When we start a development sprint, as a UI / UX team, we will make sure that as a priority, that we identify all of the web services that we will need to consume. We then, define the parameters needed to call the service and generally, we will create a JSON object that we will expect the service to return us.
This helps us shorten the critical path by making sure that the service developers can prioritize their work efficiently, and also move development of web service stubs to the front of their work queue. This process doesn’t always work perfectly and we are sometimes (often) in a position where the web service developers are days away from even making us a stub, so rather than postponing our own critical path work until later in our sprint, we can pretend we have a working web service using JSON mocking! Hooray!
The Tool : Mockjax
The library I use to fake a working web service is MockJax. It is wonderfully simple.
- The library seamlessly wraps jQuery’s $.ajax command.
- You write your ajax call as you would if your service already existed
- In your page setup init function, you just once, setup an override based on the URL (and optionally POST type, etc), which can redirect to a function, or a static JSON text file, or another url
- When you call your $.ajax, the wrapper checks it’s override dictionary for a match, and if it finds one, it intercepts the call and serves your alternate mock data.