UBC Undergraduate Research

ION API for electronic signage : final report Hazlett, Scott


This report investigates a practical approach to integrating a database with UBC’s Enterprise Cool Sign infrastructure that powers all campus electronic signs. UBC’s ION database collects real-time electricity usage data for all buildings on campus but the data is relatively inaccessible. This project designed and deployed an ION database API that serves to channel this real-time data to electronic signs across both university campuses. The ION API is underpinned by an Apache webserver running Perl CGI scripts that service HTTP GET requests with URL parameters. The ION API was designed to reduce load on the ION database by caching previous search results. Furthermore, the ION API attempts to present the raw data in a graphical way that is appealing to passerby’s so as to affect societal change. Due to ongoing restructuring in the ION database, this project worked with static file of exported data from the ION database. Care was taken to read the database row by row to closely mimic the live database. The ION API was a success deployment allowing for two forms of operations: comparing electricity consumption for one building for the 24 hour period preceding, and another providing inter-building simple comparisons. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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