Tag Archives: application

4 Mantras for Designing Scalable APIs

4 Mantras for Designing Scalable APIs - YWF

The idea of scalability is often offered with a great selling point. For instance, you may be familiar with these tags, “Make your API scalable by tying into our simple API” or “you too can make your service scalable by licensing our endpoint collating system”. These are common sales pitches, but they’re tying into a magic service to make scalability happen, as a web developer, you are likely not being scalable – there’s no silver bullet, and adopting a quick fix doesn’t address underlying architectural deficiencies. Generally, scalable can be defined into 4 big definitions:

  • Extensible: At most basic level, scalable software is extensible. Instead of limiting the functionality, it allows multiple avenues to tie into the underlying services and systems to enable extensions and other services. Amazon’s API Gateway is one of the examples.
  • Built into the Architecture: Scalability can’t be separated from the API itself. So, to make it simple, please build for scalability from the onset. In fact, you can use third party to increase your scalability, especially when they assist a built-to-scale approach.
  • Implies Demand Balancing: As its name, “scale”, you can manage one hundred requests as with one million. However, scalability demands efficient performance, regardless of technique or methodology, both at extremely high traffic and extremely low traffic.
  1. Design for a Repeating Launch Day

Launching a product can be really stressful, you may have prepared for everything, but you simply cannot know the requirements your system might see. For instance when launching a service, what kind of traffic can we expect? Let’s say we’re launching a new social platform that ties into an API to handle 200k calls an hour but the rate has surpassed to several millions of calls. This means that you need to address the foundation of your API as if you are always on the verge launching. Besides, you may need to use load balancer as it can determine between your success and failure. Moreover, having failover paths and secondary functions will produce you to a huge difference towards user experience.

The last important thing is to integrate analytics into your system. By knowing trends developing in real time will help you develop in an agile way and address deficiencies as they arise organically, while predicting further failures down the road.

  1. Anticipate Success

No one will truly know how successful you’re actually going to be. This is because it’s not a simple consideration of traffic, either – traffic might be high even if you’re the second or third most popular choice. Therefore, a provider will plan for the most extreme case possible as he doesn’t know how much traffic they can expect. Another way to frame this would be to anticipate success.

  1. Non-Extensible is a Unitasker

If your application is not extensible, traffic management and scalable mindset is nothing. While extensibility is indeed its own concept, with its own considerations and implications, whether or not a service is extensible can have a direct impact on whether or not it’s scalable. In the end, there is no way that a provider can know literally every possible future use and application of their service while it’s a great practice to develop with scalablity from the onset.

  1. Efficiency is King

You will face so many complexities within your problem, so it is important to know how to simplify your API architecture and thus simplify the resultant solution applied to the problem. In fact, you can drastically reduce the actual resources needed by an application by increasing efficiency.

Best Practices for API Error Handling

Best-Practices-for-API-Error-Handling

As a web developer, we all don’t want to see Error codes in an API response, neither do you. When it happens to you, it can mean one of two things — there was something wrong in your request or your handling that the API simply couldn’t parse the passed data, or the API itself has so many problems. In either situation, traffic comes to a sudden end, and we start trying to discover the cause and solution for that.

Although being unpleasant, errors, whether in code form or simple error response, are incredibly useful. Error codes are probably the most useful diagnostic element in the API space.

Today, we’re going to discuss about the importance and the usefulness of error responses and handling approaches. There are some common error code classifications the average user will encounter, as well as some examples of these codes in action that you need to know.

The Value of Error Codes
As explained above, error codes are surprisingly, but incredibly useful. Error codes in the response stage of an API are essential in communicating failure from a developer to a user. This stage is a direct communication between client and API. It’s considered as the most important step towards informing the user of a failure, as well as boosting the error resolution process.

An error comes randomly and sometimes it’s beyond our knowledge. That’s why error responses are the only constant, consistent communication that we, as the user, can rely on when an error has occurred. Error codes can both clarify the situation, as well as communicate the intended functionality.

For example, an error code such as “401 Unauthorized – Please Pass Token.” You understand the point of failure in that response, especially that the user is unauthorized. However, you also figure out the intended functionality, which means that the API requires a token, and that token must be passed as part of the request in order to obtain authorization.

With a simple error code and resolution explanation, you have already identified the cause of the error, as well as the intended functionality and method to fix that error. It is very useful, especially for the amount of data that is actually returned.

HTTP Status Codes
Before we deeply discuss about error codes and what makes a code good, we need to sort out the HTTP Status Codes format. These codes are the most frequent status codes that the average user will encounter, not only in terms of APIs but also in terms of general internet usage. Although there are other protocols and have their own system of codes, the HTTP Status Codes dominate API communication, and vendor-specific codes tend to be derived from these ranges.

  • 1XX – Informational

The 1XX range has two basic functionalities. First, in the transfer of information concerning the protocol state of the connected devices — for example, 101 Switching Protocols is a status code noting that the client has requested a protocol change from the server, and that the request has been approved. The 1XX range also elucidates the state of the initial request. For example, 100 Continue, notes that a server has received request headers from a client, and that the server is waiting for the request body.

  • 2XX – Success

The 2XX range notes a range of successes in communication, and combines several responses into specific codes. The first three status codes excellently determine this range, like 200 OK means that a GET or POST request was successful, 201 Created indicates that a request has been brought to completion and a new resource has been created for the client, and 202 Accepted shows that the request has been accepted, and that processing has begun.

  • 3XX – Redirection

The 3XX range is all about the status of the resource or endpoint. When this kind of status code is sent, it confirms that the server is still accepting communication, but that the contacted point is not the accurate point of entry into the system. 301 Moved Permanently denotes that the client request did reach the correct system, but this request and all future requests should be managed by a different URI. This is very convenient both in subdomains and in moving a resource from one server to another.

  • 4XX – Client Error

The 4XX series of error codes is probably the most well-known because of the famous 404 Not Found status, which is a prominent marker for URLs and URIs that are formed in the wrong way. However, other more useful status codes for APIs are in this range.

414 URI Too Long is a common status code, indicating that the data pushed through in a GET request is too long, and should be changed into a POST request. Another common code is 429 Too many Requests, which is used for rate limiting to note a client is attempting too many requests simultaneously that their traffic is being rejected.

  • 5XX – Server Error

The 5XX range is reserved for error codes notably related to the server functionality. Whereas the 4XX range is the client’s responsibility (meaning that it is a client failure), the 5XX range explicitly notes failures with the server. Error codes such as 502 Bad Gateway, which marks the upstream server, has failed and that the current server is a gateway, further reveal server functionality as a method of showing where failure is transpiring.

Making a Good Error Code
With a strongly-built comprehension of HTTP Status Codes, we can start analyzing what actually makes for a good error code, and what makes for a bad error code. Quality error codes not only convey what went wrong, but also why it went wrong.

Excessively obscure error codes are very inconvenient. Imagine that you are trying to make a GET request to an API that manages digital music inventory. You’ve submitted your request to an API that usually accepts your traffic, you’ve passed the correct authorization and authentication credentials, and you think the server is ready to respond.

You send your data, and receive this kind of error code: 400 Bad Request. Without additional data and without more information, what does this mean? It’s in the 4XX range, so you know the problem was on the client side, but it doesn’t explain and solve anything, other than “bad request.”

This explains that a “helpful” error code is not as helpful as it should be. We could easily make that same response helpful and clear with less effort. Good error codes must pass three essential criteria in order to be functional, such as:

  • An HTTP Status Code, so that the source and realm of the problem can be confirmed with ease;
  • An Internal Reference IDfor documentation-specific notation of errors. In some cases, this can substitute the HTTP Status Code, as long as the internal reference sheet inserts the HTTP Status Code scheme or similar reference material.
  • Human readable messagesthat conclude the context, cause, and solution for the existing error.

From this discussion, we can conclude that error codes are useful if inserted with messages conveying what goes wrong and why it goes wrong, topped off with the human readable messages emphasizing the solution that we can take and do to handle it. That way, we can effortlessly handle it when future errors occur spontaneously.

Knowing What Is Augmented Reality and Its Implementations

Knowing-What-Is-Augmented-Reality-and-Its-Implementation

Augmented reality is a new digital phenomenon that changes the environment around you into a digital interface. It places virtual objects in the real world and in real-time. Therefore, it provides the power of learning and technology together.

Nowadays, you can experience augmented reality through a wide variety of activities. This is because AR aims to simplify human’s lives by combining virtual information to surroundings view of real environment. The usage of AR is limited for Mobile. Although, it also works on some desktop browsers but it doesn’t produce the same experience as a smartphone did. That is why this area is mostly developed by mobile apps developers.

In general, there are 3 main categories of augmented reality (AR) that you can distinguish:

Augmented Reality 3D viewers
This type of AR allows users to locate life-size 3D models in your environment with or without the use of trackers. Trackers are better known as simple images that 3D models can be applied to in Augmented Reality.

Augmented Reality Browsers
This AR’s type will enhance your camera display with contextual information. Hence, you can display any history or estimated value of one building only by pointing your smartphone at it.

Augmented Reality for Gaming
The last and maybe the most popular way to experience Augmented Reality is through gaming. Have you ever heard or played Pokémon? This game utilizes your actual surroundings and has become very popular because of it.

All of these 3 categories have been applied to many fields of lives. Hence, in this article, we would like to broaden your knowledge about the implementation of AR. Below are some of the good examples of AR that you can learn for:

Augmented Car Finder
If you often forget where you park your car, augmented car finder can be a good idea for you. Augmented Car Finder will help you identify location of your vehicle in a maze of parking lots. The apps will show a marker where your car is parked; it also shows the distance between you and your car’s location. Moreover, it will guide you to reach your car area.

Layar
With Layar, you can connect digital content with the real world. There are many more advantages that you can get through Layar. For instance, magazines come alive with videos right on the page, easily buy items with direct mobile shopping links, connect with links to web content and share items on social  media, and browse and view thousands of Geo Layers to find stuff nearby, like ATMs, restaurants, historical locations.

EyeDecide AR app
AR implementations are also developed in healthcare industry. One of them is EyeDecide AR app. EyeDecide AR app is created to provide patient-engagement tools for healthcare providers. Developers can use the camera to simulate the vision of a patient. Here are some basic features of this app:

  1. Leverage interactive anatomical models to enhance patient understanding.
  2. Effectively educate patients by comparing normal and abnormal images and using 3D animation videos of most common conditions.
  3. Improve patient and surgical retention by helping patients make more informed decision about the care.