Skip to content
App Engine-based link checker for AdWords Scripts and Apps Script
Java
Branch: master
Clone or download
Permalink
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.
src
CONTRIBUTING.md
LICENSE Fix license file (#2) Jun 12, 2017
README.md Updating README.md Mar 15, 2018
pom.xml Update application to Java8 and Cloud Endpoints v2 Oct 9, 2018

README.md

AdWords Scripts Linkchecker

Overview

This project is an App Engine application for verifying the status of URLs. The application provides a simple API for submitting lists of URLs to be checked and querying their progress.

Using the application

There are several ways to use this application for checking URLs:

  • Within AdWords Scripts: If your goal is to check the status of URLs, such as landing page URLs, from within AdWords, then you may wish to consider the AdWords Scripts larger-scale link checker which uses this App Engine solution directly.
  • Within Apps Script: If your aim is to use the application from within Apps Script, then this can again be achieved without building a copy of the application, but instead using the pre-built version maintained on Google Cloud Storage.
  • From a custom client: Even if working with your own custom client, you may wish to avoid building the App Engine application yourself and just deploy the existing build from Cloud Storage. Then, use the linkchecker API to interact with the application.
  • Building the application: If you wish to modify the App Engine application itself, you'll want to build it and host it yourself on Cloud Storage before working with it in one of the above ways.

Using within Apps Script

One of the easiest ways to use the link checker for your own purposes, beyond the AdWords Scripts solution, is via Apps Script: The means to deploy and authenticate with the application, as well as examples of how to interact with the API are already available in a sample script.

  1. Make a copy of the template spreadsheet for the AdWords Scripts solution by clicking File > Make a copy.

    The Cloud Setup and App Engine Performance sheets will be the ones of use, with the others not relevant outside of AdWords Scripts.

  2. Follow the instructions on the Cloud Setup sheet. Note that if you are intending to interact with other APIs in your Apps Script solution, for example the DoubleClick Search API, then extra scopes should be added in Step 2 on that sheet.

  3. Once all steps on the Cloud Setup sheet are complete, locate the example Apps Script application: Still within the spreadsheet click Tools > Script editor and locate the Example.gs script.

    Here you will see, within the main function, calls to listOperations, createOperation, getOperation and deleteOperation respectively. This is preceded by the necessary setup to get authentication up and running with the application.

    Using these examples, combined with the API reference, it is possible to quickly develop a custom script to work with the link checker application.

  4. Tune the settings for the application, such as the number of checks to be performed in parallel, by configuring the App Engine Performance sheet.

Using the application from a custom client

Deployment

If you are using a custom client outside of Apps Script, you may wish first to use the spreadsheet described in the above sections to ease the deployment of the application. This is highly recommended because:

  1. The deployment configuration, and location of the Cloud Storage file are all pre-populated.
  2. The application settings, such as the TaskQueue configuration and cron setup are all taken care of.

It is possible to deploy the application yourself by other means, using the App Engine Admin API, and the App Engine API to configure the Task Queue and cron. If you require this, then the best option is to examine the source code of the spreadsheet.

  1. Make a copy of the template spreadsheet by clicking File > Make a copy.
  2. Click Tools > Script editor and locate CloudSetup.gs. This script has the details of all calls to the App Engine Admin API, and calls for configuring the TaskQueue and cron, which you can transpose to your language of choice.

Interacting with the linkchecker API

In order to interact with the linkchecker API, it is necessary to obtain the shared key which is required with all API calls. This approach was chosen for its simplicity when working within AdWords Scripts.

The shared key is stored in Google Datastore, which can both be accessed by the App Engine application, and by any client using the Datastore API.

The shared key should then be set in the HTTP authorization header: e.g:

Authorization: <your_shared_key>

Examples of retrieving the shared key

  • Apps Script: As shown in the CloudSetup.gs file, in the getSharedKey_ function.

  • Java: Using the Datastore client library:

public String getSharedKey() {
  String projectId = "<your_project_id>";
  Datastore datastore = DatastoreOptions
      .newBuilder()
      .setProjectId(projectId)
      .build()
      .getService();
  String kind = "SharedKey";
  String name = "key";
  Key taskKey = datastore.newKeyFactory().setKind(kind).newKey(name);
  Entity retrieved = datastore.get(taskKey);

  return retrieved.getString("key");
}
def get_shared_key():
  datastore_client = datastore.Client(project="<your_project_id>")

  kind = "SharedKey"
  name = "key"

  task_key = datastore_client.key(kind, name)
  entry = datastore_client.get(task_key)

  return entry["key"]

The linkchecker API

The application provides an API with the following methods. All operational methods are relative to the account base URL of:

https://<project-id>.appspot.com/_ah/api/batchLinkChecker/v1/account/<account-id>/

where:

  • project-id is the project ID taken from Google Cloud console.
  • account-id is a variable provided to allow a single instance of the App Engine application to be used by multiple sources. It can be any numeric value.
Method HTTP request Description
Add POST [account_base_url]/batchOperation Submits a batch of URLs to be processed.
List GET [account_base_url]/batchOperation Retrieves a list of current batches and their status.
Get GET [account_base_url]/batchOperation/[id] Retrieves results for a specified batch operation.
Delete DELETE [account_base_url]/batchOperation/[id] Deletes results for a specific operation.

Furthermore, the API provides methods for retrieving and modifying settings for the linkchecker. All methods are relative to the application base URL of:

https://<project-id>.appspot.com/_ah/api/batchLinkChecker/v1
Method HTTP request Description
Get settings GET [app_base_url]/settings Retrieve user-modifiable settings.
Update settings PUT [app_base_url]/settings Update user-modifiable settings.

Add

HTTP Request
POST https://<project-id>.appspot.com/_ah/api/batchLinkChecker/v1/account/<account-id>/batchOperation`
Authorization

The shared key must be provided in the Authorization header

Request body

The request body should be in JSON format.

Property Value Required Description
urls[] list Yes A list of URL strings for checking, with a maximum of 15000.
failureMatchTexts[] list No A list of strings e.g. "Out of Office" that also constitute a failure.
Response
{
  "items": [
    string
  ]
}
Property Value Description
items[] list A list with one entry, the ID of the job

List

HTTP Request
GET https://<project-id>.appspot.com/_ah/api/batchLinkChecker/v1/account/<account-id>/batchOperation`
Authorization

The shared key must be provided in the Authorization header

Request body

The request body should be empty

Response
{
  "items": [
    BatchOperation
  ]
}

where BatchOperation is the following structure:

{
  "createdDate": datetime,
  "batchId": string,
  "status": string
}
Property Value Description
createdDate datetime The date and time of job creation (RFC 3339).
batchId string The ID of the job
status string Valid responses are COMPLETE or PROCESSING

Get

HTTP Request
GET https://<project-id>.appspot.com/_ah/api/batchLinkChecker/v1/account/<account-id>/batchOperation/<id>`
Authorization

The shared key must be provided in the Authorization header

Parameters
Parameter Value Description
id string The ID of the job to retrieve results for.
Request body

The request body should be empty

Response
{
  "errors": [
    BatchOperationError
  ],
  "status": string,
  "batchId": string,
  "checkedUrlCount": integer
}
Property Value Required Description
errors[] BatchOperationError No If errors were encountered, will be present as a list of BatchOperationError objects.
batchId string Yes The ID of the job
status string Yes Valid responses are COMPLETE or PROCESSING.
checkedUrlCount integer Yes If the job is complete, contains the total number of URLs checked, otherwise is zero.

where BatchOperationError is the following structure:

{
  "url": string,
  "message": string
}

Delete

HTTP Request
DELETE https://<project-id>.appspot.com/_ah/api/batchLinkChecker/v1/account/<account-id>/batchOperation/<id>`
Authorization

The shared key must be provided in the Authorization header

Parameters
Parameter Value Description
id string The ID of the job to delete.
Request body

The request body should be empty

Response

The response is empty

Get Settings

HTTP Request
GET https://<project-id>.appspot.com/_ah/api/batchLinkChecker/v1/settings
Authorization

The shared key must be provided in the Authorization header

Response
{
 "rateInChecksPerMinute": integer,
 "userAgentString": string
}
Property Value Description
rateInChecksPerMinute integer The number of URLs to check per minute per parallel worker.
userAgentString string The User-Agent to use with each request.

Update Settings

HTTP Request
PUT https://<project-id>.appspot.com/_ah/api/batchLinkChecker/v1/settings
Authorization

The shared key must be provided in the Authorization header

Request body
{
 "rateInChecksPerMinute": integer,
 "userAgentString": string
}
Property Value Required Description
rateInChecksPerMinute integer No The number of URLs to check per minute per parallel worker.
userAgentString string No The User-Agent to use with each request.
Response

The response is the new settings, if updated, as per the Get Settings request.

Building and deploying your own version of the application

You will need Maven to build this application.

Building

To build the application, having clone the github repository:

mvn package

Deploying

  1. Upload the generated WAR file to Google Cloud Storage for your project and enable a public link to the WAR file.
  2. Use this URL with the App Engine Admin API when specifying the location of the application. This is best seen by examining the template spreadsheet as described in the Apps Script section above, and inspecting the CloudSetup.gs script within Tools > Script editor, as this illustrates how to use the App Engine Admin API to deploy from a package on Cloud Storage.

Performance tuning

If too many parallel tasks are enabled on the App Engine application, or too high a rate of checking per task is allowed, then where many URLs belong to the same domain, there exists a risk that requests will be blocked, owing to the high volume of traffic resembling a Denial of Service attack.

There are two settings that are relevant in controlling performance:

  1. Number of parallel tasks: URLs are checked using tasks within an App Engine Task Queue. The number of parallel tasks can be configured using the App Engine API. The App Engine Performance sheet in the template spreadsheet utilizes this API to allow the user to set the number of tasks.

    If you wish to modify these settings within a custom client, then the format of the API request can be seen in the updateTaskQueue function within CloudSetup.gs.

  2. Number of requests per minute: The linkchecker API provides the means to set the request rate for each parallel task.

Using the two in conjunction allow an appropriate rate of URL checking to be achieved.

Miscellaneous

Issue tracker

Support forum

Authors

You can’t perform that action at this time.