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Choosing your API implementation

The Adlib API can be implemented using a jQuery plugin, Adlib.Data.dll or Url requests. Each flavour has advantages and disadvantages.The overview below may help you pick out the right one for you.

jQuery plugin

jQuery is a lightweight and powerful JavaScript library, yet easy to learn and use. (Microsoft supports jQuery, and Visual Studio includes the jQuery framework and intellisense functionality.)

Benefits:
  • an improved user experience in web applications with AJAX requests; response of the interface to the actions of the user is much faster;
  • call wwwopac.ashx directly to get data in JSON fomat (more lightweight than XML) and manipulate HTML in one step;
  • a convenient way to off-load processing onto client code;
  • abstract the complexity of Url requests to the wwwopac.ashx;
  • can be used in combination with Adlib.Data..dll or Url requests;
  • promotes the development of unobtrusive code and a clear separation of concerns (HTML vs CSS vs Javascript);
  • powerful DOM manipulation.
Drawbacks:
  • works only with HTTP GET methods. Write commands are possible but not desirable, due to data length limitations. It is also easy to intercept data between the browser and wwwopac.ashx. Having writeAllowed set to true in this scenario should be analysed in terms of security flaws; having a specificly configured wwwopac.ashx to deal with AJAX requests could be an option.

More information about jQuery can be found here:

For a live demo see the RKD - Art & Architecture Thesaurus

Adlib.Data dll

Adlib.Data.dll can be seen as a wrapper around wwwopac.ashx, enabling access to Adlib data and Adlib data structures. It can be included in C#, Visual Basic or other managed code programs.

Benefits:
  • easy to use;
  • hides the complexity of generating the posting and getting of Urls;
  • gets XML data from wwwopac.ashx;
  • a good option is to use XSLT to generate the final HTML for display;
  • wwwopac.ashx can be exposed only internally.
Drawbacks:
  • dll is platform dependent (Windows).

URL Request

Benefits:
  • platform independent;
  • gets XML data from wwwopac.ashx;
  • a good option is to use XSLT to generate the final HTML;
  • wwwopac.ashx can be exposed only internally.
Drawbacks:
  • code can be more complex and difficult to maintain.