I like Ember a lot, But I'm Worried


I like Ember a lot…

But, I’m worried about transitioning to it. I work on a data-heavy site that is ~300 jsp pages. We need to get out from under jsp and into a framework that will bring structure, separation of concerns & modern JS goodness to our messy world. :slight_smile:

Here’s what I’m afraid of: Ember data pretty much insists on APIs that are actually RESTful . Some of our APIs are, some are not. The APIs that back our simple pages return lists of items from: /api/stuff/. I can PUT to /api/stuff/33, but I can’t GET /api/stuff/33. GET for a single record returns a 503. :-/

On page load, some of our pages make 12 sequential ajax calls, sometimes munging the data in the success handler of one call before making the next.

I’m sure that if I could get the back-end devs to clean up the APIs, we could build on ember and ultimately have a much better product. But, this would be lots of work, and hard to make happen. Without APIs that are actually restful, I suspect I’m going have a very painful road ahead going with Ember & ember data.



You don’t have to start out with Ember Data, you can just return an AJAX call (or fetch) inside the model call. So you could start out just fetching the raw JSON and slowly transition calls to Ember Data as the API is cleaned up over time.


All the benefits you describe about ember are absolutely NOT dependent on embder-data. ember-data is optional and available for ease of use when working with RESTful APIs which is the common situation most Ember apps run with. That does not mean it is required in any way.

I’ve worked on apps that were 100% ember-data free and they worked just fine and brought all those sweet benefits you described. You have choices here. If you wanted to take on the task of making custom adapters/serializers you can use ember-data with your API, you can also ignore ember-data and go for manual AJAX calls, or you can do a mix of both.


@localpcguy, @sukima,

Thanks! I’ve been getting myself wrapped around the “I have to use Ember Data now” axel. Great to know that I can just wait till the API mess is under control to start using it.

Thanks again for your help!


Plus you can use ember data for different, weird API. You can quite easily overwrite every adapter method that do request to backend to handle you’re specific behavior


You could also start using it right now. For endpoints which are already implementing JSON:API go with the defaults. If the endpoint is already RESTful customize Adapter and Serializer to match the current implementation. If it’s not yet RESTful, you may be still able to customize the Adapter and Serializer to match it. There is not restriction preventing you, to implement a Adapter which is using POST to fetch records. If this doesn’t work out for some endpoints, you could use fetch and push the record to store manually - or if you don’t need them in store (e.g. they don’t have a relationship to any other object in store), just go with it. This would allow you a smooth transition.

Also have in mind that endpoints which do not represent entities but actions for example, fetch is mostly a better solution than fighting ember-data. Also have a look at this discussion.


You can change the urls for the different request types of a model by using https://github.com/amiel/ember-data-url-templates

There is also https://github.com/mike-north/ember-api-actions for non-crud endpoints.

Or just not use ED, just using ember-fetch or ember-ajax.