Posts

API Data Mapping


Web service data integration with MapForce is a popular and proven strategy to capture timely information for analysis or generation of user-friendly reports. In an earlier post we demonstrated API data mapping in 5-day weather forecasts for busy cargo shipping ports by reading Web service data in JSON format and mapping to richly formatted Excel spreadsheets. The weather API we used  is hosted by OpenWeather, a provider of historical, current, and weather forecast data.

But integrating data from any API is not a set-it-and-forget-it task. When you build a solution based on external data, you have to react quickly when the data structure changes. Since our original integration project OpenWeather revised the data delivered by their API. The API now includes wind gust predictions in a JSON property separate from wind speed. Since wind gusts are suspected as a cause of the recent Suez Canal blockage the new data is very relevant to our application! Fortunately, both the MapForce data mapping and the Excel spreadsheet are easily revised to add new data.

Read more…
Tags: , , , ,

An Easy Way to Test HTTP Requests During Development


Web and web services developers often need to send HTTP requests – whether for testing APIs, testing REST and SOAP web services, or managing web sites.

XMLSpy makes it easy to send and receive HTTP requests directly in the XML and JSON editor during development with its HTTP Window and WADL/WSDL Import Wizard, a great time-saving tool for debugging web services.

Web servers - testing http requests
Read more…
Tags: , , , , , ,

Web Service Data Integration


In a previous post we wrote that every data integration and reporting task needs to start with a clear understanding of the source data. Using grid view in XMLSpy, the industry-leading XML and JSON editor, we analyzed JSON data for 5-day weather forecasts retrieved from a Web service.

Continuing with our earlier scenario, we’ll use MapForce, the award-winning, graphical data mapping tool for any-to-any conversion and integration, to map the forecasts for a series of major cargo shipping ports into nicely formatted Excel documents. We’ll want to highlight any predicted high winds or heavy rainfall that could cause delays by interfering with cranes loading and unloading containers, or slowing ships entering and exiting the harbors.

Read more…
Tags: , , , , ,

Handle HTTP Errors During Automated Data Integration


Data analysts and other professionals often need to generate real-time data through automated execution of data mappings that request Web services and save the results. During automated execution it’s important to gracefully handle any unexpected HTTP error rather than terminate the integration task.

In an earlier post we discussed conditional processing of a REST Web service response to handle HTTP errors, where separate output files were generated for a normal response and an error. Now let’s look at a revised mapping solution for the airport status example to generate a single mapping result file that contains either the requested airport status or a description of the error.

Read more…
Tags: , , , , ,

Integrate Maps into Mobile Apps


Developers can create highly-customized location-based apps by leveraging geolocation functionality in mobile devices. Now MobileTogether, the cross-platform, low-code mobile development tool from Altova, supports deep integration of maps into applications for all popular mobile platforms.

Developers can integrate maps into mobile apps, add dedicated markers, and define custom actions based on user clicks on the map. For instance, an enterprise might want an app to include a map of all branch office locations, then display the current inventory when an office is clicked.

In a previous post we described a mobile app designed to let users check the status of major US airports by selecting an airport code from a combo box. An alternate technique would be to replace the 47 combo-box entries with pins on a map.

Let’s look at this example.

Read more…
Tags: , , , ,

Web Service Error Handling in Mobile Apps


Mobile phones bring a world of information to our fingertips, but functionality of even the best-designed mobile apps can be impacted by Web service errors that occur when communicating with external servers. Intermittent cell phone service in remote locations can also degrade app performance when looking up data.

MobileTogether, the low-code, cross-platform mobile app development tool from Altova, includes features that let developers gracefully handle Web service errors in mobile apps to avoid burdening end-users with unexpected app interruptions or cryptic error messages.

In an earlier post we explained HTTP error handling in a MapForce data mapping. Now we’ll look at the same Web service in a mobile app and describe error handling in MobileTogether.

Read more…
Tags: , ,

Handling HTTP Errors in Web Service Data Mappings


Data integration projects that include information from external Web services may be vulnerable to HTTP errors when retrieving remote data. When data mappings run under automated control it’s especially important to detect and report errors even if errors only occur very rarely.

A MapForce data mapping can include Web service calls and output the result directly to a file or database, or combine it with other inputs for further processing. Regardless of the final output, an HTTP Web service error encountered in a REST Web service request puts the mapping at risk.

MapForce includes features for handling HTTP errors instead of simply aborting execution of a mapping. Developers can configure the body of a REST Web service call to handle and report exceptions based on the HTTP status code returned.

Let’s look at an example.

Read more…
Tags: , , , , ,