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A Ruby-based Hypermedia API client.

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README.md

Frenetic Gem Version Build Status

An opinionated Ruby-based Hypermedia API (HAL+JSON) client.

About

fre•net•ic |frəˈnetik|
adjective
fast and energetic in a rather wild and uncontrolled way : a frenetic pace of activity.

So basically, this is a crazy way to interact with your Hypermedia HAL+JSON API.

Get it? Hypermedia?

Hyper?

...

If you have not implemented a HAL+JSON API, then this will not work very well for you.

Opinions

Like I said, it is opinionated. It is so opinionated, it is probably the biggest a-hole you've ever met.

Maybe in time, if you teach it, it will become more open-minded.

HAL+JSON Content Type

Frenetic expects all responses to be in HAL+JSON. It chose that standard because it is trying to make JSON API's respond in a predictable manner, which it thinks is an awesome idea.

API Description

The API's root URL must respond with a description, much like the Spire.io API.

This is crucial in order for Frenetic to work. If Frenetic doesn't know what the API contains, it can't navigate around it or parse any of it's responses.

Example:

// GET http://example.com/api
{
  "_links": {
    "self": {
      "href": "/api/"
    },
    "orders": {
      "href":"/api/orders"
    },
    "order": {
      "href": "/api/orders/{id}",
      "templated": true
    }
  },
  "_embedded": {
    "schema": {
      "_links": {
        "self": { "href":"/api/schema" }
      },
      "order": {
        "description": "A widget order",
        "type": "object",
        "properties": {
          "id": { "type":"integer" },
          "first_name": { "type":"string" },
          "last_name": { "type":"string" },
        }
      }
    }
  }
}

This response will be requested by Frenetic whenever a call to YourAPI.description is made.

Note: It is highly advised that your API return Cache-Control headers in this response. Frenetic needs to frequently refer to the API description to see what is possible. This will result in lots of HTTP requests if you don't tell it how long to wait before checking again.

If the API does return Cache-Control headers, Frenetic will always cache this response regardless of which caching middleware you have configured or even if you have caching disabled.

If you have no control over the API, refer to the Default Root Cache Age section.

New in Version 0.0.20

Version 0.0.20 features a complete top-to-bottom rewrite. Mostly this removes a lot of the meta-programming magic that I previously used to created Ruby object representations of resources.

The overall API should remain pretty similar, but there may be some spots that are different.

In general, writing custom Frenetic::Resources should require a lot less code now as Frenetic handles the common use cases for you.

TODO Items

  • Support POST
  • Support PUT
  • Support PATCH
  • Support DELETE

Configuring

Client Initialization

Initializing an API client is really easy:

class MyApiClient
  # Arbitrary example
  def self.api
    @api ||= Frenetic.new( url:'http://example.com/api' )
  end
end

At the bare minimum, Frenetic only needs to know what the URL of your API is.

Configuring

Configuring Frenetic can be done during instantiation:

Frenetic.new( url:'http://example.com', api_token:'123bada55k3y' )

Or with a block:

f = Frenetic.new
f.configure do |cfg|
  cfg.url = 'http://example.com'
  cfg.api_token = '123bada55key'
end

Or both...

f = Frenetic.new( url:'http://example.com' )
f.configure do |cfg|
  cfg.api_token = '123bada55key'
end

Authentication

Frenetic supports both Basic Auth and Token Auth via the appropriate Faraday middleware.

Basic Auth

To use Basic Auth, simply configure Frenetic with a username and password:

Frenetic.new( url:url, username:'user', password:'password' )

If your API uses an App ID and API Key pair, you can pass those as well:

Frenetic.new( url:url, app_id:'123abcSHA1', api_key:'bada55SHA1k3y' )

The app_id and api_key values are simply aliases to username and password

Token Auth

To use Token Auth, simply configure Frenetic with your token:

Frenetic.new( url:url, api_token:'bada55SHA1t0k3n' )

Response Caching

If configured to do so, Frenetic will autotmatically cache API responses.

It is highly recommended that you turn this feature on!

Rack::Cache
Frenetic.new( url:url, cache: :rack )

Passing in a cache option of :rack will cause Frenetic to use Faraday's Rack::Cache middleware with a set of sane default configuration options.

If you wish to provide your own configuration options:

Frenetic.new({
  url: url,
  cache: {
    metastore:     'file:tmp/rack/meta',
    entitystore:   'file:tmp/rack/body',
    ignore_headers: %w{Authorization Set-Cookie X-Content-Digest}
  }})

Any key/value pair contained in the cache hash will be passed directly onto the Rack::Cache middleware.

Memcached

TODO

Faraday Adapters

By default, Frenetic is configured to use Faraday's default adapter (usually Net::HTTP). You can change this with the adapter option:

Frenetic.new( url:url, adapter: :patron )

Frenetic accepts any of the Faraday adapter shortcuts, or an instance of the adapter itself:

Frenetic.new( url:url, adapter:Faraday::Adapter::Patron )

Default Root Cache Age

If you have no control over the API, you can explicitly tell Frenetic how long to cache the API description for:

Frenetic.new( url:url, default_root_cache_age:1.hour )

Faraday Middleware

Frenetic will yield its internal Faraday connection during initialization:

Frenetic.new( url:url ) do |builder|
  # `builder` is the Faraday Connection instance with which you can
  # add additional Faraday Middlewares or tweak the configuration.
end

You can then use the builder object as you see fit.

Usage

Once you have created a client instance, you are free to use it however you'd like.

A Frenetic instance supports any HTTP verb that Faraday has impletented. This includes GET, POST, PUT, PATCH, and DELETE.

api = Frenetic.new( url:url )

api.get '/my_things/1'
# { 'id' => 1, 'name' => 'My Thing', '_links' => { 'self' { 'href' => '/api/my_things/1' } } }

Frenetic::Resource

An easier way to make requests for a resource is to create an object that inherits from Frenetic::Resource.

Not only does Frenetic::Resource handle the parsing of the raw API response into a Ruby object, but it also makes it a bit easier to encapsulate all of your resource's API requests into one place.

class Order < Frenetic::Resource

  api_client { MyAPI }

  # TODO: Write a better example for this.
  def self.find_all_by_name( name )
    api.get( search_url(name) ) and response.success?
  end
end

The api_client class method merely tells Frenetic::Resource which API Client instance to use. If you lazily instantiate your client, then you should pass a block as demonstrated above.

Otherwise, you may pass by reference:

class Order < Frenetic::Resource
  api_client MyAPI
end

When your model is initialized, it will contain getter methods for every property defined in your API's schema/description.

Each time a request is made for a resource, Frenetic checks the API to see if the schema has changed. If so, it will redefine the the getter methods available on your Class. This is what Hypermedia APIs are all about, a loose coupling between client and server.

Requesting Resources

Given the above Order example, and a supporting API, you can query the API like so:

> Order.find(1)
# <Order id=1 total=54.47>

> Order.all
# [<Order id=1 total=54.47>,<Order id=2 total=42.00>]

Mocking Resources

Sometimes, when you are writing tests for your API client, it is helpful to have a mock instance of your API resource to play with.

Frenetic provides a mixin that removes some of the HTTP interactions required when interacting with a Hypermedia API. It essentially turns your resource into a fancy OpenStruct, allowing you to assign whatever attributes you want.

You can enable this by directly mixing in the behavior into your resource:

require 'frenetic/resource_mockery'

MyResource.send :include, Frenetic::ResourceMockery

Or by creating a special Class specifically for testing (which is recommended)

# models/my_mock_resource.rb
require 'frenetic/resource_mockery'

class MyMockResource < MyResource
  include Frenetic::ResourceMockery

  def default_attributes
    {
      name: 'Mock Name',
      city: 'Mock City'
    }
  end
end

# spec/integrations/my_integration_spec.rb
describe 'My contrived integration test' do
  it 'returns a Resource' do
    MyResource.stub(:find).and_return MyMockResource.new city:'Washington, DC'

    do_my_thing

    payee.city.should == 'Washington, DC'
  end
end

As you can see, this allows you to supply some default values for the attributes of your resource to ease object creation in testing.

Integration Testing

When it comes time to write integration tests for your API client, you can either stub out all of the HTTP requests with something like WebMock or VCR, or you can use Frenetic in test_mode

Frenetic.new( url:url, test_mode:true )
# ...or...
api = Frenetic.new(url:url)
api.config.test_mode = true

Doing so will allow Frenetic::Resource.find to return a mock resource instead of querying your API for what is available.

Example:

class MyResource < Frenetic::Resource
  api_client { Frenetic.new(url) }
end

class MyMockResource < MyResource
  include Frenetic::ResourceMockery
end

> MyResource.api_client.config.test_mode = true
# true
> MyResource.find(99)
# <MyMockResource id=99>

Contributing

  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Added some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request

I would love to hear how other people are using this (if at all) and am open to ideas on how to support other Hypermedia formats like Collection+JSON.

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