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Thursday, November 24, 2011

API Usage Architecture: Why This and Not That.

The following illustration shows the current weather forecast for Wadenswil, Switzerland as provided by the WeatherBug Rest API offering.

Recently, while rewriting the World Weather Tool I maintain on WiredPages- I considered using this Rest API offering.

The reason I did not use the WeatherBug API offering? The explanation is a little detailed. The short response-- I had to rewrite the interface quickly and chose to keep the software architecture I used for the original. The more detailed explanation is provided so potential clients understand their options.

I developed the original World Weather Tool in 2003 when the WeatherChannel first began offering the API XML feed. At the time they also offered a Software Developer Kit (SDK) which included weather image icons. This enabled me to efficiently use Java Applet technology to render the images quickly.

Since then I have developed any number of interfaces powered by API offerings using Java Servlet technology [sans the front end Applet GUI].

Today, most API services-- provide pointers and links to image files [or other resource files], as illustrated above or demonstrated on the WiredPages Technology page where the CNET interface is installed.

I am using local [hosted on my server] weather image icons for the World Weather Tool illustrated below. Originally and still today.

More often today-- I request the image resources directly from the API provider's site. Rendering remote images with a Java Applet would be a little more time consuming [the amount of time the server side Java Servlet would need to process each request and transfer the raw image data to the applet] and in my opinion, inefficient. The Java Applet does not allow direct import of remote resources as a security precaution.

So recently, why did I use Java Applet and Servlet technology for the Eventful Events Interface? I wanted to use the list feature the Java Applet technology offered.

QiSoftware offers custom tools for almost any platform using most forms of provider data. See my contact page for more info.

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