Python notebooks: get started with Python and our Python SDK
Salutations from the Meraki team! We hope this is finding you well despite the major disruptions and challenges we've all faced as a result of the global pandemic. We've been quite busy getting our API v1 into GA (just launched last week!) and are looking forward to building engagement as our community leverages the new tools available via API.
You've probably heard of the Meraki Python SDK, but if you're a network admin or engineer, and not already a Python developer, we understand that it might seem like there's not enough time in the day to also go and learn Python, even if you have some coding experience. If only there were some way to have a little help getting started, maybe with code examples broken up into pieces you could run independently and at your own pace...
Enter Python notebooks, aka Jupyter notebooks, which are a great way to learn Python and our Python SDK. If you're not familiar, they let you segment your code and run it in logical blocks called "cells," which can make it much easier to learn-by-doing when writing or learning Python code. We've written two notebooks that show off initializing a connection to the Dashboard API and interacting with your Meraki environment using the Python SDK.
In these notebooks, we start with a problem, and then build a solution. For example, what if you wanted to get a quick list of all of the switches that are offline (or any other status) in an environment? Or quickly check if any bandwidth limits have been set on your SSIDs? It could take awhile if you had to check each page on the Dashboard, especially if you have hundreds of networks, but with a Python script you can get this information in just a few seconds.
You can take these notebooks and modify them to serve your own purposes. Tinker, experiment, or completely re-purpose them. You can even break them, and learn from the error output. Each cell is modular, so you can reorganize them and run them individually to see how the Python interpreter and the SDK are interacting.
We've published a getting started guide that can help you set up your dev environment as well, and show you how to use Google Colab or VS Code if you haven't used them before. We're also looking at other admin tasks that can be accelerated using the SDK for further notebooks, so stay tuned to the Meraki GitHub for updates!