We’re proud to release the first public iteration of our Aquaponics Open Data API. You can see it live here – and we are very keen to get feedback, suggestions, improvements and collaborators in true open-source fashion.
Our goal is to allow others to write applications to use data from our systems for their own purposes, as well as reusing our API and apps themselves. The API is documented using the fabulous Swagger specification – we used the swagger-node-express because we like node. Swagger provides great looking documentation of the API as well as full details of the responses and error codes, but wait – there’s more. It’s not documentation in the usual sense, it’s an interface to the API itself. Thus it provides a really easy way to test the API out and get real data back, complete with headers and response codes – everything you need to develop apps against it.
Our system uses the seriously hard-core Cassandra database – even though we can’t quite justify it based on our data-needs today! In fact when we asked a support question on the Cassandra IRC channel we were told that a mere two box cluster was ‘not a typical deployment’! But it fits our requirements in terms of storing time-series data – and we have great hopes that soon we’ll be needing racks of boxes across several continents. If it’s good enough for GitHub and CERN then it’s good enough for us.
Speaking of GitHub, all our code are belong to you – this means it’s released under the GPL v2 and you’re welcome (and obligated!) to use it, abuse it, improve it and then return those improvements back to the common pot.
As well as all of this, we’ve also written an app that uses our API to present a simple web form allowing for the download of data in csv format. You can try out our download app here – again we really do appreciate your feedback (it’s the best way to get better).
Node express allowed us to get this simple web-app up and running with the minimum of fuss and maximum of effect. We’re hoping to follow this up with a graphing app very soon – watch this space.
We’ll be showcasing the system and its associated API , apps and dashboard at the very wonderful Wuthering Bytes open hardware festival in Hebden Bridge – if you can possible be there – you must! As well as our talk/workshop there are dozens of great things happening from Sophie Wilson to space rocket launches and beyond!