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Zend_Service_Nirvanix

Introduction

Nirvanix provides an Internet Media File System (IMFS), an Internet storage service that allows applications to upload, store and organize files and subsequently access them using a standard Web Services interface. An IMFS is distributed clustered file system, accessed over the Internet, and optimized for dealing with media files (audio, video, etc). The goal of an IMFS is to provide massive scalability to deal with the challenges of media storage growth, with guaranteed access and availability regardless of time and location. Finally, an IMFS gives applications the ability to access data securely, without the large fixed costs associated with acquiring and maintaining physical storage assets.

Registering with Nirvanix

Before you can get started with Zend_Service_Nirvanix, you must first register for an account. Please see the » Getting Started page on the Nirvanix website for more information.

After registering, you will receive a Username, Password, and Application Key. All three are required to use Zend_Service_Nirvanix.

API Documentation

Access to the Nirvanix IMFS is available through both SOAP and a faster REST service. Zend_Service_Nirvanix provides a relatively thin PHP 5 wrapper around the REST service.

Zend_Service_Nirvanix aims to make using the Nirvanix REST service easier but understanding the service itself is still essential to be successful with Nirvanix.

The » Nirvanix API Documentation provides an overview as well as detailed information using the service. Please familiarize yourself with this document and refer back to it as you use Zend_Service_Nirvanix.

Features

Nirvanix's REST service can be used effectively with PHP using the » SimpleXML extension and Zend_Http_Client alone. However, using it this way is somewhat inconvenient due to repetitive operations like passing the session token on every request and repeatedly checking the response body for error codes.

Zend_Service_Nirvanix provides the following functionality:

  • A single point for configuring your Nirvanix authentication credentials that can be used across the Nirvanix namespaces.

  • A proxy object that is more convenient to use than an HTTP client alone, mostly removing the need to manually construct HTTP POST requests to access the REST service.

  • A response wrapper that parses each response body and throws an exception if an error occurred, alleviating the need to repeatedly check the success of many commands.

  • Additional convenience methods for some of the more common operations.

Getting Started

Once you have registered with Nirvanix, you're ready to store your first file on the IMFS. The most common operations that you will need to do on the IMFS are creating a new file, downloading an existing file, and deleting a file. Zend_Service_Nirvanix provides convenience methods for these three operations.

$auth = array('username' => 'your-username',
              'password' => 'your-password',
              'appKey'   => 'your-app-key');

$nirvanix = new Zend_Service_Nirvanix($auth);
$imfs = $nirvanix->getService('IMFS');

$imfs->putContents('/foo.txt', 'contents to store');

echo $imfs->getContents('/foo.txt');

$imfs->unlink('/foo.txt');

The first step to using Zend_Service_Nirvanix is always to authenticate against the service. This is done by passing your credentials to the Zend_Service_Nirvanix constructor above. The associative array is passed directly to Nirvanix as POST parameters.

Nirvanix divides its web services into » namespaces. Each namespace encapsulates a group of related operations. After getting an instance of Zend_Service_Nirvanix, call the getService() method to create a proxy for the namespace you want to use. Above, a proxy for the IMFS namespace is created.

After you have a proxy for the namespace you want to use, call methods on it. The proxy will allow you to use any command available on the REST API. The proxy may also make convenience methods available, which wrap web service commands. The example above shows using the IMFS convenience methods to create a new file, retrieve and display that file, and finally delete the file.

Understanding the Proxy

In the previous example, we used the getService() method to return a proxy object to the IMFS namespace. The proxy object allows you to use the Nirvanix REST service in a way that's closer to making a normal PHP method call, as opposed to constructing your own HTTP request objects.

A proxy object may provide convenience methods. These are methods that the Zend_Service_Nirvanix provides to simplify the use of the Nirvanix web services. In the previous example, the methods putContents(), getContents(), and unlink() do not have direct equivalents in the REST API. They are convenience methods provided by Zend_Service_Nirvanix that abstract more complicated operations on the REST API.

For all other method calls to the proxy object, the proxy will dynamically convert the method call to the equivalent HTTP POST request to the REST API. It does this by using the method name as the API command, and an associative array in the first argument as the POST parameters.

Let's say you want to call the REST API method » RenameFile, which does not have a convenience method in Zend_Service_Nirvanix:

$auth = array('username' => 'your-username',
              'password' => 'your-password',
              'appKey'   => 'your-app-key');

$nirvanix = new Zend_Service_Nirvanix($auth);
$imfs = $nirvanix->getService('IMFS');

$result = $imfs->renameFile(array('filePath' => '/path/to/foo.txt',
                                  'newFileName' => 'bar.txt'));

Above, a proxy for the IMFS namespace is created. A method, renameFile(), is then called on the proxy. This method does not exist as a convenience method in the PHP code, so it is trapped by __call() and converted into a POST request to the REST API where the associative array is used as the POST parameters.

Notice in the Nirvanix API documentation that sessionToken is required for this method but we did not give it to the proxy object. It is added automatically for your convenience.

The result of this operation will either be a Zend_Service_Nirvanix_Response object wrapping the XML returned by Nirvanix, or a Zend_Service_Nirvanix_Exception if an error occurred.

Examining Results

The Nirvanix REST API always returns its results in XML. Zend_Service_Nirvanix parses this XML with the SimpleXML extension and then decorates the resulting SimpleXMLElement with a Zend_Service_Nirvanix_Response object.

The simplest way to examine a result from the service is to use the built-in PHP functions like print_r():

 'your-username',
              'password' => 'your-password',
              'appKey'   => 'your-app-key');

$nirvanix = new Zend_Service_Nirvanix($auth);
$imfs = $nirvanix->getService('IMFS');

$result = $imfs->putContents('/foo.txt', 'fourteen bytes');
print_r($result);
?>

Zend_Service_Nirvanix_Response Object
(
    [_sxml:protected] => SimpleXMLElement Object
        (
            [ResponseCode] => 0
            [FilesUploaded] => 1
            [BytesUploaded] => 14
        )
)

You can access any property or method of the decorated SimpleXMLElement. In the above example, $result->BytesUploaded could be used to see the number of bytes received. Should you want to access the SimpleXMLElement directly, just use $result->getSxml().

The most common response from Nirvanix is success (ResponseCode of zero). It is not normally necessary to check ResponseCode because any non-zero result will throw a Zend_Service_Nirvanix_Exception. See the next section on handling errors.

Handling Errors

When using Nirvanix, it's important to anticipate errors that can be returned by the service and handle them appropriately.

All operations against the REST service result in an XML return payload that contains a ResponseCode element, such as the following example:


   0

When the ResponseCode is zero such as in the example above, the operation was successful. When the operation is not successful, the ResponseCode is non-zero and an ErrorMessage element should be present.

To alleviate the need to repeatedly check if the ResponseCode is non-zero, Zend_Service_Nirvanix automatically checks each response returned by Nirvanix. If the ResponseCode indicates an error, a Zend_Service_Nirvanix_Exception will be thrown.

$auth = array('username' => 'your-username',
              'password' => 'your-password',
              'appKey'   => 'your-app-key');
$nirvanix = new Zend_Service_Nirvanix($auth);

try {

  $imfs = $nirvanix->getService('IMFS');
  $imfs->unlink('/a-nonexistant-path');

} catch (Zend_Service_Nirvanix_Exception $e) {
  echo $e->getMessage() . "\n";
  echo $e->getCode();
}

In the example above, unlink() is a convenience method that wraps the DeleteFiles command on the REST API. The filePath parameter required by the » DeleteFiles command contains a path that does not exist. This will result in a Zend_Service_Nirvanix exception being thrown with the message "Invalid path" and code 70005.

The » Nirvanix API Documentation describes the errors associated with each command. Depending on your needs, you may wrap each command in a try block or wrap many commands in the same try block for convenience.

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