json-api: Utilities for generating JSON-API payloads

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Provides utilities for deriving JSON payloads conformant to the json-api specification

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Dependencies aeson, base (>=4.7 && <5.0), containers, data-default, lens, lens-aeson, text, unordered-containers, url [details]
License MIT
Copyright 2016 Todd Mohney
Author Todd Mohney
Maintainer Todd Mohney <toddmohney@gmail.com>
Category Network
Home page https://github.com/toddmohney/json-api.git#readme
Bug tracker https://github.com/toddmohney/json-api.git/issues
Source repo head: git clone https://github.com/toddmohney/json-api.git
Uploaded by toddmohney at 2019-07-31T16:36:06Z
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Reverse Dependencies 1 direct, 0 indirect [details]
Downloads 5946 total (2 in the last 30 days)
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Status Docs available [build log]
Last success reported on 2019-07-31 [all 1 reports]

Readme for json-api-

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Haskell Implementation of the JSON-API specification


From the specification itself:

If you’ve ever argued with your team about the way your JSON responses should be formatted, JSON API can be your anti-bikeshedding tool.

By following shared conventions, you can increase productivity, take advantage of generalized tooling, and focus on what matters: your application.

Clients built around JSON API are able to take advantage of its features around efficiently caching responses, sometimes eliminating network requests entirely.

All in all, API discoverability and other HATEOAS principles make JSON-API an attractive resource serialization option.

The specification

Find the specification here

Example usage

Let's start with an example User record:

data User = User
  { userId        :: Int
  , userFirstName :: String
  , userLastName  :: String
  } deriving (Eq, Show)

$(deriveJSON defaultOptions ''User)

From this, we can use the json-api package to produce a payload conformant to the JSON-API specification like so:

-- Builds the Document which will be serialized as our
-- web server's response payload
mkDocument :: User -> Links -> Document User Text Int
mkDocument usr links =
    (Singleton $ toResource usr)
    (Just links)

-- Helper function to convert a User into a resource object
-- This could be our canonical serialization function for a User in any
-- response payload
toResource :: User -> Resource User Text
toResource user =
  Resource resourceId resourceType user resourceLinks resourceMetaData
    resourceId       = ResourceId . pack . show . userId $ user
    resourceType     = ResourceType "User"
    resourceLinks    = Just $ userLinks user
    resourceMetaData = Nothing

-- helper function to build links for a User resource
userLinks :: User -> Links
userLinks user = toLinks [ ("self", selfLink) ]
    selfLink = toURL selfPath
    selfPath = "/users/" <> (show $ userId user)

When delivered as a response from a web server, for example, we get a payload that looks like this:


Neat! We can see that if we would like the full User data for the User with ID=1, we can query /users/1. Discoverability!

We can also see from the top-level links data that this particular payload originated from /users/1.

This is a very simple example to provide an introduction to the basic idea behind JSON-API and how to use this library. Check out these examples for more robust representations of resourceful payloads. Here, you'll start to see the more comprehensive benefits of a discoverable API.

Pagination Example

Let's use the same example User record:

data User = User
  { userId        :: Int
  , userFirstName :: String
  , userLastName  :: String
  } deriving (Eq, Show)

$(deriveJSON defaultOptions ''User)

Suppose we now have a list of 2 users;

let usrs =
  [ User 1 "Isaac" "Newton"
  , User 2 "Albert" "Einstein"

From this, we can use the json-api package to produce a payload for a collection with pagination links conformant to the JSON-API pagination specification like so:

let paginate = Pagination (PageIndex 1) (PageSize 1) (ResourceCount $ toEnum (length usrs))
let resourceLink = (fromJust . importURL) "/users"
let paginationLinks = mkPaginationLinks PageStrategy resourceLink paginate
let doc = mkDocument [head usrs] (Just paginationLinks) Nothing

When delivered as a response from a web server, for example, we get a payload that looks like this:

  "data": [
      "attributes": {
        "userFirstName": "Isaac",
        "userLastName": "Newton",
        "userId": 1
      "relationships": null,
      "id": "1",
      "meta": null,
      "type": "users",
      "links": null
  "meta": null,
  "included": [
  "links": {
    "next": "/users?page%5bsize%5d=1&page%5bnumber%5d=2",
    "first": "/users?page%5bsize%5d=1&page%5bnumber%5d=1",
    "last": "/users?page%5bsize%5d=1&page%5bnumber%5d=2"

The key function in the code example is mkPaginationLinks which has the following signature;

mkPaginationLinks :: Strategy -> URL -> Pagination -> Links

Strategy is a sum type that represents the different paging strategies as laid out in the JSON-API pagination specification. At the time of writing this README, the library only supports 2 paging strategies Offset and Page. Offset is a 0 index based approach unlike Page, i.e. page[offset] 0 is the same as page[number] 1.

The URL type is used to build the links that appear in the JSON payload. The Pagination type contains the requisite information for the mkPaginationLinks function to generate the paging links.

So let's break this example down. To get started we need to create a Pagination record. The first attribute of the record is PageIndex. This attribute informs the caller that the page we are looking at is the first in the entire collection (PageIndex is either a 0 based index or 1 based index depending on the Strategy). So in our example as we are using PageStrategy, PageIndex 1 implies we are after the first page. The second attribute of the record is PageSize. This atrribute tells the caller how many items can appear in the list at most. So in our example seeing there are only 2 users, a PageSize of 1 would mean that in total we have 2 pages. The third attribute is ResourceCount. This attribute is required by the function mkPaginationLinks to figure out which links to generate.

The links object in the JSON payload can have 4 attributes next, prev, first and last. This library only generates valid links. For example if the request is for the first page of a list, then the prev link is not present.

Example Project

There is an example project illustrating how the library can be used in the context of a web server.


Module documentation can be found on Hackage