Did you know that you can store your data in a MapQuest-hosted database and use the Search API Web Service
to query your data table? If so, you are probably familiar with the legacy Data Manager tool that is available through the MapQuest Developer Network
. Today I'm pleased to officially announce the next major release of Data Manager, which is also known as Data Manager v2.
Like any major upgrade, there are more than a few new features included in Data Manager v2 that we can't wait to tell you about:
- It’s “Spatially Aware.” You are no longer limited to storing only latitude and longitude information as text; points, lines, and polygons can be stored as geographies in data tables and can be accessed through the current version of the Search API Web Service.
- It’s a web service. Data Manager v2 functionality is exposed as a web service, which means you can manipulate data in your data table without having to upload data or make changes through the Developer Network. Data Manager v2 calls can be integrated directly into your application, so you can update data in your table(s) on the fly.
- Permissions. If you want to share your data table with other MapQuest developers, you are free to do so by setting your table as “public.” If you want to share your data table with specific MapQuest developers, you can assign custom permissions based on the ClientID of the other user. You can also control permissions by the column. Don’t worry, the default table permissions settings are ‘private.’
- Shapefile uploads. If you are familiar with desktop GIS software, you have probably encountered Shapefiles. Data Manager supports the upload of zipped shapefiles, so it’s easy to get your existing GIS data into a Data Manager table.
- Fewer rules regarding table sizes. The previous version of Data Manager had limitations placed on the number of rows and columns that could be added to a table and limitations could vary based on the product used with Data Manager. Those limitations have been simplified; instead, there two limitations placed on a Data Manager v2 table: table size and number of tables. We return the table size along with responses from select calls so that you can more easily gauge how much space is available in each of your tables. [2 tables, 10MB each for Community Edition developers and 10 tables, 100MB each for Enterprise Edition developers]
- Tables are immediately available in production. We’ve also streamlined this process by eliminating the staging environment found in the previous version of Data Manager. Many of our users chose to immediately push data tables to production with the previous version of Data Manager, so we’ve eliminated that step. Anyone who would like to have a staging table in Data Manager v2 can create two tables; one for staging and one for production, and then use the copy-table call to copy the contents of the staging table to production.
- Edit the names of tables and columns. This functionality is new to Data Manager v2, as the previous version did not offer support for changing the names of columns and tables.
Developers who are familiar with the legacy Data Manager tool* probably noticed that this tool was not
updated to work with Data Manager v2. While a direct replacement for this tool is not yet available, we've put together a sample application
that performs many of the same functions available in the legacy tool for tables hosted in Data Manager v2. We've also put together a migration guide
to help you move your data from the previous version of Data Manager to Data Manager v2.
One other detail that is important to mention: the Search API Web Service was also updated in order to support new functionality included with Data Manager v2. Applications that are using the (deprecated) Search API v1 will need to be updated to call the Search API v2. Tables stored in Data Manager v2 can be used as a data source for the Search API v2, while tables stored in the legacy Data Manager can be used as a data source for the Search API v1. Data Manager v2 tables are not accessible through the Search API v1 and vice versa.
Ready to get started? You'll want to take a look at:
As always, feel free to let us know what you think, either by visiting the Data Manager API Web Service forum
on the Developer Network or tweeting us @MapQuestTech
*The legacy Data Manager tool and Search API v1 are deprecated and will be unavailable after January 31, 2014.