Introducing the SPA JQuery Library

by User Not Found | Feb 23, 2012

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If you're using JQuery to call AJAX methods and to perform DOM manipulations, have we got a library for you!  To make things super simple for integrating with our Smart Publish API (SPA), we've developed a small javascript library that encapsulates the classes and methods for interacting with the SPA services. In this article, I'll walk you through using the api to order a random product from our catalog using an image served up by

Let's start with a sequence diagram that details the interactions of a content creation application (Client) and the SPA JQuery Lib (SPA Lib).  

Client to SPA Library Sequence

In this sequence, after the content is created by the app, it initializes the library by instantiating a SPA object.  This object orchestrates building up the order and communicating with the SPA services. The sequence then details how the order is populated with an item and image, how the billing and shipping information is set, how the order is submitted, and then finalized through the CheckOut call.  This sequence is just an example of the flow of calls into the library.  If it doesn't work for your app, feel free to deviate from it to suit your needs.

Now that we have a sequence of calls to be made, let's go through some code to make it happen.  We'll have a very simple web page that only displays a running log of the interactions with the SPA library. We'll use JQuery to append messages to a span so we can see where we're at in the flow.  The javascript that instantiates the spa object and starts things off will be executed from the JQuery $(document).ready function. 

To begin with, you'll need to reference the JQuery library, either from a local copy or through a CDN version (as shown below), and  the SPA JS library. If you're writing a self contained web app, you can download the file from the linked location to have a local copy, but we recommend referencing it from our services in case we need to make a bug fix (we promise not to change the interfaces though).  We'll also place all of our other logic within a script tag in the head. From this point forward, the code detailed in this post is inside of this tag. 

So far, we've added this to the head area of the html page:

<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
    //Code from post goes here

We're now ready to use the SPA javascript classes.  The library contains a main class called SPA (genius, right?) that is used for encapsulating an order, product catalog, and RESTful service configuration properties.  There are data classes as well, that represent the components of the order that you can new up and add to the order. Some of these classes contain helper methods to perform operations on them.

The SPA constructor takes in the Root URL to the services and the API Key that is generated in our Partner Workspace Applications page (you need to be signed up to see this page).  The API Key uniquely identifies your application and is used to tie orders back to your company.  This ensures that you get paid for the orders placed through your application, so make sure you create your own!  We'll be using a test API Key for the code samples in this post.Since we're going to start processing when the page loads, we'll use the document ready JQuery method to create a spa object and go get the catalog.  Here's what it looks like:

//scoping spa at the global level so that we can access it in other functions
var spa = null;
$(document).ready(function () {
    //instantiate SPA with the rest root URI and the APIKey (REMEMBER TO CHANGE THE API KEY TO YOUR OWN)
    spa = new SPA("", "01dfd4d6da14491ebbf9745d7c9e0891");
    //get the catalog so we know what's available and their prices
    $("#status").text("Getting Catalog");
    spa.GetCatalog({ Success: PlaceOrder, Error: ErrorFunc });   
function PlaceOrder(msg) {
    //We'll talk about this next
function ErrorFunc(response, textStatus, errorThrown) {
    $("#status").append("<br/>Error while calling service. status = " + textStatus + " errorThrown = " + errorThrown);
    if (response.responseText)
        $("#status").append("<br/>   response.responseText = " + response.responseText);

A couple of things of interest in the above code block: spa is declared outside of any function so it is global in scope (very helpful since we're doing asynchronous actions), and the spa.GetCatalog call takes in an object with properties of Success and Error as all of our asynchronous methods do. The values of these properties are functions to call upon Success and Error. Both of these methods should accept parameters similar to the JQuery $.ajax success and error properties.  If an error occurs on the service side due to business logic or validation rule violation, the response.responseText property will contain a status json string that defines the error code and error description that will tell you what the problem was.  If we're successful in getting the catalog, we're now ready to start populating the order that was created when we instantiated the spa object.

The PlaceOrder function selects a random item from the catalog adds it to the order with an image provided by, a great site if you're looking for placeholder images.

function PlaceOrder(msg) {
    $("#status").append("<br/>Catalog Retrieved");
    //Normally we would now present the catalog to the customer for product selection,
    //but for the demo's sake, we'll randomly pick an item and order it.
    var from = 0;
    var to = spa.Catalog.Products.length - 1;
    var itemIndex = Math.floor(Math.random() * (to - from + 1) + from);
    var catalogItem = spa.Catalog.Products[itemIndex];
    $("#status").append("<br/>Ordering " + catalogItem.Name);
    //add a line for the catalog item and a quantity
    var lineItem = spa.AddLineItem(catalogItem, 1);
    //add page 1 to the line item;
    var page = new SPAPage(1);
    //add asset to the page. The fourth parameter to the SPAAsset constructor is the crop string.  It is a comma separated list
    //  of numeric values that define the reference height and width, the inner coordinates of the area to place on the product,
    //  the rotation to apply to the cropped image, and a bit indicating whether to flip the image. The format is
    //  below (ommiting the brackets)
    //       [the width of original image], [height of original image], [left x coordinate], [top y corrdinate], 
    //       [right x coordinate], [bottom y coordinate], [angle], [flip 1=yes 0=no]
    var asset = new SPAAsset(1, "Jeff's FB Profile Pic", "", "1024,768,0,0,1024,768,0,0", null);
    //add billTo using the AddBillTo method
    spa.AddBillTo("Jeff", "Bloom", "5852592897", "", null, "155 Bellwood Dr.", null, "Rochester", "NY", "14626", "US");
    //add shipTo using alternative method. There is a spa.AddShipTo method if you want to use it.
    var shipAddress = new SPAAddress("418 Mudvail Lane", null, "Rochester", "NY", "14626", "US");
    var shipToPerson = new SPAPerson("Jeff", "Bloom", "5555555555", "", null, shipAddress);
    spa.Order.ShipTo = shipToPerson;
    $("#status").append("<br/>Submitting Order");
    //submit the order
    spa.SubmitOrder({ Success: OrderSuccess, Error: ErrorFunc });   

I've tried to comment the code as much as possible, so hopefully you get the gist of what's going on there.  The few things to note is that after spa.SubmitOrder is called each of the line items in the Lines array now contains a property called LinePreviewThumbnail. The value is a URL to an image that is a composite of the asset and the product which can be used to represent the product being ordered to the customer.  spa.OrderTotal is also populated which contains properties for TotalItemPrice, TotalTax, TotalShipping, and TotalPrice (the sum of the other three).

At this point, we've built up an order and submitted it to the SPA services. We can display product graphics with the customer images applied, and can display how much it's going to cost to produce the order.  The only thing left now is to perform a checkout by sending up the payment information to the service.  Since all of our services require HTTPS, this will be a secure transaction.

function OrderSuccess(msg) {
    //make sure we have totals
    if (spa.OrderTotal.TotalPrice) {
        $("#status").append("<br/>Order Submitted. OrderId = " + spa.OrderId + " Order Total = " + spa.OrderTotal.TotalPrice);
        //checkout here
        $("#status").append("<br/>Calling Checkout");
        spa.CheckOut("5328241721194789", "11", "2012", "123", {Success: CheckoutSuccess, Error: ErrorFunc})
        alert("no totals! :(");
function CheckoutSuccess(msg) {
    $("#status").append("<br/>Checkout Success! Order is complete. OrderID = " + spa.OrderId + " ETA = " + spa.ETA);

After the CheckOut method is called, the spa.ETA property is populated with the expected delivery time for the order. With that, we're done!  The order has been placed and it's on it's way to be fulfilled and delivered to your customer, and you also have some money coming your way based on the profit margins you set in your product catalog (you need to be signed up to see this page). 

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