ezAPI Tutorial & Information

ezAPI is a proposed extension to ezBoard which would allow third-party application development and tighter integration between ezBoards and their related websites by providing data-on-demand through ezAPI API calls.

The intial proof-of-concept ezAPI call returns "Who's Online" data for the ezBoard "Help Forums" board.

The ezBoard "Help Forums" are at http://beta.ezboard.com/bezboard. The "Who's Online" API call is made using a request to http://beta.ezboard.com/bezboard.ezAPIWhosOnline.

Several members of ezBoard have created demonstration code which shows how the "Who's Online" API data can be used from common scripting languages, including PHP, ASP, Perl and JavaScript.

Language Requirements / Information Benefits Drawbacks
PHP

Requirements: PHP4 or above must be installed on the webserver.

Information: PHP is a language designed from the ground up to be used for web programming. It uses a syntax that is extremely close to that of C/C++, Perl, Javascript, etc. and provides functionality "out of the box" for many common web programming tasks.

Scripts can be embedded inside of HTML in much the same way as they are with ASP.

More info at http://www.php.net

  • Any OS
  • Any webserver
  • Web functionality included
  • Embedded code
  • C style syntax
  • Associative arrays
  • PHP must be installed on server
ASP (Javascript)

Requirements: Windows-based webserver or third-party ASP implementation.

Information: Program in multiple languages on the same page (VBScript and Javascript are supported "out of the box").

Use of server-side javascript with ASP allows the programmer to utilize the same skillset developed by writing client-side scripts to perform server-side data processing.

Built-in support for many web-programming tasks, the ability to create object classes to encapsulate commonly used functionality.

More info at http://msdn.microsoft.com

  • Web functionality included
  • Embedded code
  • C style syntax
  • Associative arrays
  • Multiple languages on the same page
  • ASP must be installed on the server
ASP (VBScript)

Requirements: Windows-based webserver or third-party ASP implementation.

Information: Program in multiple languages on the same page (VBScript and Javascript are supported "out of the box").

Programmers who have utilized VB or VBScript (Visual Basic Script) within Microsoft Office or other products may feel more comfortable coding with VBScript within an ASP page. A more relaxed syntax (variable names are case insensitive, for instance) can make it easier and quicker to code.

Built-in support for many web-programming tasks, the ability to create object classes to encapsulate commonly used functionality.

More info at http://msdn.microsoft.com

  • Web functionality included
  • Embedded code
  • Visual Basic style syntax
  • Multiple languages on the same page
  • ASP must be installed on the server
Perl

Requirements: Perl must be installed on the server.

Information: Historically common web and UNIX programming language which offers very powerful text manipulation features. Is installed and available on most UNIX webservers.

More info at http://www.perl.com

  • C style syntax
  • Associative arrays
  • Perl must be installed on the server
  • LWP, CGI and other modules may be required for many common web-programming tasks
Client-side Javascript

Requirements: Javascript must be supported and enabled by the client.

Information: Since no server-side scripting is required, this solution is usable by any webmaster. However, the limitations of the client's computer will determine whether the implementation succeeds or fails.

  • C style syntax
  • Associative arrays
  • Client-side processing (no server load)
  • Javascript must be enabled on the client
  • Client must support all functions used in the script