Web Services: Category Archive

Posts about development of web applications designed to be use primarily by other applications

Sunday, July 1, 2012
  40/40 WordPress Plugin

The WordPress plugin for the 40/40 Prayer Vigil has just been published! You can download it from your plugin menu, or by visiting its home on the WordPress Plugin Directory.

The plugin provides a widget that utilizes the web service about which we previously wrote to display the prayer guide for each day. You can configure whether you want it to display 40 days or 40 hours; what language to retrieve; the translation version for the Scripture links displayed with each day's guide; and the number of overlap days (it will display a “Coming Soon” entry before and a “Thanks for Praying” entry after). Use is pretty simple; just drop it into a widgetized area of your theme. It will probably look best with at least 200 horizontal pixels, although it will wrap to any sort of narrowness.

Version 2012.0 is the version that's up there now. The Spanish translations of the options menu is not done yet, but you can specify Spanish prayer guides. Version 2012.1 will contain the localized options menu. If you run into any problems using it, you can submit issues against it at its WordPress Plugin Directory page.

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Sunday, June 17, 2012
  40/40 Web Service for 2012

Back in 2010, we wrote a web service for the 40/40 Prayer Vigil organized by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. This allowed us to use the content in multiple places. They are doing another vigil this year, but the service we wrote two years ago was not terribly reusable.

This year, we have developed a reusable web service that should hold up for 2014 and beyond. (Acronym alert - non-programmers skip the next sentence.) This one has a REST API instead of SOAP and WSDL, and supports XML, JSON, and HTML output formats. This year, it also supports both English and Español.

The REST API start page is at this URL no longer active. The prayer guides require an output format, a language, the Scripture version, whether the guide is for a day or an hour, and the day or hour number. There are lookup transactions for lists of available output formats, languages, and Scripture versions, and lookups for converting a date to a day number and a date/time to an hour number.

There will be a WordPress plug-in shortly that will utilize this to display the current day or hour's prayer guide directly on your blog; we'll make another post when that is available. Also, starting September 26th (the first day of the vigil), it will be available for display with no login required at the Hoffmantown Prayer and PrayerTracker websites. Developers, the service is available now; if you want to write code to utilize the service, you've got 3 months to make it work!

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Sunday, September 19, 2010
  40/40 Web Service

The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention is holding a “40/40 Prayer Vigil,” encouraging prayer through the end of October. While some of the prayer is focused on the upcoming elections, the focus is on national revival. They have produced a prayer guide, which details suggestions for prayer over the course of 40 days, beginning September 20th, and for 40 hours, beginning October 29th at 4pm.

We have created a web service to break this guide up into day and hour-sized chunks. The service is at this URL no longer active. There are several ways to retrieve this information.

  • GetDay
    This gets one of the 40 days, by the day number. (September 20th is 1, September 21st is 2, etc.) The “day” parameter controls which day is returned.
  • GetHour
    This gets one of the 40 hours, by the hour number (10/29 4pm is 1, 10/29 5pm is 2, etc.) The “hour” parameter controls which hour is returned.
  • GetDate
    This gets one of the 40 days, by the current date. The “date” parameter controls which day is returned. (The time portion may be given, but it is ignored.)
  • GetTime
    This gets one of the 40 hours, by the date/time. The “time” parameter controls which hour is returned.
  • GetDayHTML, GetHourHTML, GetDateHTML, and GetTimeHTML
    This is the same as the above 4 calls, except what is returned is a formatted block of text that can be displayed on a web page.

In all cases, if the day/hour/date/time does not match a valid value for the vigil, a null is returned.

If you're not interested in consuming the web service, but you'd like to see the suggested prayer each day, the Hoffmantown Prayer site is displaying the days and hours on Mountain Time. This information is on the front page with no login required.

This web service will be discontinued at some point after December 31, 2010.

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