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categories: api, api-design, community, fanout, grip, mongrel2, protocols, pushpin, python, scalability, security, usability, webhooks, websockets, xmpp, zeromq, zurl

  • hack.guides() Tutorial Contest

    hack-guides-contest

    Are you all about realtime apps? Well, now you can be famous and win $500 to teach the Internet. Fanout is excited to team up with the hack.guides() 2016 Tutorial Contest. Any realtime app submitted to the contest that uses Pushpin or Fanout Cloud will qualify for a chance to win a $500 prize.

    See the contest here: http://tutorials.pluralsight.com/contest

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  • Migrated to Jekyll

    We recently migrated the Fanout Blog from WordPress to Jekyll, and we updated the blog theme to match the newer Fanout website design.

    The blog content is all the same, and Livefyre commenting is still here as well as RSS/Atom feeds and the SubToMe buttons. The reason for the migration (and thus the differences) are mostly internal:

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  • Pushpin and RethinkDB meetup video

  • Runscope JWT authentication

    Monday evening we had a particularly nasty outage: JWT authentication was broken, preventing anyone from using our HTTP API to publish data. The reason we didn’t catch this early on is because our manual test scripts turned out to be broken (reporting auth success when auth had failed.. yeesh!), and there was no authentication coverage in our external monitoring to fall back on.

    In a perfect world, our external monitoring would test authentication. I’m happy to report that we are now doing this with Runscope! Getting this to work right was a little tricky since we use JWT, but it was made possible thanks to Runscope’s scripting feature.

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  • Realtime API management with Pushpin and Kong

    Pushpin is the open source reverse proxy for the realtime web. One of the benefits of Pushpin functioning as a proxy is that it can be combined with an API management system, such as Mashape’s Kong. Kong is the open source management layer for APIs. To use Kong with Pushpin, simply chain the two together on the same network path.

    pushpin-kong

    Why would you want to use an API management system with Pushpin? Realtime web services have many of the same concerns as request/response web services, and it can be helpful to centrally manage those aspects.

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  • Building a realtime API with RethinkDB

    RethinkDB is a modern NoSQL database that makes it easy to build realtime web services. One of its standout features is called Changefeeds. Applications can query tables for ongoing changes, and RethinkDB will push any changes to applications as they happen. The Changefeeds feature is interesting for many reasons:

    • You don’t need a separate message queue to wake up workers that operate on new data.
    • Database writes made from anywhere will propagate out as changes. Use the RethinkDB dashboard to muck with data? Run a migration script? Listeners will hear about it.
    • Filtering/squashing of change events within RethinkDB. In many cases it may be easier to filter events using ReQL than using a message queue and filtering workers.

    This makes RethinkDB a compelling part of a realtime web service stack. In this article, we’ll describe how to use RethinkDB to implement a leaderboard API with realtime updates. Emphasis on API. Unlike other leaderboard examples you may have seen elsewhere, the focus here will be to create a clean API definition and use RethinkDB as part of the implementation. If you’re not sure what it means for an API to have realtime capabilities, check out this guide.

    We’ll use the following components to build the leaderboard API:

    Since the server app targets Heroku, we’ll be using environment variables for configuration and foreman for local testing.

    Read on to see how it’s done. You can also look at the source.

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  • Realtime API design guide

    New to the subject of realtime APIs? This article is the place to start! We’ll discuss the most common design approaches and their pros/cons, as well as link to the documentation of 16 public realtime APIs that you can use for inspiration.

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  • Stateless WebSockets with Express and Pushpin

    One of the most interesting features of the Pushpin proxy is its ability to gateway between WebSocket clients and plain HTTP backend servers. In this article, we’ll demonstrate how to build a WebSocket service using Express as the HTTP backend behind Pushpin.

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  • Bayeux / Faye compatibility

    Bayeux is one of the few standard protocols for publish-subscribe messaging on the web. Today we announce Bayeux compatibility in the Fanout Cloud realtime push service. When you publish JSON objects through our service, they can be received by any Bayeux-compatible client library, such as Faye.

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  • Building a realtime API in Django

    Django is an awesome framework for building web services using the Python language. However, it is not well-suited for handling long-lived connections, which are needed for realtime data push. In this article we’ll explain how to pair Django with Fanout Cloud to reach realtime nirvana.

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