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We're building an iOS app for BarbadosPropertyList.com. The iOS app needs to query the website and download recent listings data, including titles, datestamps, thumbnails and custom fields.

We would like to know the best practice for querying WordPress data from an external app?

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different solutions

  • use the rss or atom-feed (each is xml) and parse it; has always fast and sure the post and data inside; easy to use with different langugage, all frameworks has implement for parse xml.

  • use the xmlrpc interface; but is optional in WP and you must read the documentation for the API

  • scan the wesite, parse the html; but not sure, different errors and more.

  • you can also include the wp-load.php from the install and use all wp-solutions in php, query and so on; but i think it is in problem to get th rights form the users of your App.

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We thought about RSS, but it only feeds a few entries ( we have hundreds of listings ) and it does not include custom data. Not sure how to query it either. – jnthnclrk Feb 13 '12 at 12:46
yes, only few entries; but you can save the entries via App and crawl only the new one. – bueltge Feb 13 '12 at 14:20
Hmmm. Then it would be possible to miss content. The user would have to check in every day with the app to be sure not to miss any content. – jnthnclrk Feb 14 '12 at 10:52
use a cron inside the app, all smartphones can do this. Alternativ is the best way about the xmlrpc, but this optional in all wp installs. – bueltge Feb 14 '12 at 13:34

there's also the json api plugin http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/json-api/ it's pretty robust, and probably easiest to use.

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Luckily, there's a number of ways to do this so there's no "right way" per se; it's whatever is easiest for you. In my opinion, the path of least resistance is to setup a custom RSS feed. You can have it up and running in 10 minutes and only include the exact listings you want.

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if you include an custom rss feed, then can you also include an access for an custom query, is faster and cleaner. I think he will no plugins or other one to the wp install of the customer. – bueltge Feb 14 '12 at 13:33
Do you have anymore details on this approach? – jnthnclrk Feb 14 '12 at 15:56

Check out hookpress, http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/hookpress/

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