Adding JSON API support to ember-models-table in Open Event Front-end

Open Event Front-end project uses ember-models-table for handling all the table components in the application. Although ember-models-table is great for handling server requests for operations like pagination, sorting & filtering, but it does not support JSON API used in the Front-end project.

In this blog we will see how we integrated JSON API standards to ember-models-table. Lets see how we added support for JSON API to table and made requests to the Open Event Orga-server.

Adding JSON API support for filtering & sorting

The JSON API specs follow a strict structure for supporting meta data & filtering options, the server expects an array of objects for specifying the name of the field, operation and the value for filtering. The name attribute specifies the column for which we need to apply the filter. eg we use `name` for the events name in the. `op` attribute specifies the operation to be used for filtration, `val` attribute is used to provide a value for comparison. You can check the list of all the supported operations here.

For implementation of filter we will check if the column filter is being used i.e if the filter string is empty or not, if the string is not empty we add a filter object of the column using the specified specs, else we remove the filter object of the column.

if (filter) {
  query.filter.pushObject({
    name : filterTitle,
    op   : 'ilike',
    val  : `%${filter}%`
  });
} else {
  query.filter.removeObject({
    name : filterTitle,
    op   : 'ilike',
    val  : `%${filter}%`
  });
}

For sort functionally we need to pass a query parameter called `sort` which is a string value in the URL. Sorting can be done in ascending or descending order for which the server expects different values. We pass `sort=name` & `sort=-name` for sorting in ascending order & descending order respectively.

const sortSign = {
  none : '',
  asc  : '-',
  desc : ''
};
let sortedBy = get(column, 'sortedBy');
if (typeOf(sortedBy) === 'undefined') {
  sortedBy = get(column, 'propertyName');
}

Adding support for pagination

The pagination in JSON API is implemented using query parameters `page[size]` & `page[number]` which specify the size of the page & the current page number respectively eg

page[size]=10&page[number]=1

This will load the first ten events from the server in the application.

Once the data is loaded in the application we calculate the number of pages to be rendered. The response from the server has attached meta-data which contains the total number of the events in the following structure:

meta: {
  count: 100
}

We calculate the number of pages by dividing the total count by the size of the page. We check if the number of items is greater than the pageSize, and calculate the number of the pages using the formula `items / pagesize + (items % pagesize ? 1 : 0)`. If the items are less than the pageSize we do not have to calculate the pages and we simply hide the pagination in the footer.

if (pageSize > items) {
  this.$('.pagination').css({
    display: 'none'
  });
} else {
  this.$('.pagination').removeAttr('style');
  pages = parseInt((items / pageSize));
  if (items % pageSize) {
    pages = pages + 1;
  }
}

Adding dynamic routing support to ember-models-table

We may want to use the ember-models-table for dynamic routes like `events/list` route, where we load live, drafted & past events based on the current route. The ember-models-table by default do not support the dynamic routes. To add this we override the didReceiveAttrs() method of the component which is executed every time the component updates. We add reset the pageSize, currentPageNumber and the content of the table, as the routes change.

didReceiveAttrs() {
  set(this, 'pageSize', 10);
  set(this, 'currentPageNumber', 1);
  set(this, 'filteredContent', get(this, 'data'));
}

The result of this we now have tables supporting JSON API in the Open Event Front-end application

Thank you for reading the blog, you can check the source code for the example here.

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Implementing JSON API for ‘settings/contact-info’ route in Open Event Frontend

In Open Event Frontend, under the settings route, there is a ‘contact-info’ route which allows the user to change his info (email and contact). Previously to achieve this we were using the mock response from the server. But since we have the JSON API now we could integrate and use the JSON API for it so as to let the user modify his/her email and contact info. In the following section, I will explain how it is built:

The first thing to do is to create the model for the user so as to have a skeleton of the database and include our required fields in it. The user model looks like:

export default ModelBase.extend({
  email        : attr('string'),
  password     : attr('string'),
  isVerified   : attr('boolean', { readOnly: true }),
  isSuperAdmin : attr('boolean', { readOnly: true }),
  isAdmin      : attr('boolean', { readOnly: true }),

  firstName : attr('string'),
  lastName  : attr('string'),
  details   : attr('string'),
  contact   : attr('string'),
});

Above is the user’s model, however just the related fields are included here(there are more fields in user’s model). The above code shows that email and contact are two attributes which will accept ‘string’ values as inputs. We have a contact-info form located at ‘settings/contact-info’ route. It has two input fields as follows:

<form class="ui form {{if isLoading 'loading'}}" {{action 'submit' on='submit'}} novalidate>
  <div class="field">
    <label>{{t 'Email'}}</label>
    {{input type='email' name='email' value=data.email}}
  </div>
  <div class="field">
    <label>{{t 'Phone'}}</label>
    {{input type='text' name='phone' value=data.contact}}
  </div>
  <button class="ui teal button" type="submit">{{t 'Save'}}</button>
</form>

The form has a submit button which triggers the submit action. We redirect the submit action from the component to the controller so as to maintain ‘Data down, actions up’. The code is irrelevant, hence not shown here. Following is the action which is used to update the user which we are handling in the contact-info.js controller.

updateContactInfo() {
      this.set('isLoading', true);
      let currentUser = this.get('model');
      currentUser.save({
        adapterOptions: {
          updateMode: 'contact-info'
        }
      })
        .then(user => {
          this.set('isLoading', false);
          let userData = user.serialize(false).data.attributes;
          userData.id = user.get('id');
          this.get('authManager').set('currentUserModel', user);
          this.get('session').set('data.currentUserFallback', userData);
          this.get('notify', 'Updated information successfully');
        })
        .catch(() => {
        });
    }

We are returning the current user’s model from the route’s model method and storing it into ‘currentUser’ variable. Since we have data binding ember inputs in our contact-info form, the values will be grabbed automatically once the form submits. Thus, we can call ‘save’ method on the ‘currentUser’ model and pass an object called ‘adapterOptions’ which has key ‘updateMode’. We send this key to the ‘user’ serializer so that it picks only the attributes to be updated and omits the other ones. We have customized our user serializer as:

if (snapshot.adapterOptions && snapshot.adapterOptions.updateMode === 'contact-info') {
        json.data.attributes = pick(json.data.attributes, ['email', 'contact']);
}

The ‘save’ method on the ‘currentUser’ ‘currentUser.save()’ returns a promise. We resolve the promise by setting the ‘currentUserModel’ as the updated ‘user’ as returned by the promise. Thus, we are able to update the email and contact-info using the JSON API.

Resources:

Ember data official guide

Blog on models and Ember data by Embedly

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Implementing Settings API on Open Event Frontend to View and Update Admin Settings

This blog article will illustrate how the admin settings are displayed and updated on the admin settings page in Open Event Frontend, using the settings API. It will also illustrate the use of the notification service to display corresponding notifications on whether the update operation is successful or not. Our discussion primarily will involve the admin/settings/index route to illustrate the process, all other admin settings route work exactly the same way.

The primary end point of Open Event API with which we are concerned with for fetching tickets for an event is

GET /v1/settings

Since there are multiple  routes under admin/settings  including admin/settings/index, and they all will share the same setting model, it is efficient to make the call for Event on the settings route, rather than repeating it for each sub route, so the model for settings route is:

model() {
 return this.store.queryRecord(setting, {});
}

It is important to note that, we need not specify the model for index route or in fact for any of the sub routes of settings.  This is because it is the default behaviour of ember that if the model for a route is not found, it will automatically look for it in the parent  route.  

And hence all that is needed to be done to make the model available in the system settings form  is to pass it while calling the form component.

<div class="ui basic {{if isLoading 'loading' ''}} segment">
 {{forms/admin/settings/system-form save='updateSettings' settings=model}}
</div>

Thus the model properties will be available in the form via settings alias. Next, we need to bind the value property  of the input fields to the corresponding model properties.  Here is a sample snippet on so as to how to achieve that, for the full code please refer to the codebase or the resources below.

<div class="field">
 {{ui-radio label=(t 'Development') current=settings.appEnvironment name='environment' value='development' onChange=(action (mut settings.appEnvironment))}}
</div>
<div class="field">
 {{ui-radio label=(t 'Staging') current=settings.appEnvironment name='environment' value='staging'}}
</div>
<div class="field">
 {{ui-radio label=(t 'Production') current=settings.appEnvironment name='environment' value='production'}}
</div>
<div class="field">
 <label>
   {{t 'App Name'}}
 </label>
 {{input type='text' name='app_name' value=settings.appName}}
</div>
<div class="field">
 <label>
   {{t 'Tagline'}}
 </label>
 {{input type='text' name='tag_line' value=settings.tagline}}
</div>

In the example above, appName, tagLine and appEnvironment are binded to the actual properties in the model. After the required changes have been done, the user next submits the form which triggers the submit action. If the validation is successful, the action updateSettings residing in the controller of the route is triggered, this is where the primary operations happen.

updateSettings() {
 this.set('isLoading', true);
 let settings = this.get('model');
 settings.save()
   .then(() => {
     this.set('isLoading', false);
     this.notify.success(this.l10n.t('Settings have been saved successfully.'));
   })
   .catch(()=> {
     this.set('isLoading', false);
     this.notify.error(this.l10n.t('An unexpected error has occured. Settings not saved.'));
   });
}

The controller action first sets the isLoading property to true. This adds the semantic UI class loading to the segment containing the form, and it and so the form goes in the loading state, to let the user know the requests is being processed. Then the save()  call occurs and this makes a PATCH request to the API to update the values stored inside the database. And if the PATCH request is successful, the .then() clause executes, which in addition to setting the isLoading as false.

However, in case there is an unexpected error and the PATCH request fails, the .catch() executes. After setting isLoading to false, it notifies the user of the error via an error notification.

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Implementing Sponsors API in Open Event Frontend to Display Sponsors

This article will illustrate how the sponsors have been displayed on the public event page in Open Event Frontend using the Open-Event-Orga sponsors API. As we know that the project is an ember application so, it uses Ember data to consume the API. For fetching the sponsors, we would be mainly focusing on the following API endpoint:

GET /v1/events/{event_identifier}/sponsors

 

In the application we need to display the sponsors is the event’s public page which contains the event details, ticketing information, speaker details etc. along with the list of sponsors so, we will be only concerned with the public/index route in the application. As the sponsors details are nested within the events model so we need to first fetch the event and then from there we need to fetch the sponsors list from the model.

The model to fetch the event details looks like this:

model(params) {
return this.store.findRecord('event', params.event_id, { include: 'social-links' });
}

 

But we can easily observe that there is no parameter related to sponsor in the above model. The reason behind this is the fact that we want our sponsors to be displayed only on the event’s index route rather than displaying them on all the sub routes under public route. To display the sponsors on the public/index route our modal looks like this:

model() {
    const eventDetails = this._super(...arguments);
    return RSVP.hash({
      event   : eventDetails,
      sponsors: eventDetails.get('sponsors')
   });
}

 

As we can see in the above code that we have used this._super(…arguments) to fetch the event details from the event’s public route model which contains all the information related to the event thereby eliminating the need of another API call to fetch sponsors. Now using the ember’s get method we are fetching the sponsors from the eventDetails and putting it inside the sponsors JSON object for using it lately to display sponsors in public/index route.

Till now, we’ve fetched and stored the sponsors now our next task is to display the sponsors list on the event’s index page. The code for displaying the sponsors list on the index page is

{{public/sponsor-list sponsors=model.sponsors}} 

 

The sample user interface without  for displaying the sponsors looks like this:  

Fig. 1: The sample user interface for displaying the sponsors

After replacing the real time data with the sample one, the user interface (UI) for the sponsors looks like this.

Fig. 2: The user interface for sponsors with real time data

The entire code for implementing the sponsors API can be seen here.

To conclude, this is how we efficiently fetched the sponsors list using the Open-Event-Orga sponsors API, ensuring that there is no unnecessary API call to fetch the data.  

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Customizing Serializers in Open Event Front-end

Open Event Front-end project primarily uses Ember Data for API requests, which handles sending the request to correct endpoint, serializing and deserializing the request/response. The Open Event API project uses JSON API specs for implementation of the API, supported by Ember data.

While sending request we might want to customize the payload using a custom serializer. While implementing the Users API in the project, we faced a similiar problem. Let’s see how we solved it.

Creating a serializer for model

A serializer is created for a model, in this example we will create a user serializer for the user model. One important thing that we must keep in mind while creating a serializer is to use same name as that of model, so that ember can map the model with the serializer. We can create a serializer using ember-cli command:

ember g serializer user

 
Customizing serializer

In Open Event Front-end project every serializer extends the base serializer application.js which defines basic serialization like omitting readOnly attributes from the payload.

The user serializer provides more customization for the user model on top of application model. We override the serialize function, which lets us manipulate the payload of the request. We use `snapshot.id` to differentiate between a create request & an update request. If `snapshot.id` exists then it is an update request else it is a create request.

While manipulation user properties like email, contact etc we do not need to pass ‘password’ in the payload. We make use of ‘adapterOptions’ property associated with the ‘save()’ method. If the adapterOptions are associated and the ‘includePassword’ is set then we add ‘password’ attribute to the payload.

import ApplicationSerializer from 'open-event-frontend/serializers/application';
import { pick, omit } from 'lodash';

export default ApplicationSerializer.extend({
  serialize(snapshot, options) {
    const json = this._super(...arguments);
    if (snapshot.id) {
      let attributesToOmit = [];
      if (!snapshot.adapterOptions || !snapshot.adapterOptions.includePassword) {
        attributesToOmit.push('password');
      }
      json.data.attributes = omit(json.data.attributes, attributesToOmit);
    } else if (options && options.includeId) {
      json.data.attributes = pick(json.data.attributes, ['email', 'password']);
    }
    return json;
  }
});

If we want to add the password in the payload we can simply add ‘includePassword’ property to the ‘adapterOptions’ and pass it in the save method for operations like changing the password of the user.

user.save({
  adapterOptions: {
    includePassword: true
  }
})

Thank you for reading the blog, you can check the source code for the example here.
Resources

Learn more about how to customize serializers in ember data here

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Implementing Registration API in Open Event Front-end

In this post I will discuss how I implemented the registration feature in Open Event Front-end using the Open-Event-Orga API. The project uses Ember Data for consumption of the API in the ember application. The front end sends POST request to Open Event Orga Server which verifies and creates the user.

We use a custom serialize method for trimming the request payload of the user model by creating a custom user serializer. Lets see how we did it.

Implementing register API

The register API takes username & password in the payload for a POST request which are validated in the register-form component using the semantic-ui form validation. After validating the inputs from the user we bubble the save action to the controller form the component.

submit() {
  this.onValid(() => {
    this.set('errorMessage', null);
    this.set('isLoading', true);
    this.sendAction('submit');
  });
}

In controller we have `createUser()` action where we send a POST request to the server using the save() method, which returns a promise.

createUser() {
  var user = this.get('model');
  user.save()
    .then(() => {
      this.set('session.newUser', user.get('email'));
      this.set('isLoading', false);
      this.transitionToRoute('login');
    })
    .catch(reason => {
      this.set('isLoading', false);
      if (reason.hasOwnProperty('errors') && reason.errors[0].status === 409) {
        this.set('errorMessage', this.l10n.t('User already exists.'));
      } else {
        this.set('errorMessage', this.l10n.t('An unexpected error occurred.'));
      }
    });
}

The `user.save()` returns a promise, therefore we handle it using a then-catch clause. If the request is successful, it executes the `then` clause where we redirect to the login route. If the request fails we check if the status is 409 which translates to a duplicate entry i.e the user already exists in the server.

Serializing the user model using custom serializer

Ember lets us customise the payload using serializers for models. The serializers have serialize function where we can trim the payload of the model. In the user serializer we check if the request is for record creation using `options.includeId`. If the request is for record creation we trim the payload using the lodash `pick` method and pick only email & password for payload for POST request.

serialize(snapshot, options) {
  const json = this._super(...arguments);
  if (options && options.includeId) {
    json.data.attributes = pick(json.data.attributes, ['email', 'password']);
  }
  return json;
}

Thank you for reading the blog, you can check the source code for the example here.

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Implementing Tickets API on Open Event Frontend to Display Tickets

This blog article will illustrate how the tickets are displayed on the public event page in Open Event Frontend, using the tickets API. It will also illustrate the use of the add on, ember-data-has-query, and what role it will play in fetching data from various APIs. Our discussion primarily will involve the public/index route. The primary end point of Open Event API with which we are concerned with for fetching tickets for an event is

GET /v1/events/{event_identifier}/tickets

Since there are multiple  routes under public  including public/index, and they share some common event data, it is efficient to make the call for Event on the public route, rather than repeating it for each sub route, so the model for public route is:

model(params) {
return this.store.findRecord('event', params.event_id, { include: 'social-links' });
}

This modal takes care of fetching all the event data, but as we can see, the tickets are not included in the include parameter. The primary reason for this is the fact that the tickets data is not required on each of the public routes, rather it is required for the index route only. However the tickets have a has-many relationship to events, and it is not possible to make a call for them without calling in the entire event data again. This is where a really useful addon, ember-data-has-many-query comes in.

To quote the official documentation,

Ember Data‘s DS.Store supports querying top-level records using the query function.However, DS.hasMany and DS.belongsTo cannot be queried in the same way.This addon provides a way to query has-many and belongs-to relationships

So we can now proceed with the model for public/index route.

model() {
const eventDetails = this._super(...arguments);
return RSVP.hash({
  event   : eventDetails,
  tickets : eventDetails.query('tickets', {
    filter: [
      {
        and: [
          {
            name : 'sales-starts-at',
            op   : 'le',
            val  : moment().toISOString()
          },
          {
            name : 'sales-ends-at',
            op   : 'ge',
            val  : moment().toISOString()
          }
        ]
      }
    ]
  }),

We make use of this._super(…arguments) to use the event data fetched in the model of public route, eliminating the need for a separate API call for the same. Next, the ember-has-many-query add on allows us to query the tickets of the event, and we apply the filters restricting the tickets to only those, whose sale is live.
After the tickets are fetched they are passed onto the ticket list component to display them. We also need to take care of the cases, where there might be no tickets in case the event organiser is using an external ticket URL for ticketing, which can be easily handled via the is-ticketing-enabled property of events. And in case they are not enabled we don’t render the ticket-list component rather a button linked to the external ticket URL is rendered.  In case where ticketing is enabled the various properties which need to be computed such as the total price of tickets based on user input are handled by the ticket-list component itself.

{{#if model.event.isTicketingEnabled}}
  {{public/ticket-list tickets=model.tickets}}
{{else}}
<div class="ui grid">
  <div class="ui row">
      <a href="{{ticketUrl}}" class="ui right labeled blue icon button">
        <i class="ticket icon"></i>
        {{t 'Order tickets'}}
      </a>
  </div>
  <div class="ui row muted text">
      {{t 'You will be taken to '}} {{ticketUrl}} {{t ' to complete the purchase of tickets'}}
  </div>
</div>
{{/if}}

This is the most efficient way to fetch tickets, and also ensures that only the relevant data is passed to the concerned ticket-list component, without making any extra API calls, and it is made possible by the ember-data-has-many-query add on, with very minor changes required in the adapter and the event model. All that is required to do is make the adapter and the event model extend the RestAdapterMixin and ModelMixin provided by the add on, respectively.

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