Discoverable JSON based RESTful Services (DJRS)

For any developer who has ever worked with SOAP you know about WSDLs. These standardized files could provide information to an application or and IDE which the developer could then use to easily select an action to do. In the era of declining SOAP usage and the rise of the RESTful APIs it’s time to start thinking about how to make REST even easier to consume than it already is. Easier than easy… yes, easy peasie lemon squeezy.

I won’t lie my first experience with SOAP was a nightmare and even worse I was doing it with PHP and a toolkit that was clearly developed by someone who didn’t want anyone to use php to use their service. So my first experiences were bitter to say the least. But as I worked on other project I foudn other developers using other platforms/frameworks (like .NET) who spoke highly of their experience with SOAP. So that made me ask the question, “What was I missing out on?” The truth was a lot actually. When I saw how easy it was to consume a SOAP service in .NET it seemed to good to be true. But with SOAPs decline in favor of RESTful services the shift went back to something I was ultimately more comfortable with given my experience with SOAP.

So now to the meat and potatoes. What we needs is a good tool that make creating an API easy. BUT WAIT JOE MY COMPANY ALREADY PURCHASED AN ESB AND I HAVE TO USE IT. Well that sucks for you because the big thing that most ESBs I’ve used fail on is providing clear documentation on how to use the service and if it’s JSON based there’s no file generated for a developer IDE to consume. And that’s what we need, an application that allows developers to connect to any data store, provides an easy and intuitive method on configure what should be exposed, what should be auto set, what needs to be validated as well as set up authentication for you and auto-generate documentation and a consumable description of the service that an IDE can use to make connecting to the API easy. We need Deejers (DJRS).

Swagger has already done most of the hard work for this and I think we just need to take it to the next level.

So that’s the goal and I’m starting to build it now and since I’m currently obsessed with Meteor I’m going to use it to build it. Check if anyone has done that yet… NOPE.

Goals:

  • Self Documenting (Swagger)
  • Built in analytics tools
  • User Access Management
  • Easy to Understand UI (For API management)
  • Auto Generated SDKs for languages (Swagger format has consumable client libraries for most languages)
  • Back-end should connect directly to Data-store
    • Should support major data store formats
  • Deployment on on Cloud Foundry will be easy
  • Caching – with query time cache conditions and customization cache times for each end point
  • Support major security formats (Basic, OAuth, JWT ect…)
  • Availability to increase number of running nodes to scale up in high demand situations
  • User can configure the application for any table available:
    • Auto Generate field on condition
    • Designate Required Fields
    • Data Type
    • Schema (Global and per table)

Steps:

  1. Build app that connects and has CRUD access to most common DB formats
  2. Auto-generate basic yaml based on connected datastores
  3. Provide swagger-like endpoint manager to define options
  4. Generate YAML or standard Swagger Config file for Service
  5. … more… but let’s start with that.

JSON Object for 196 Countries with 2 Character Country Code in Name Value Format

I just got done with this… IT TOOK FOREVER! Save your self the pain and copy if you need it.

196 Countries in Country Name and ISO “-2 Code Country Code format. The JSON object is in name value pair format for easy consumption.

Please leave a comment is I misspelled something or if I need to add another country!

Did all the counties from here: http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/country_code_list.htm that weren’t in italics.

Continue reading…

MSNR Step 2 – Getting Ready for Development

This isn’t really a step in the MSNR process but more notes for myself in the future so when I build another server I know what to do and not have to do everything over again from scratch.

Well your not gonna stand in front of your server all day while you code are you?  Well I’m not (not that dedicated).  Today I want to cover the basics of getting openSSH installed, configured and connecting to your files over SFTP.

I’m on windows so it was actually a bit of an ordeal the first time.

  1. If you don’t have it go download Putty.
  2. Next, generate an SSH Key:
    • Open the PuTTYgen program.
    • For Type of key to generate, select SSH-2 RSA.
    • Click the Generate button.
    • Move your mouse in the area below the progress bar. When the progress bar is full, PuTTYgen generates your key pair.
    • Type a passphrase in the Key passphrase field.
    • Type the same passphrase in the Confirm passphrase field. You can use a key without a passphrase, but this is not recommended.
    • Save your private key.
    • Select your public key and paste it into a new text file
      • You can use the saved one on openSSH Putty will format it wrong
  3. Now that you got your keys comes the fun part get the public key on your server.
    • Copy your text file with the pasted key on to a jump drive.
    • Plug that into your server
    • Once you plug it in you’ll notice that Ubuntu recognized it and probably set it to something like [sda]
    • Now for the commands

Now you should be able to create your connection to your server.  Open up Putty type in the IP of your server then go to the Connection >> SSH >> Auth and put the location of your Private key that you saved earlier in the “Private key file for authentication:” field.

There you are SSH done.  Finally to connect to your folder via SFTP (I use Filezilla).  First load your private key file into Filezilla and open up Edit >> Settings.  Now go to the SFTP section and add your private key file again.  If you used a passphrase you’ll have to enter it in and save another version of your keyfile with out a passphrase.  Add the keyfile and create your new connection.  Use your username and the IP and you should be good to go.

Happy coding.

The MSNR Stack Step 1

I’ve been letting the idea for the MSNR stack ruminate in my mind for a while now and it was finally time to pull the trigger.  There are an endless array of node frameworks sprouting up but at the end of the day I think its important to do what your comfortable with and for me that’s MVC and SPAs that don’t step it your MVC aka the MSNR stack.

Today I took a very important step toward that goal by setting up my first very own server!  Well it’s not the first time I’ve set up a server or anything but it’s the first time I’ve done it outside of a VM!  I purchased an old HP G5 DL380 recently and decided it was high time to get it up and running.

The first thing I did was mount the sucker:

Then I wired it up, got it some juice (power) and some food (internet) switched it on and it was like the jet of my dreams taking off in my basement.  (The fans are really loud on start up…)

After that I installed Ubuntu 12 LTS since it was certified for my hardware.  Once the install was done it was time to get node installed.  I used a package available here from joyent with great success.

Then I had to make sure it would actually show something if I navigated to it.  By default node does not serve anything like nginx or lamp.  You need to create an application in order for something to display enter the Hello World app:

I’m a fan of nano so I did :

Then I got to work writing my first app (which I stole from the node site).

Once it was all ready I did my CTRL+X  Y and Enter to save my file.  Then finally it was time to test!

At this point if you did everything right all you should see is a flashing underscore.  You’ll need to use sudo if you are using port 80 like I am.

Finally I wanted to see my master piece in action so I logged on to my domain registrar, created a new subdomain, went to the Advanced DNS editor and redirected the sub-domain to my IP address.  Once that was setteled I went into my At&T 2WIRE router and went into my firewall, selected my server and set it to accept traffic on port 80 (by clicking the Server link and the Web Server selection).

TLDR for all those who skip to the bottom (like myself).

  1. Get a server
  2. Install Ubuntu
  3. Install Node
  4. Create a Node App
  5. Point a Domain to your IP Address
  6. Ensure your Router/Firewall are ready for the traffic.

DONE

http://dev.motoandmustache.com/

Not too bad for an evenings work.

Visibility in Lists with a Simple Script

For those occasions where you find yourself creating complex objects that are lists where you need control visibility here is a simple script that will save you a lot of headache.

I came across this needing while working with a list of locations on a project.  The objects were to complex for a table and needed to be dynamic enough to allow end users to easily add additional locations.  What I did was create a Section and bind it to my location list.  Then I proceed to put my various sub fields and sub-objects into that section.  Then at the bottom I put a couple of buttons that fired boundary events to add and delete items to my list.  Simple right?

repeater

Continue reading…

Installing and configuring IBM Business Process Manager on Windows 2012 R2 for Development

Starting my new job at Blue 2.0 and my supervisor gave me a little challenge… to get BPM installed.  Turns out it’s a little bit of a process and I’ve already had to start over once so I thought I’d document my process here.  I’ve decided to use Windows 2012 R2 as my development environment, I’d expect that most IT departments (that are windows based) are going to want to use the newest version of Windows Server so I figure why not make my development environment match a common deployment environment (I’d be interested to see the deployment numbers for base OS for this technology but that’s another day).  You can get a free 180 day evaluation copy of 2012 here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-server-2012-r2-essentials?i=1.  I’m using the Essentials package so I don’t have to configure absolutely everything.  I’ve installed the server on my VirtualBox VM already and gone through the initial config.  For this virtual box you’ll need at least 40GB of HD space.

Continue reading…

The MSNR Stack

MongoDB + Sails.js + Node.js + React.js = MSNR (mis · ner)

JavaScript frameworks are coming out of the woodwork right now but picking and choosing  which ones to use for your project can be a pain, because there are a myriad of ways to combine these frameworks to build applications.  ToDoMVC covers some of the more popular combinations out right now, however there is one that they don’t cover. The MSNR stack.

Continue reading…

ISIS Suburban Mall Stores

Thank you internet for making me smile.  Recently trending on twitter is the hashtag #ISISSuburbanMallStores I’ve saved some of my favorites for later giggles:

  • The GoatCheesecake Factory
  • Behead, Baath, and Beyond
  • Death to America Eagle Outfitters
  • Bombs and Noble
  • Cold Stoning
  • Things Dismembered
  • Die Yankee Candle
  • Aunt Annie’s Burkha-Covered Pretzels
  • IED Crafters
  • Jihad Juice
  • Turban Outfitters
  • The Hamas Depot
  • The Sharper Papyrus Drawing
  • Men-Only Warehouse
  • F.Y.E. (For Your Execution)
  • Behead a Bear Workshop

My contribution…

Victoria’s Veils