Archive for October, 2010

REST in peace, SOAP

REST dominance as an API is growing. Yaaaay! We’re doing something right.

Read the article in Royal Pingdom.  

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SWS Test Scores in Development

The UWIT Application Integration Services team in partnership with our Student Information Systems team has begun the design and development of SWS Test Scores. This new resource to be scheduled for release by end of  November will allow developers to programmatically access official test scores such as GRE, SAT, GMAT, TOEFL, etc… The primary motivation for the development of this resource is to support the UWSDB transition project, currently in progress, so we can move applications from UWSDB to Student Web Services. The second reason is to support an enterprise need to provide programmatic access to test scores without the need for a local data extract.

While we are in development you can learn more by referencing the SWS test scores RESTFul web service design doc and shortly after the resource is released we will provide developer docs.

Many thanks to the following departments for helping us understand requirements and create an initial service design:

  • UW Admissions
  • College of Education
  • Computer Science and Engineering
  • Health Services
  • Physics Department

Please give us any feedback on the design as the next two weeks is when we will be best positioned to accept major design change requests.

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Intense…

An XML parser written in assembly:

asm-xml

It claims to be an order of magnitude faster when parsing XML and only 20Mb in size. An interesting point they make is the XML is not the technology to use when speed is needed.

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Adding XML & JSON Reps: Sprint Summary

9/17 – 9/24

Web Service Release

We plan on releasing either FWS and/or SWS with these new formats soon (within a couple months). PWS, IdCard, and DecisionSupport release time frames that includes XML/JSON has yet to be determined. The additional work required to complete the conversion is outlined below.

Visual Studio 2010 Conversion Issues

We were able to convert all our web services to VS 2010, .NET 4, and EntLib5.0. With that said, this took more time than any of us on the dev team anticipated. We found very unusual behavior in VS 2010′s checkin capabilities that confused developers on what files were actually being checked out for use and checked in for saving. For example on more than one occasion we found that VS2010 was automatically checking in our bin folder and all dlls contained within them without explicit knowledge from the developer. We also found checkins and outs to TFS (Team Foundation Server) to be horribly slow.

We found a .NET4 bug related to the XslCompliedStylesheet class that took some time to debug and plan on submitting a bug report to Microsoft.

We also found that our core framework when complied in Release mode did not inject (using Unity) our LogManager objects consistently. We still do not have solution to this problem however are currently looking into it. Right now all projects are being run with a Debug dll.

The last and most concerning problem related to this technology renewal upgrade is that we found the IIS7 w3wp.exe process pegging the CPU intermittently when our services were executed. We have yet to find a repeatable test case to help us debug this problem however have confirmed that all developers working on our sprint have experienced the problem on their workstations. We plan to test more on our test servers to isolate whether this problem is a Visual Studio 2010 desktop issue or a general issue that will show itself on our servers as well.

Good news is that we did not find any degradation in performance by moving to .NET 4.0 and Entlib 5.0.

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