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Why Accessing Data for Document Generation via a RESTful API (XML or JSON) is Recommended

By Ian Peterson | 2023 Jul 26

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While Fluent fully supports connecting directly to various database providers, we strongly recommend wrapping your database in a RESTful service for enhanced efficiency and security. Direct connection is fine for testing and may seem simpler than using a RESTful API at first glance. However, it can have significant downsides; for example, you’ll need to update all your templates if you change the way your data is organized. In addition, there are increased security risks from a direct database connection, and you can run into problems if you want to increase document generation.

In this blog post, we will explore the advantages of accessing XML or JSON data for document generation through a RESTful API instead of connecting directly to a database. With easier template modifications, better data security and access control, and even improved scalability and performance, adopting a RESTful API approach offers significant benefits.

1. Simplified Template Modifications

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When accessing data via a RESTful API, you gain the advantage of decoupling your document templates from the database schema. As a result, modifications to the database schema won't require you to update or modify your templates extensively. Instead, you can make a slight change in your RESTful service to accommodate the schema changes. This decoupling ensures that document generation remains unaffected by database updates, saving you time and effort in template maintenance.

2. Enhanced Database Security and Access Control

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By accessing data through a RESTful API, you introduce an additional layer of security and access control to your document generation process. Here's how:

  • Authentication and Authorization: With a RESTful API, you can implement robust authentication and authorization mechanisms to control access to your database. This ensures that only authorized users or systems can retrieve data for document generation, protecting sensitive information.
  • Reduced Exposure: By wrapping your database with a RESTful API, you limit direct access to the database from external systems or applications. This minimizes the exposure of your database to potential security risks, such as unauthorized access or malicious attacks.
  • Data Validation and Sanitization: A RESTful API allows you to implement data validation and sanitization techniques at the API layer, ensuring that only clean and validated data is used for document generation. This helps prevent security vulnerabilities caused by untrusted or malicious data.
  • Logging and Auditing: Implementing a RESTful API enables you to log and audit data access and document generation activities, facilitating compliance requirements and providing a traceable trail of actions performed on the data.

3. Improved Scalability and Performance

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By utilizing a RESTful API for data access, you gain scalability and performance benefits for your document generation process. Here's how:

  • Caching: A RESTful API can leverage caching mechanisms to store frequently accessed data, reducing the load on the database and improving response times during document generation.
  • Load Balancing: With a RESTful API, you can distribute the load across multiple servers or instances, ensuring optimal performance even during peak demand periods. This scalability allows for efficient and timely document generation regardless of the volume of requests.
  • Asynchronous Processing: A RESTful API facilitates asynchronous processing, enabling you to handle document generation requests in parallel. This enhances performance by freeing up resources for concurrent processing and reducing waiting times.

Accessing data for document generation via a RESTful API (XML or JSON) offers significant advantages over connecting directly to a database. By decoupling templates from database schema changes, you simplify template modifications. Additionally, leveraging a RESTful API provides enhanced database security and access control, protecting your data from unauthorized access and ensuring compliance. Furthermore, improved scalability and performance through caching, load balancing, and asynchronous processing optimize the document generation process.


Unlock the power of document generation with Apryse. Simplify document assembly, enhance efficiency, and streamline your processes. Get started today!"

At Apryse, we recommend adopting a RESTful API approach for accessing data, enabling you to harness these benefits and streamline your document generation workflow. Experience the power of efficient and secure data access for document generation by integrating our Fluent Java Engine with a RESTful API. You can also discover the process of implementing document generation through web calls with a RESTful Fluent engine.

Contact us today to learn more about how our solutions can enhance your document generation process and maximize your productivity, or sign up for a free trial.

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Ian Peterson

Software Engineer

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