Jim Driscoll's Blog

Notes on Technology and the Web

QEDServer: A Sample REST endpoint for your sample Web projects

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One last tool to mention.

While reading Web Development Recipes by Brian Hogan, I came across a neat little tool which I’m going to use for my next few example programs.

I wanted to learn Web front-end development – I’ve already done a little work here and there with REST, and didn’t feel like revisiting that just to get up and running.

There’s a very popular (and useful!) site which lists most of the major MV* component libraries, as well as sample programs, called TodoMVC. The way they get around that is to not use REST at all, and keep all the data on the client.

But that doesn’t seem very satisfying as a solution either – one thing you want to evaluate is how these frameworks handle the same kind of data and use cases which you’d actually use in production, just at a smaller scale.

QEDServer solves that problem pretty neatly. Written as a self contained REST server, QEDServer provides a sample database, REST endpoints, and a /public directory which you can use to model possible solutions to the common Thin Server problem.

Neat little tool.

There are, of course, some pretty serious limitations. The REST API isn’t what I’d design – there’s no capacity, for instance, to get all records in a table, or choose a range. Everything’s paged at 10 records per GET. Additionally, there’s no way to get aggregate information: i.e., total number of expected records in a query. But these are the same kinds of limitations that you might very well face in production, so I decided to just roll with it.

One last limitation, as well. Because it’s a Java process, I found it used up a fair bit of memory, and when running the server, plus an IDE, plus 2 (or even 3) browsers, my poor little 4GB memory Mac was really starting to strain under the load. But it was time to upgrade anyway, so I did so, and my shiny new Mac has no issues with it. But if you’re on a resource constrained system, you may want to drop back to the same route the TodoMVC guys took…

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Written by jamesgdriscoll

December 28, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Posted in REST, tools

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