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Rackspace Open Sources Cloud App Monitoring Libraries

Cloud-hosting company Rackspace has open sourced a number of its open source libraries, components, and tools in a move to evidence transparency among its cloud developer communities.

Heavily focused on tasks related to application monitoring and management, Rackspace has open sourced node-swiz, a Node.js Library that supporters claim will "do for Node what django-piston did for Python/Django" in deployment use. Node-swiz comes on the heels of two other tools recently open sourced by the cloud host: its Cassandra CQL driver and node-elementtree, a Node.js library for building and parsing XML documents.

"This is an important building block of RESTful APIs as a system for serializing/deserializing responses and validating incoming data," said Rackspace developer Tomaz Muraus.

Swiz functions are pretty simple and straightforward. Serializing, for instance, is as easy as 1,2: the user instantiates a Swiz object with a list of definitions, then calls a serialize method on the instantiated object and pass in requested format (JSON or XML) and their object. Deserializing is just as easy: simply use the deserialize method on the swiz object.

Swiz's "aha" function, however, is its ability to use the same definitions a user already used for serializing and deserializing objects to validate data, a function Muraus dubbed as Valve. Valve is Swiz's component for validating data and ensuring it conforms to the rules defined in the object definition.

The Rackspace Cloud Monitoring team is already using Swiz and Valve extensively inside the API server to deserialize and validate all the incoming data for a particular request.

"Many other frameworks already have a library available (e.g. django-piston for Python / Django), but when we started to work with Node.js there was no such library so we decided to build our own library," Muraus concluded.

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