The Open Web
Oct 29, 2009

Transitioning from a closed XML-RPC API to an Open Restful API, an Ampache story

By Karl Vollmer.


This talk will give a real world example of the benefits of creating published and open API’s using Ampache as a case study. In 2002 Ampache added an XML-RPC API that was never documented or published. I will detail many of the mistakes made, and lessons learned from both a community / documentation standpoint as well as technical mistakes made in not maintaining backwards compatibility. Additionally, I will address limitations encountered when end users attempted to use it on non-customized web servers. I will detail the creation of the Restful API in both its first and second incarnation. Using demos of a few of the applications that have implemented the new Restful API as proof that Open, and documented API’s a nothing but good for a web applications adoption and growth. I will talk about lessons learned and the advantages of a published, and open API. Touching briefly on when it’s ok to break backwards compatibility, and the added server load experienced with exposing an API and ways to optimize it through caching and dividing of result data in the application and on the server. I will also discuss XML responses versus JSON and the advantages of providing both.


Karl Vollmer has been the lead developer of Ampache for 6 years. He also lead development on two other major open source web applications, one managing the entire Oregon State University (OSU) network and another providing ticket tracking for the OSU College of Forestry. He’s currently working for Dalhousie University in Halifax Nova Scotia as a High Performance Computing Systems Administrator and Video Conferencing Specialist having recently finished a stint in Angers, France teaching English to young children in public schools.

Fall 2009


Association NLUUG
e-mail: info@nluug.nl