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 Post subject: Exposing Museum Data?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:46 am
Location: Roanoke, Virginia
This is really a question for Sandy.

So I was going to create an application to keep track of puzzles I own and puzzles I have on order. I was planning out how I was going to design it and I realized I didn't want to enter data for the 90-100 puzzles I own. Then I realized all of the data I need is already on a TP database somewhere. It'd be great if the museum data could be exposed as a web service or an export of some type (tab delimited would be great).

I was wondering if there was any chance if this export could become a reality. Else I might make an effort to create this application with web service back end that I could open up to other forum members.


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 Post subject: Re: Exposing Museum Data?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:45 pm 
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I'm not a programmer and claim to know nothing about it. I can only imagine that this would be very time consuming. It certainly is when I enter data into the museum.

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 Post subject: Re: Exposing Museum Data?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:50 pm 
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(I've done a little database management)

It depends on the database type. Assuming Sandy's running mySQL, it wouldn't be a problem exporting it to a CSV file, or almost any other file format. SQL is usually useful for doing said things.

XML would be better; the file could simply be sent over.

Entering data may take a long time, but exporting it wouldn't.

The problem, though, would be reading the data into a program ONCE it was exported.

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 Post subject: Re: Exposing Museum Data?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:01 pm 
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How about building a public database, like wiki or something?
It seems not easy to keep track of a puzzle.


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 Post subject: Re: Exposing Museum Data?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:26 pm 
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The reason I suggested tab delimited is because I believe it is one of the most widely accepted formats (even excel can import tab delimited data). If I knew the data schema/technology I'd be happy to help write an export script.


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 Post subject: Re: Exposing Museum Data?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:40 pm 
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Actually, I think the easiest thing to do would be a web app. Based on the fairly well-founded assumption that the data is in a web format, it would probably be easier to write an app in web code.

In other words, don't export the data to a different format. Take the raw info as it is and apply it within an application. Or, if it's running SQL, have Sandy make a public login address. That way, everyone can access a read-only SQL account for tp.c

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 Post subject: Re: Exposing Museum Data?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:14 am 
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NType3 wrote:
Actually, I think the easiest thing to do would be a web app. Based on the fairly well-founded assumption that the data is in a web format, it would probably be easier to write an app in web code.

In other words, don't export the data to a different format. Take the raw info as it is and apply it within an application. Or, if it's running SQL, have Sandy make a public login address. That way, everyone can access a read-only SQL account for tp.c


The data is already rendered in a web app in "web format" on this website. I'd say the most reasonable assumption is the data is stored in a database. To open up the database with a read-only account you would also have to open a path for people to log in to the server it is hosted on which is a major security risk. Exposing the data as a read-only web service would be much less of a risk because there would be much more control over who could do what with the data. Exporting the data would be even less of a risk because people consuming the data would not have to connect to any external service, just simply send a get request to the existing server as if you were loading any other page from the website.

Exporting SQL data in separate format, especially text, is not a problem. In fact, the main purpose of SQL is to see data in different forms, formats, and sub-sets.


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 Post subject: Re: Exposing Museum Data?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:30 pm 
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Web read-only portals are risky, true, but two points must be raised:

1. Can it be configured to be MORE secure? Yes.
2. Who would bother to crash/hack this site?

Some people would, just for the halibut, but I doubt the site's crucial information is at risk. I can safely say all members of TP.C are legit people

And, in addition, it could be set up so one would need to verify with a TP account to access the SQL database.

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