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5.8.0

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Summary: JSON Api
Release Date: Thu, December 18, 2014 at 4:06 PM UTC
Release Author: Henrik Levkowetz


This release introduces a machine-readable API to the datatracker database
content, based on Tastypie (https://django-tastypie.readthedocs.org/).

Currently the API is set to read-only; but Tastypie does support
fine-grained control of create, read, update, and delete permissions, so if
we find that it makes sense at some point, we can open up for authenticated
access to more than just reading database content.

The details of which tables and objects from the database that are exposed
in the API are controlled by a series of resources.py files; one per Django
app. By default, no data is exposed; in order to expose a table, the
resources file must contain a resource specification, in the form of a
python class which determines which table fields should be exposed, and how.

Since we want to expose almost all the database content, rather than only a
few selected tables, there is a lot of code which needs to be specified
(more than 200 classes, with almost 2000 lines, at this writing) in order
to make data available through the API.

Rather than manually type out all of the needed classes, a management
command (ietf/manage.py makeresources) has been added which will generate
the needed resource classes in the resources.py files automatically.
Existing classes will be left intact, though, which makes it feasible to
hand tune the classes if needed, but still auto-generate resource classes
when new tables are added.

In addition to read access to the exposed tables and objects, the Tastypie
API provides support for automated discovery of the available tables. Starting
at the URL https://datatracker.ietf.org/api/v1/, the returned machine-readable
data provides URL information for all available API endpoints, which makes it
possible to recurse down to all available data.

Data is currently provided in JSON and XML format. Adding new formats is
fairly easy, if it should be found desriable.