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    moveablejson

    0.17.0 • Public • Published

    Moveable JSON

    Moveable JSON is an idea for getting rid of the breaking changes we face with JSON and APIs. It allows client developers to specify a shape of data they expect. The library will then fetch the data from the API by looking for properties, following links if defined, and following pagination. GraphQL can also be used a syntax for specifying structure.

    Overview

    Moveable JSON starts with the idea that clients shouldn't care if there are one ore many values for a property and whether the value is included in the response or linked. This allows properties to evolve from a single value like a string to many values like an array of strings. Beyond that, values can evolve to be their own resources in an API and be linked where they were once included. The client shouldn't care whether those values are included or linked and whether there are one or many.

    Usage

    getProperty

    The queries.getProperty function takes a object and property and returns the values for the property. It will always return a generator, so if a property is a single value or array of values, it will be treated as a generator.

    Going back to our example above, our client will not break whether a value is a single value or an array of values.

    const { getProperty } = require('moveablejson')
     
    // The document we want to query
    const document1 = {
      email: 'johndoe@example.com'
    };
     
    const document2 = {
      email: ['johndoe@example.com']
    };
     
    // Result will be ['johndoe@example.com']
    const result1 = await getProperty(document1, 'email');
     
    // Result will also be ['johndoe@example.com']
    const result2 = await getProperty(document2, 'email');

    Web Aware with RESTful JSON

    The getProperty query will follow links represented in RESTful JSON if it finds one in place of a property. This allows for API responses to evolve without breaking queries.

    Let's say the current document we have is an order and looks like:

    {
      "order_number": "1234",
      "customer_url": "/customers/4"
    }

    And the customer found at /customers/4 is:

    {
      "first_name": "John",
      "last_name": "Doe",
    }

    The query below will result in the response for /customers/4.

    const { getProperty } = require('moveablejson')
     
    const result1 = await getProperty({
      "order_number": "1234",
      "customer_url": "/customers/4"
    }, 'customer');
     
    // This will be the same value as above, just without the API request
    const result2 = await getProperty({
      "order_number": "1234",
      "customer": {
        "first_name": "John",
        "last_name": "Doe",
      }
    }, 'customer');

    Collections

    Additionally, APIs may need to return a partial set of items and let the client request more if necessary by way of pagination. A collection object is used to make this possible. It wraps values with an $item property so the JSON can move from values, to arrays, to paginated arrays.

    const doc1 = {
      url: 'https://example.com/customer/4538',
      order: [
        {
          url: 'https://example.com/order/1234',
          order_number: '1234',
          total_amount: '$100.00'
        },
        {
          url: 'https://example.com/order/1235',
          order_number: '1235',
          total_amount: '$120.00'
        }
      ]
    };
     
    // Returns all of the order objects found directly in the object
    await getProperty(document1, 'order');

    Below shows the same values changing to use a collection.

    A collection is denoted by the $item property. Remember that values can be arrays or single values, so $item can be either an array of items or a single item.

    Let's say this is what page 2 might be.

    {
      url: 'https://example.com/orders?page=2',
      $item: [
        {
          url: 'https://example.com/order/1236',
          order_number: '1236',
          total_amount: '$100.00'
        }
      ],
      prev_url: 'https://example.com/orders?page=1'
    }

    Here is the collection now where the second page is linked with next_url.

    const document2 = {
      url: 'https://example.com/customer/4538',
      order: {
        url: 'https://example.com/orders?page=1',
        $item: [
          {
            url: 'https://example.com/order/1234',
            order_number: '1234',
            total_amount: '$100.00'
          },
          {
            url: 'https://example.com/order/1235',
            order_number: '1235',
            total_amount: '$120.00'
          }
        ],
        next_url: 'https://example.com/orders?page=2'
      }
    });
     
    // Returns all of the orders found in the collection.
    await getProperty(document2, 'order');

    Combining $item with RESTful JSON lets collections provide several links to other values, allowing API designers to reduce collection size so that each item can be requested and cached individually.

    const document3 = {
      order: {
        url: 'https://example.com/orders?page=1',
        $item_url: [
          'https://example.com/orders/1234',
          'https://example.com/orders/1235'
        ],
        next_url: 'https://example.com/orders?page=2'
      }
    };
     
    // Follows all of the $item_url values and returns the orders
    await getProperty(document3, 'order');

    rawQuery

    The rawQuery query allows for defining a structure to find in the API. Where getProperty allows for returning a single value, rawQuery allows for returning many values and on nested objects. It uses getProperty for getting values, so links and collections work as defined above.

    const { rawQuery } = require('moveablejson')
     
    // The document we want to query
    const document = {
      name: 'John Doe',
      email: 'johndoe@example.com'
      address: {
        street: '123 Main St.',
        city: 'New York',
        state: 'NY',
        zip: '10101'
      }
    };
     
    const query = {
      properties: ['name', 'email'],
      related: {
        address: {
          properties: ['street', 'city', 'state', 'zip']
        }
      }
    }
     
    const result = rawQuery(document, query);

    Each property will be a generator to allow for one or many values. This allows for getting properties throughout a document and even throughout an API.

    gqlQuery

    This takes a GraphQL AST and converts it into the structure for rawQuery. Support is very basic at the moment, however, you can write simple queries and get the results while evolving the API. It requires that you have graphql-js and something like graphql-tag to be able to pass in an AST.

    const document = {
      customer_number: "8000",
      order: [
        {
          url: "https://moveablejsonapi.glitch.me/orders/1000",
          order_number: "1000",
          total: 150,
          unit: "USD"
         }
      ]
    };
     
    const query = gql`{
      customer_number
      order {
        order_number
        total
      }
    }`;
     
    const result = await gqlQuery(document, query);

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    Version

    0.17.0

    License

    MIT

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