Integrating Third-Party Libraries With DreamFactory Scripting
Being able to script business logic into your endpoints to further extend and customize the data response(s) and request(s) is one of the best features inside of DreamFactory. As a form of ETL data integration, DreamFactory can help you create a data lake or data warehouse, especially when combined with a service such as Xplenty. Sometimes cases arise where you need to take advantage of the robust third-party library community to help extend your API. In the example below, we are going to use a third-party library to help us connect our DreamFactory instance to a Twitter Account to post updates. We also bring in the conecpt of connecting the Twitter service to our Rapsberry Pi IoT device to post temperature information to show you how can connect multiple services through DreamFactory to manage your data needs in a simple, robust method that makes API mangement a snap.
Part 1: Running Microsoft Server 2012 and SQL Server on AWS, on my MacBook Pro
How do we get from here, hosting an AWS Microsoft Server instance on my MacBook Pro?
To here using Microsoft Server, SQL Server, and Dreamfactory, still on my MacBook Pro.
Let’s get to the nuts and bolts of this. In the past, it was very difficult to cross over platforms and create Microsoft based solutions or Linux based solutions on the other’s platform. With the advent of cloud computing, this has become increasingly easier to do.
When you have a robust piece of middleware software, such as DreamFactory which is for most intents and purposes language and platform agnostic, you really do have your choice of platforms to install it on. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, which I am not going to go into detail in this article, but suffice it to say, there are a lot of enterprises that choose the Microsoft platform(s), and some of those advantages became apparent as I worked on this post.
First things first, make sure to grab all of the pre-requisites you need to make the install easy:
Required Software and Extensions
At a minimum, you will need the following software and extensions installed and enabled on your system in order to successfully clone and install DreamFactory 2.12.0+.
PHP 7+ – check and install the requirements below for your particular environment.
PHP required extensions: Curl, MBString, MongoDB, SQLite, and Zip. You may need to install other extensions depending upon DreamFactory usage requirements. If you don’t plan on using MongoDB, please remove the df-mongodb requirement from,composer.json or include the --ignore-platform-req option when running composer install.
A web server such as NGINX, Apache, or IIS. You may use PHP’s built-in server for development purposes.
One of four databases for storing configuration data: MS SQL Server, MySQL (MariaDB or Percona are also supported), PostgreSQL, or SQLite.
Composer – may require cURL to be installed from particular environment below.
Microsoft Server can be spun up almost anywhere now, as is evidenced by the photos above, and since DreamFactory is platform agnostic, we can install it on the Microsoft Server 2012 R2 instance with just a few bits of software installed to get up and running. There are multiple ways to grab and install PHP on a Microsoft platform, but an easy way is to utilize the Web Platform Installer (version 5.0 as of this post).
You can download the Web Platform Installer for IIS here. Select a PHP version (7.0.x is required to run the current 2.13.0 version of DreamFactory), and different pieces of IIS, should you decide to utilize that as your production web server. This post will not dive into the nitty-gritty of IIS, but you can see our documentation here. We will be using PHP’s built-in development web server to just illustrate the connections.
Once you have installed PHP and double checked your pre-requisites are installed, you can begin the install:
Perform a Git clone into this directory for Dreamfactory:
This will pull down the master branch of Dreamfactory into a directory called ./dreamfactory.
Navigate to the dreamfactory directory and install dependencies using composer. For production environment, use --no-dev, otherwise discard that option for a development environment. If you are not running or plan to run MongoDB, add —ignore-platform-reqs:
composer update --ignore-platform-reqs--no-dev
Otherwise, run the following command to install the dependencies:
Run DreamFactory setup command-line wizard. This will set up your configuration and prompt you for things like database settings, first admin user account, etc. It will also allow you to change environment settings midway and then run it again to complete the setup.
php artisan df:setup
Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the setup.
You can then run php artisan serve and migrate over to the address and port you have set up. In this example, we are running off of http://127.0.0.1:8000
Part 2: The SQL Server Reckoning
With our instance running now, we can finally delve into the “fun” part of this install. The ease with which you can add a SQL Server instance is awesome. It is the fastest install I have ever done from the driver install to DreamFactory connection, it was less than 5 minutes¹.
Using our trusty Web Platform Installer friend, you can download a SQL Server driver package that is compatible with your PHP version and your O/S version.
Now you can head back over to your instance and create a SQL Server service. Just select the service type, add in your credentials and then test it. That’s it. No muss, no fuss. Take a look at the screenshots below to see the results.
We have now connected our SQL Server instance to our Microsoft Server 2012 R2 (both hosted on AWS) on my MacBook Pro. Sometimes, it all falls into place. Don’t forget to check out our wiki and community forums for more topics, information, and examples.
¹ I had my credentials on hand in a notepad text file for copy/paste quickness, but still, very fast 🙂
There is no debate that the advent of OAuth 2.0 made the lives of developers everywhere better. OAuth 2.0 makes adding an authentication system to your app or web page became considerably easy. Many different service providers support the OAuth 2.0 spec and, in turn, so does DreamFactory. Below are the supported OAuth services DreamFactory which are supported natively.Continue reading “DreamFactory And Facebook OAuth 2.0”
What is one the biggest issue facing developers these days? Time and cost. With the Forrester Report finding that 80% of the development cost for a typical app is on the backend vs. frontend, and API engineering forming the biggest component of this backend burden – DreamFactory was founded by developers, for developers, to provide an easy solution for this problem in a heartbeat.
DreamFactory’s Co-Founder, Eric Rubin, introduces Free Developer Sandboxes for Oracle Cloud. Experience DreamFactory’s Instant APIs and Enterprise Data Gateways for yourself at www.dreamfactory.com/Oracle to see how you can automate your backend and focus your engineering expertise on projects that are needed to grow revenue.
So what happens if you make a mistake and expose your admin app api_key or just need to change api_key associated with one of your apps? We have an easy workaround that doesn’t require you to have to change any of your endpoints or having to recreate an app, etc. This article shows you how to access all of your app API keys via MySQL or, if you haven’t fully started exploring DreamFactory yet, the default SQLite database.
DreamFactory has had support for Logstash since version 2.3 for our Gold Tier version. Elastic makes some great tools to support very robust logging. Incorporating Elasticsearch, Logstash and Kibana into your powerful, scalable DreamFactory instance is a no brainer, especially for users who have a lot of data being pushed and pulled through various endpoints. This will make the lives of your admins so much easier with the amount of detail they can grab to troubleshoot issues.
Continue reading “How To Configure An ELK Stack With DreamFactory”
Chuck Norris Joke Enthusiasts Trust DreamFactory to Automate APIs
Thanks to amusing Chuck Norris API database site The Internet Chuck Norris Database, you can have some fun and keep the Chuck Norris jokes flowing. With the help of DreamFactory and our API automation tools, you will always have life-changing insights making those around you just a bit more intelligent, good looking and successful. Who doesn’t need to understand such nuggets as:
Contrary to popular belief, the Titanic didn’t hit an iceberg. The ship was off course and ran into Chuck Norris while he was doing the backstroke across the Atlantic.
Your “how to” blog post should teach the reader how to do something by breaking it down into a series of steps.
Begin your blog post by explaining what problem you are going to solve through your explanation and be sure to include any relevant keywords. Add in a personal story to establish your credibility on this topic. And make sure to end your blog post with a summary of what your reader will gain by following your lead.
Need some inspiration? Check out these “How-To” examples from the HubSpot blog: