The Reusable REST API Platform Strategy

The engineering team at DreamFactory designed and built some of the very first applications that use web services. Over the years, we learned many lessons trying to create the perfect mobile backend for these applications. This article lays out some of the problems companies encounter when they build custom REST APIs from scratch, and after that, we look at some of the architectural advantages and technical characteristics of a reusable REST API platform. The REST API Complexity Problem When a company decides to start a new mobile project, the IT group first defines the business requirements, and then starts writing the actual software. Usually there is a client-side team that designs the application and a server-side team that builds the backend infrastructure. These two teams must work together to develop a REST API that connects the backend data sources to the client application. One of the most time-consuming and expensive aspects of the development process is the “interface negotiation” that occurs between these two groups. With the acceptance of BYOD and general proliferation of mobile devices, the modern enterprise may need hundreds or even thousands of mobile applications. New mobile projects typically have new requirements that were not anticipated by the existing services. You could go back and try to expand the scope of the old services, but they are already in production, and so in many situations a new REST API is created for each new project. And so the API building process continues over time with various developers, consultants, and contractors. The REST APIs are often written with different tools and developer frameworks. They run on different servers or in the cloud. They are tied to different databases and file storage systems. Each new service has different security mechanisms, credential strategies, user management systems, and API parameter names, as this diagram illustrates. Continue reading “The Reusable REST API Platform Strategy”

How to integrate the Twilio API with DreamFactory to enable SMS for your app

twilio.png Twilio has a superb API for integrating SMS messages into your applications. It’s easy to add Twilio as a remote HTTP service to any application you’re building with DreamFactory. DreamFactory lets you securely store your Twilio authentication credentials, call the Twilio API directly from a DreamFactory session, and easily add role-based access control to any Twilio API endpoint. This brief tutorial shows you how to add Twilio to DreamFactory in five minutes.

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New DreamFactory cache service supports Redis, memcached, and local storage

redis-share.png One of the most powerful features of DreamFactory is the ability to write server-side script in pre- and post-process events and use as a custom scripting service. This provides the ultimate flexibility and allows the platform to support all sorts of complex backend business logics. However, DreamFactory server-side scripts are stateless and their scope is gone once the original process is completed. Continue reading “New DreamFactory cache service supports Redis, memcached, and local storage”

Using Appery.io to quickly build apps with DreamFactory

In recent posts about DreamFactory power user Crystal Taggart, we highlighted the ways she uses our open source platform to quickly build effective app architecture and add features on the fly. By using the power of Appery.io and Dreamfactory together she gets a useful visual interface for building apps in days instead of months. Continue reading “Using Appery.io to quickly build apps with DreamFactory”

Automatically build APIs from your Oracle database using DreamFactory

DreamFactory will save you and your company hundreds of hours by auto-generating an API automatically for every major SQL database, including Oracle. In this tutorial, we’re going to walk through the process of connecting DreamFactory to your Oracle database, review the features automatically built into DreamFactory that’ll help you manage and customize your API, and go over scripting support and security features. Continue reading “Automatically build APIs from your Oracle database using DreamFactory”