There may be times when you need to return more from an endpoint than just a message status code and a message description. For example, you might need to pass back a refreshed authentication token from a service that uses OAuth and have the Hub store the refreshed token. You might need to pass back a shipment confirmation number from your fulfillment service so that your store can be updated with this information. The Hub has an easy, built-in technique for dealing with these types of situations.

Prerequisites

This tutorial is an extension of the code used in the Fulfillment Integration Tutorial and is available on Github. This tutorial assumes that you have installed bundler and Sinatra, and that you have a working knowledge of Ruby, JSON, Sinatra, and Rack.

Steps

Organization

Before we get too far along, let’s do a little bit of organization of our files. Up to this point, we’ve stored our endpoint, the sample JSON files, and supporting files all in the same directory. That gets cumbersome fast, and it doesn’t mirror what typically happens with real endpoints.

Inside your endpoint directory, create a lib folder. Move the dummy_ship.rb API file and the shipment.rb Shipment class file to this directory.

Within your fulfillment_endpoint.rb file, add this line just below require 'endpoint_base':

Dir['./lib/*.rb'].each { |f| require f }

This will automatically include the dummy_ship.rb and shipment.rb files in your application, meaning that you can trim your config.ru file down to just the following:

require './fulfillment_endpoint'
run FulfillmentEndpoint

Next, create a samples directory inside your endpoint’s root directory. Move the good_address.json and bad_address.json files to this folder.

Returning Custom Parameters

In the previous tutorial, you learned to return the tracking number as part of the message’s payload. Now, you will learn to encode it as a parameter. When you return the number this way, the Hub is actually smart enough to record the key/value pair in your integration so that this and other endpoints can make use of it.

Rewrite your /drop_ship method as follows:

  post '/drop_ship' do
    get_address
    @order = @message[:payload]['order']
    begin
      result = DummyShip.ship_package(@address, @order)
      process_result 200, { 'message_id' => @message[:message_id], 
        'notifications' => [
          { 'level' => 'info', 'subject' => '',
            'description' => 'The address is valid, and the shipment has been sent.' }
        ],
        'parameters' => [
          { 'name' => 'tracking_number', 'value' => result.tracking_number },
          { 'name' => 'ship_date', 'value' => result.ship_date }
        ]
      }
    rescue Exception => e
      process_result 200, { 'message_id' => @message[:message_id],
        'notifications' => [
          { 'level' => "error", 'subject' => 'address is invalid',
            'description' => e.message } 
        ]
      }
    end
  end

As you can see, the tracking_number and ship_date are now each a key within a hash, and both hashes are members of the parameters array, which is returned when your endpoint runs the process_result method.

Let’s see that in action. Start up your server.

$ bundle exec rackup -p 9292

Then, in a separate browser window, run the following curl command:

$ curl --data @./samples/good_address.json -i -X POST -H \
  'Content-type:application/json' http://localhost:9292/drop_ship
HTTP/1.1 200 OK 
Content-Type: application/json;charset=utf-8
Content-Length: 254
X-Content-Type-Options: nosniff
Server: WEBrick/1.3.1 (Ruby/2.0.0/2013-06-27)
Date: Fri, 11 Oct 2013 01:49:32 GMT
Connection: Keep-Alive
{"message_id":"518726r85010000001","notifications":[{"level":"info","subject":"", \
  "description":"The address is valid, and the shipment will be sent."}], \
  "parameters":[{"name":"tracking_number","value":"S040042"},{"name":"ship_date", \
  "value":"2013-10-10"}]}

As you can see, the parameters array is now present and populated with the tracking number and ship date of our new package.

Because we still validate the shipping address before we create the shipment and its tracking number, when we run the curl command supplying the “bad” address file:

$ curl --data @./samples/bad_address.json -i -X POST -H \
  'Content-type:application/json' http://localhost:9292/drop_ship

we still get the correct returned message:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK 
Content-Type: application/json;charset=utf-8
Content-Length: 159
X-Content-Type-Options: nosniff
Server: WEBrick/1.3.1 (Ruby/2.0.0/2013-06-27)
Date: Fri, 11 Oct 2013 01:56:16 GMT
Connection: Keep-Alive
{"message_id":"518726r85010000001","notifications":[{"level":"error","subject": \
  "address is invalid","description":"This order is outside our shipping zone."}]}
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