the request method.

api.request("Clients", params={"connectionType": "LIGHTWEIGHTWIRELESS"}, check_cache=False)

API SSL feature

The Cisco Prime Infrastructure API is only accessible trough HTTP over SSL (HTTPS) connections. By default the PIAPI class verifies the server’s SSL certificate. You can disable this behaviour by setting the verify argument of the PIAPI constructor to False.

api = PIAPI("https://pi-server/", "username" , "password", verify=False)

API Timeout handling

The Cisco Prime Infrastructure API can be really slow. The default request timeout is set to 300 seconds (5min); this is usefull for some REST Call for long job reporting. To reduce this timeout simply use the timeout parameters of the request method (seconds as metric).

api = PIAPI("https://pi-server/", "username" , "password", verify=False)
api.request("MyNotSoLongAction", timeout=20)

Virtual Domain Support

A Virtual Domain consists of a set of devices and/or maps and restricts a user view to information relevant to these managed objects. PIAPI is "virtual domain" aware and it is possible to specify the virtual domain name either during the creation of the PIAPI or during each call to the request method.

api = PIAPI("https://pi-server/", "username" , "password", virtual_domain="root-domain")
# retrieve clients from the 'root-domain'
api.request("Clients", params={"connectionType": "LIGHTWEIGHTWIRELESS"})
# retrieve clients from the 'sub-domain'
api.request("Clients", params={"connectionType": "LIGHTWEIGHTWIRELESS"}, virtual_domain="sub-domain")

Also note that when changing the virtual domain for one request, the virtual domain is persistent for all next requests.