ALERT: Changes to legacy Trackernet and ESUI feeds

IMPORTANT Alert for users of the legacy Trackernet and ESUI feeds

We want to let you know about a necessary re-platforming change we will be making to our open data resources that are hosted on http://cloud.tfl.gov.uk/ which will require updates to apps using these feed(s):

If your apps are using these feeds, please read the information below about the changes, and how you can test in advance.

What are the changes and why are they being actioned?
We try to avoid making breaking changes to our open data, but the cloud platform the legacy Trackernet and ESUI feeds currently sit on is being deprecated by Microsoft, and needs to be moved across to a different server. Users should experience improved overall performance, as one of the benefits from this change.

Once re-platformed, the following changes will be implemented:

  • The API’s operations will be served over HTTPS on the api.tfl.gov.uk domain.
  • The API will be added to the existing subscriptions and will appear within the API Portal https://api-portal.tfl.gov.uk.
  • Calls to the API will need to be signed with your account’s subscription key to avoid the anonymous rate-limiting rules.

No changes to the data structure in XML responses are included within this change.

What happens next?

  • We will be setting up a new pre-prod environment with new API URLs, for wk. beg. 1st July.
  • Once this is ready, we will share the new API URL’s on this post - so you can test the new configuration ahead of LIVE rollout
    NOTE: if you encounter any issues whilst testing or have questions about managing the change in your apps, you will be able to post here and we will do our best to help you.
  • cloud.tfl.gov.uk will be redirected after the transition period.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments about this - please add a reply below.

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Hello,

As someone that is quite heavily reliant on the data within the “legacy” TrackerNet feeds, may I please have some clarity on the following:

  • What will be the rate-limits for accessing these feeds on the new platform?
  • Will these rate-limits be strictly enforced, or serve as fair-use guidance only?
  • What will be the update/refresh frequency of data on the new platform?
  • Will the data available via the new platform be updated to include new changes to the network? For example the PredictionSummary feed is still not available for Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station - is this likely to change?

Unfortunately until the Unified API is updated to include many of the additional bits of information that TrackerNet provides, I don’t see myself moving away from these feeds anytime soon despite them being “deprecated”.

Hi @arturs

  • What will be the rate-limits for accessing these feeds on the new platform?

Any calls to the /TrackerNet endpoints will contribute to the overall rate that is included with the subscription. This will usually be 500 requests per minute.

  • Will these rate-limits be strictly enforced, or serve as fair-use guidance only?

Yes, as with the other endpoints in our API Management platform, once you hit the rate limiter, further requests will be returned with a 429 Too Many Requests HTTP response code. The rate limiter resets every minute.

  • What will be the update/refresh frequency of data on the new platform?

We’re not aware of any changes to the data refresh frequency - I’ll ask for confirmation for that from the development team

*Will the data available via the new platform be updated to include new changes to the network?

We’re aware of the issues with stations missing from the PredictionDetailed endpoints for stations. I am hoping that the development team have incorporated the missing codes into the construct to allow the Battersea Power Station branch of the Northern line and the recently re-signalled stations on the sub-surface lines to be included. There is an open ticket with my colleagues to address that issue. The latest is that they have identified all the missing stations and mapped the correct codes. I will try to get confirmation about when this will be fixed.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Many thanks,
James

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Is this a good time to ask about a ‘push’ feed of Trackernet data? There are use cases for being able to consume data for an entire line over a Websocket connection, rather than making repeated API calls - similar to the ‘push’ feed of bus data.

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Hi, great question! We provide Tube arrivals over Websocket (or more specifically, SignalR), which is how the live arrivals on our station web pages work. If you want to consume data for an entire line, you would need to subscribe to each station on that line.

This does, however, have the same limitations as regular HTTP requests to the Unified API (e.g. no track section IDs). We would love to provide some sort of push feed with this additional data in the future. Although I cannot promise anything right now, we are working on a long term plan for our live data systems and hope to address many of the limitations of our current live data feeds.

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