During the API expo, the Parse API caught our interest and with the way data gains more and more importance every day, we wanted to see how far we can take the Parse API in terms of portability and applicability

What it does

Our app(s) provide multiple ways to use and visualize Bloomberg data from a Parse Database. This includes:

  • A Python game called Blasteroids which seeds it's original sprite positions based on data from the Parse database - Parse Python SDK
  • A web frontend using a .co domain that visualizes Parse data using d3.js - Parse JS SDK
  • An iOS App that visualizes the data on Parse - Parse iOS SDK
  • A hardware hack built with the Spark Core that grabs data from Parse and displays it on a 4 digit 7 segment LED display - Parse REST API

Why "forests"?

Forests signify uncharted territory. A place where you've never been before and you often get lost. This entire project was an attempt to get exposed to tech that we weren't familiar with 36 hours ago and making something amazing in that time.

Challenges I ran into

  • Seeding the Parse Database
  • I've never used a DBaaS earlier and the Parse API was central to our app
  • I've never done hardware before
  • Getting the Spark Core to work with the Parse REST API without an SDK
  • Xcode breaking due to git

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

  • First experience with hardware
  • Built a light Sinatra based utility server that served frontend files and exposed simple APIs
  • Had my first experience with iOS development
  • Wrote a script that moved data using the Bloomberg API to Parse in personal record time

What I learned

  • Using the Parse API ( and most other RESTful APIs) effectively
  • Hardware
  • Sinatra

What's next for forests

  • Improving on the basic UI's used throughout the apps
  • Android
  • Leveraging other Parse APIs to do analytics on the data
  • Combining the different apps to work with each other and work with complex database scenarios
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