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Issue 17.2 ('Barchart API')
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More Beyond JSON

Develop APIs That Generate Barcodes, Charts, and More

Issue: 17.2 (March/April 2019)
Author: Timothy Dietrich
Author Bio: Tim Dietrich is an independent software developer who is passionate about building solutions that help businesses solve problems, increase efficiency, innovate, and grow. Throughout his career, he's helped start-ups, small businesses, non-profits, government agencies, educational institutions, and Fortune 50 companies use technology to achieve amazing results. A few of the organizations that he has worked with include the Library of Congress, Siemens, CarMax, Dominion Energy, and the University of Virginia. Tim holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, with a Concentration in Information Systems, from Towson University. He will be presenting a session on Webhooks at the 2019 Xojo Developer Conference. To learn more, visit his website (https://timdietrich.me).
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Article Length (in bytes): 24,790
Starting Page Number: 27
Article Number: 17205
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Excerpt of article text...

In Part One of this series ("Beyond JSON" in xDev January/February 2019), I explained that while most Web APIs are designed for accessing and manipulating data, they can also be used to generate other types of content. In that article, we used Xojo, Aloe Express, and the MBS Xojo Barcode Plugin to create an API that generates barcodes and QR codes. In the process, you learned how to evaluate HTTP requests, generate symbols based on the requests, and return them in a variety of formats.

Today we'll continue to explore the concept of developing Xojo-based APIs that generate more than just a typical JSON response. I'll show you how to use Xojo, Aloe Express, and the MBS Xojo ChartDirector Plugin to develop an API that generates charts.

Getting Started

Before we get started, you will need to download and install the MBS Xojo ChartDirector Plugin (see the "MBS Xojo ChartDirector Plugin" sidebar for more details). The plugin is available online (https://www.monkeybreadsoftware.de/xojo/plugin-chartdirector.shtml).

You can download the MBS Xojo ChartDirector Plugin and use it without registering it. Charts generated in this manner will include a message indicating that it was generated with an unregistered copy of ChartDirector.

To jump start development of this new API, we'll modify the Barcode API that we created in Part One of the series. (If you don't already have that code, you can grab a copy from http://www.xdevmag.com/browse/17.1/archive17.1.zip.)

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