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The Weather Network

How We Made Weather Data Accessible To The Masses

Platform

Desktop Web

Industry

News & Media

Your weather when it really matters

The Weather Network is a leader in international multi-platform consumer weather and weather-related services. Specializing on a multitude of digital platforms, The Weather Network also owns and operates Canada’s only weather specialty television network.

We were tasked with designing and developing an API storefront which gives customers the ability to use The Weather Network’s weather data directly in their applications.

Why build an API Storefront?

As more platforms and ecosystems emerge such as Voice, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, etc, more and more developers look for different ways to create applications that provide value. For many applications and use-cases, the weather plays an important role, however getting access to reliable, accurate, up-to-the minute weather information is difficult for most developers. As a result, it’s important for The Weather Network to open up and unleash the information they have at their fingertips, and enable others to use that data to offer new and unique experiences.

Establishing a seamless, simple way for anyone to access an API

When developers look for an API to use to power their applications, they essentially are looking for one that can offer them the features they desire and one which they can start using as quickly as possible. 

Since The Weather Network’s API endpoints already cover a broad range of capabilities, our primary goal here was to make the storefront as seamless and frictionless as possible for any developer to obtain an API key and start using The Weather Network’s data. The easier and faster it was to get started, the better.

To tackle this, we made sure to follow API-first design principles and include:

Determining an effective, pricing model

When deciding on the pricing model to abide by, there were a number of considerations to take into account. 

Ultimately we landed on a tiered-usage model, that is composed of a base monthly subscription cost for a fixed amount of API calls, followed by an overage charge in case the user wants to go above the tier’s usage limits.

With this pricing model, we were able to ensure we provide users with predictable pricing and to ensure their applications never shut down unexpectedly. And in order to give developers the opportunity to get their feet wet with the API, we provided a free tier as well, which contains a small amount of API calls available with a maximum of 1 API key.

The best technologies for building an API Storefront

Stripe

  • Stripe is the best software platform for handling payment processing for any internet business.
  • With Stripe, we were able to handle the complexities of a subscription product as well as scaling of overage charges, as well as attribute many different types of products for a given customer.

Amazon API Gateway

  • Amazon API Gateway is a fully managed service that makes it easy for developers to create, publish, maintain, monitor, and secure APIs at any scale.
  • With Amazon API Gateway, it allowed us to handle all the tasks involved in accepting and processing up to hundreds of thousands of concurrent API calls, and distribute secure API keys to developers.

Amazon Cognito

  • Amazon Cognito allowed us to add user sign-up, sign-in, and access control to the storefront application with ease.
  • It handles user authentication and all of the surrounding complexities associated with it.

React

  • React is one of the leading JavaScript libraries for building user interfaces.
  • With React, we were able to create a dynamic, sleek looking interface that provides users with an exceptional experience.

Node.js

  • Node.js is an asynchronous event-driven JavaScript runtime, which allows us to build scalable applications.

Ant Design

  • Ant Design is one of the world’s most popular React UI frameworks in the world.
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