In the Lab: Taming Tweets with Talend Open Studio 5
It's been a couple of years since I reviewed Talend Open Studio, and with a major new point release from Talend in the works, now seemed like a good time to take another look at the open source data integration tool--and perhaps scratch a minor new data integration itch of my own.
As loyal eWEEK Labs blog readers will know, I've developed an interest in Google's new social networking service, Google Plus. While early (though as-yet-unfulfilled) promises of social network federation drew me in to the service initially, what's kept me around has been the Twitter-like cast of Google Plussers that inhabit my streams, without the Twitter-like space restrictions. 140 characters may be enough to say something quick and clever, but if you're looking for anything more substantial or interactive, it's tough to find it on Twitter.
Still, I want to keep interacting with my Tweeples, many of whom won't be heading to Google Plus any time soon. A few weeks ago, I set up an instance of Plusfeed on Google App Engine to convert my public Google Plus posts into an RSS feed, which I then piped to Twitter using Feedburner. The setup works well enough, but I'd prefer to have more control over the flow--for one thing, when I'm sharing a link on Google Plus, I'd prefer to pass that link along to Twitter, rather than just linking to my Google Plus post.
I took the RC3 version of Talend Open Studio 5.0, and used the tool's JSON file input component to pull in my recent Google Plus posts using the service's API. I downloaded a post-to-Twitter component from the Talend Exchange, and grabbed a third, tMap component to combine the title and any attached URL from my Google Plus posts into a tweetable message.
The toughest part of the process was figuring out the JSON parsing, which remains a work-in-progress. When I feed multiple Google Plus posts through the Talend job I created, I'm having trouble keeping attached URLs paired with their correct post titles--post without attached URLs pick up the URL attachments of subsequent posts. For now, I'm keeping things straight by processing one post at a time.
Once I get everything tweaked to my satisfaction, I'll wrap the job up in a WAR file, for deployment in a friendly neighborhood app server.
Stay tuned to eweek.com for my full review of Talend Open Studio 5.0.