Category: Web Services

Making it Rain in Cachemere

In a previous post (Overdue Updates) I mentioned working through some issues to help increase speed.  Of all the minor tweaks I did, I found the root causes of speed issues which were two-fold:

  • Web Service Calls
  • Generating SEO Friendly URLs

Thankfully, there was a way to help alleviate both problems with one solution, Cache.  I built caching functions into this Used Boats Ahoy!, but due to feed changes, they were not working exactly as intended.

  • Original Process (No Cache)
    • Page Request►Web Service Call►Process Feed►Display
  • Original Process (WithCache)
    • Page Request►Read Cache►Web Service Call*►Write Cache*►Process Data►Display Data
  • New Process
    • Page Request►Read Cache►Web Service Call*►Process Data*►Write Cache*►Display Data

* If needed

With this new process, the server will only have to call the Web Service and process the majority of the data only if the cache is out of date, or doesn’t exist yet.  Where many pages were taking 2 seconds to load previously, now take 0.3 seconds if being called from the cache.

SOAP Web Services

Web services are one of the easiest ways ways to communicate between multiple languages or multiple servers by passing HTTP requests, or XML/JSON.  With the recent surge in HTML5, more web sites than ever can use web service requests to deliver updated content without requiring the user to refresh their browser.  One of the most widely used web service protocols is SOAP.

SOAP is the protocol that Used Boats Ahoy! uses to populate it’s inventory of boats.  The web service client connects to a web service server that has direct access to a database.  Interoperability is key with web services since the code base of any given web site is unknown.  In this case the client code is written in PHP and the server in ColdFusion, but they both communicate using a common XML format. Read more »

Web Services/Feeds Introduction

One web site can become much more useful to a user if it has access to other useful sets of information to display. The challenge is to be able to control the flow of information being passed between server and client interfaces.  There are many different types of use cases for web services which have different sets of requirements. While RSS feeds are more of a precursor to the proper web service, they are a good example of a one way service where a client can display content, usually articles, from an external server’s database.

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