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Transforming Your IBM i Applications with Public Web Services & SDKs

 

IBM i users are moving their applications to the leading edge by taking advantage of the explosion of new web service enabled functions available on the web. IBM i users are expanding their markets by selling through online platforms like Shopify, Magento, Squarespace, Wix and Amazon. They are automating logistics using APIs from Project44, Connectship, Shippo, Shipengine and others. We have many IBM i customers who are getting geolocation, traffic and distance from Google Maps or weather forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. And these are just a few of the cool APIs you can access directly from your IBM i.

When you are ready to start exploring all the opportunities these APIs provide, it is very important to understand how the providers want to use them. They do NOT expect you to call the Web Services directly yourself. Trying to do that requires a lot of complex coding. You have to build the authentication code yourself in accordance with their requirements. You have to create all the error handling, monitoring and logging functions. You have to write the code to format your request properly and to appropriately handle and translate the response. This can be thousands of lines of code. And, you have to deal with the almost daily maintenance changes being made to these services. It can be daunting.

Here is what Amazon says about trying to write directly to their Web Services rather than using their SDK:

 

Fortunately, Amazon and most of the other providers of these web services have dramatically simplified the process for you by writing the code for accessing their services and encapsulating that code for you in an SDK (Software Development Kit) that you can simply import into your code.

Almost all of the major Web Service providers have provided SDKs to make it easy to access their Web Services. The challenge for IBM i users is that these SDKs are mostly written in JavaScript, JAVA, C# or other web languages. They are NOT typically available in RPG. That means you cannot import the SDKs into your RPG code.

You could write a Java module that you call via IWS that then imports the Java SDK but then you have to build and maintain that interface code and you have the overhead of an extra web service call. You end up still having to write and maintain code while paying a significant performance price.

At Eradani, we’ve come up with a solution to allow you to take advantage of the huge value of using the SDKs while maintaining extremely high performance without requiring you to write and maintain a lot of code. With Eradani Connect, you write just a couple lines of standard IBM i code to call a program with parameters. Eradani Connect translates the call into a Javascript web service call that includes the SDKs. It uses high speed dataqueues to transfer the data so your responses are practically instantaneous. Eradani Connect handles all of the authentication, logging, monitoring and error handling for you.

With Eradani Connect, you can take advantage of all the great new functions being made available via web service APIs without writing lots of code that you then have the headache of maintaining. Eradani Connect does the heavy lifting for you.

Want to learn more? Watch our 3-Minute video on Calling Out to Public Web Services Right from RPG Applications below.

If you want to see some examples of calling complex web services from RPG using Eradani Connect, check out our website at www.eradani.com or contact us at info@eradani.com.

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