Strava is a popular tracking application for mobile devices for athletes that enable them to keep track of their sporting activities and similar to other modern web based services, Strava offers an API (Application Programming Interface) as a gateway to their user’s data.
WordPress is a CMS, where the user is primarily publishing content to the web. This content could be text, links or images but there is currently no easy way to publish data straight from Strava. My project tackles this issue by providing an easy way to find and publish Strava data, in an aesthetically in-depth and pleasing manner all within the WordPress backend.
What I wanted to discover throughout this project was how to build a piece of software that acts as an abstraction layer to an external data source. This would allow users with limited programming knowledge to publish external data easily onto their CMS platform which, within my project’s context, WordPress.
The project would require me to look into the fundamentals of how APIs and the stateless web works as well as the structures behind plugin frameworks. I also wanted to investigate the types of people that would use my plugin as well as their motivations and opinions towards similar existing services.
As a research and build project, this was a great opportunity to show the concepts of how middleware software is structured, designed and built. Several outcomes became appurtenant during the project that could be referred to as guidance for other developers on similar projects. One outcome was a blueprint of how to successfully develop such abstraction layer software. The other is a technique of measuring and user testing software like this plugin. The technique uses a combination of categorising and data coding to turn qualitative data into quantitative data. This technique would be useful for stakeholders to review similar middleware products effectively.