Forum: Ruby on Rails Web api question

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snacktime (Guest)
on 2007-07-05 06:51
(Received via mailing list)
I'm looking at the best type of api to create for a particular
project.  Although this isn't really ruby/rails specific other then it
will be written in ruby, it's probably an area that many people on
this list deal with.

The api is delivering information that will primarily be displayed in
report and list formats.  Customers, orders, transaction histories,
etc..  The end use is that the content for a web interface will be
fetched via this api.   It will be integrated into many different
types of software in different languages.

My first thought was to use xml for the data format.  Good points are
that it's well known and it's easy to represent nested data
structures.  The bad side is that leaves quite a bit of work to
implement it on the end user side.

The other idea was to let users create html templates on the server
side using a simple language, or maybe even something like erb.  This
would move a lot of the processing to the server end, but make things
a lot easier for end users that just want the easiest way to display a
list or report.  Xml could always be an option for those that want it.

I'm also playing around with the idea of an activerecord adaptor
specific to the data set we will have available.  There will also be
request types that can modify data in our system as well as retrieve
it, and an activerecord adaptor would make it easy for rails folks to
plug into their own rails apps.

Any other ideas are appreciated!

Chris
Phlip (Guest)
on 2007-07-05 07:08
(Received via mailing list)
snacktime wrote:

>
> My first thought was to use xml for the data format.  Good points are
> that it's well known and it's easy to represent nested data
> structures.  The bad side is that leaves quite a bit of work to
> implement it on the end user side.

The other side can trivially convert XML into XHTML using XSLT. You can
bootstrap them by delivering basic XSLT files.

> The other idea was to let users create html templates on the server
> side using a simple language, or maybe even something like erb.  This
> would move a lot of the processing to the server end, but make things
> a lot easier for end users that just want the easiest way to display a
> list or report.  Xml could always be an option for those that want it.

That would expose your database to their find() skills.

> I'm also playing around with the idea of an activerecord adaptor
> specific to the data set we will have available.  There will also be
> request types that can modify data in our system as well as retrieve
> it, and an activerecord adaptor would make it easy for rails folks to
> plug into their own rails apps.

That means they would need to write their own sites in Rails. Don't you
mean
an ODBC adapter, for a lower level?

--
  Phlip
  http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/9780596510657/
  "Test Driven Ajax (on Rails)"
  assert_xpath, assert_javascript, & assert_ajax
snacktime (Guest)
on 2007-07-05 07:48
(Received via mailing list)
> The other side can trivially convert XML into XHTML using XSLT. You can
> bootstrap them by delivering basic XSLT files.

I'm biased on this one.  If people ask for it I'd consider it, but
frankly I don't think your average developer considers xslt trivial.

>
> > The other idea was to let users create html templates on the server
> > side using a simple language, or maybe even something like erb.  This
> > would move a lot of the processing to the server end, but make things
> > a lot easier for end users that just want the easiest way to display a
> > list or report.  Xml could always be an option for those that want it.
>
> That would expose your database to their find() skills.
>

All applications get their data delivered as xml except for the layer
that translates data going in and out of the database.  In addition
even that layer can only call stored procedures with strict data
types.  It has a fair amount of extra security above and beyond what
you would see in a normal web app.

> > I'm also playing around with the idea of an activerecord adaptor
> > specific to the data set we will have available.  There will also be
> > request types that can modify data in our system as well as retrieve
> > it, and an activerecord adaptor would make it easy for rails folks to
> > plug into their own rails apps.
>
> That means they would need to write their own sites in Rails. Don't you mean
> an ODBC adapter, for a lower level?

It would basically define a set of models it supports, and map
supported methods into api calls back to our system.  Or something
similar I haven't thought it through all the way.  No sql at all
though.  At first it would be ruby only, but once the mapping is done
in activerecord it could be modified to work with similar systems in
any language.  Granted this would probably be a feature added later
on, just kind of thinking out loud.

Chris
Steve D. (Guest)
on 2007-07-20 00:33
(Received via mailing list)
Dear Railers,

I'm working on a web application that controls media players over the
internet. The app needs to send and receive AJAX XHR requests/responses
formatted as JSON objects.

These are not directly related to the standard CRUD screens, but will be
used to issue commands to multiple clients, from an AJAX JSON request
that contains a command and an array of client names.

The server will also need to generate AJAX JSON responses, containing a
client name along with an array of fields whose data has changed. These
are to be parsed on the client and will update cells in a table
indicating the current state of individual clients.

Since I haven't done this before, I'm trying to understand if there is a
place in the current rails code that I should hook into, or if I need a
new controller to handle the AJAX requests/responses.

Any suggestions or code samples of others who have tackled this issue
would be greatly appreciated.  To get a better understanding of what the
App is up to, you can view it at: http://24.23.248.71
The page that this problem refers to is here:
http://24.23.248.71/wm/public/index.html  If you've got Firebug running,
you'll see the command generated in the Console window, provided at
least one client is checked.

Any pointers, code examples, or explanations as to how this might or
should be done are sincerely appreciated.

Thanks,

-- Steve
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