Advice on web framework for building apps to present Spark data


I am really enjoying my time with my Spark and have mostly focused on accessing the cloud via a dedicated REST client which works fine but is a bit kludgy. (It is good for testing, but it is not terribly intuitive.)

I want to graduate to provide a basic (and maybe in the future more advanced) web interface and am pondering the best language to start with. My knowledge is a couple of years old and previously revolved around PHP and Active Server Pages. More recently, I have spent some time with Python.

This brings me to my question, I am hobbyist and am not looking for large scale enterprise class type stuff, but want something that works reasonably rapidly and efficiently. I just wrote an app that relies on Python to access data from the Spark Cloud and then PHP to present information. (PHP calls the scripts and then outputs the results on a web page.) However, this approach feels inefficient. (<- Could be over-thinking this! :smile:)

Is there another language or strategy that I should think about? I have been exploring Django, but it seems to do far more than I need. On the flip side, perhaps I should just stick with PHP/Python for now since I am fairly comfortable with it.

Any thoughts or opinions are appreciated!

I don’t know of your intended use cases, but have you given the Spark Dashboard a try?

There are also other threads on this forum dealing with Azure, Google, Xively, …

If you search for “graph”, you’ll find some more :wink:

If you’re using Python already, I would recommend the Flask “micro-framework” ( It’s pretty easy to get started and it’s way simpler than Django.

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Node.js in combination with the SparkJS library seems to work nicely. The neat thing about node is the fact that it’s written in javascript, so both your server and client are written with the same language. It’s also fairly easy to learn, and you can create some very nice things with it. I’ve been playing with the MEAN stack for a bit and it’s relatively easy to learn, despite never having used any of the related technologies before.

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Thank you for the comments! I will check out Flask and Node.js. If anyone else has any suggestions, please let me know.

Since PHP is in your wheelhouse perhaps you’d be interested in the phpSpark project? It’s been a joint project between myself and another Spark community member.

Here’s an example of using said library to generate a useful webpage: phpSparkDashboard