Monday, February 14, 2011

Integration with Grand Exchange Central

I am happy to announce that Runewise is now using an API provided by Grand Exchange Central site for retrieving up-to-date prices from the GE. Yes, it is another example of integration between RS fan sites and I believe not the last one.

The whole thing makes a lot of sense, actually. Here is why.

Runewise does have a few services which need up-to-date prices from the GE. Specifically, "how much till 99" service and "inline prices" for the Advice service. Number of items these services care about is very small: just about 140; so I used to call (or should I say "screen-scrape") the GE in real time and didn't worry about it. Then the Free Trade update came about and Jagex changed the GE screens. Naturally my code stopped working, but what was more damaging, the GE itself became very unreliable and shaky (from programmatic access stand point). I couldn't use "screen-scraping" method in real-time anymore and had to start seriously monitoring my 140 items. I did that, it didn't work very well, but it worked... Then it dawned on me, why am I doing it?!... Runewise isn't about the GE, it really isn't... why should I get into this kind of business? I reached out to Absenm from the Grand Exchange Central and asked for help. He offered to create an API for me - I gladly accepted :) That was exactly what I needed: a professional RS site to take care about the GE formats, updates and changes and an easy way for me to get my 140 item prices in simple usable format in just one call!

Almost too perfect to be true, but it is true! The two Runewise's services mentioned above are based in GEC's API now.

There is one more point I'd like to make here. You see, we (as fan sites) don't have to wait for Jagex to give us more APIs. It'd be nice if they do, but we don't have to be dependent on them. In fact, if Jagex finally releases an API for the GE, I'll probably stay with GEC API anyway, because it's so simple and personalized for my needs.

That's the way to go, all our sites (not just Runewise and GEC) have their strengths and unique features/data, let's not be afraid of sharing them with others. I am not saying we have to be 100% transparent, but there is plenty of opportunities for win-win situations - we just need to be open to the idea or sharing.

47 comments:

Ricky C said...

Well this post hit home! I spent several hours this weekend trying to debug my grand exchange app on Android, I'm glad it wasn't only me. It took me that long to realize that things were randomly failing because of the pages not loading, not because of my app in any way. And of course the app did break back at the beginning of this month, but the GE pages actually weren't changed all too much (and only the item details page) so I just tweaked one little thing and it worked again.

Glad you have the API though. For the purposes of the app I'm sticking with pulling straight from RuneScape.com, but I can see how grabbing the item prices for you would be more reliable from GE Central. Hopefully they're not the ones abusing Jagex's servers and causing them to be unreliable. :)

Absenm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Absenm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex/ Runescape Bits said...

W00T this is good news! ===> Deserves a flower game!!1 lol

Merch Gwyar said...

Win! Two of my favourite sites working together! :D

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