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External Web Service Calls

Learn more about using external web service calls on Pantheon.

This section provides information on how to use external web service calls on Pantheon.

External Web Service Calls

It is not uncommon for API or web-service integration extensions (plugins or modules) to make calls to third-party APIs or services. These calls halt the execution of your application until a response is received due to the synchronous nature of PHP. A slow response from the external service can lead to a timeout on Pantheon.

Even the most reliable web services occasionally experience slowness. Your site might also experience network disruptions, which can also slow down external calls. These are are just two reasons why you should set a relatively low timeout threshold for the external call if you use extensions (plugins or modules) and custom code. The external web service will fail and move on to the next stage in the process if it doesn't respond within a few seconds.

Examples: Set a Timeout on an External Request

  • Set a 10 second timeout on a generic PHP curl request:

    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_CONNECTTIMEOUT, 10);
    curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_TIMEOUT, 10);
  • Set a 10 second timeout on an external request made with Drupal's drupal_http_request function:

    $options = array('timeout' => 10);
    drupal_http_request($url, $options);
  • WordPress: Add timeouts using the http_request_args filter, or the http_api_curl action. This code would go in a custom plugin or your theme's functions.php file:

    add_filter( 'http_request_args', 'pantheon_http_request_args', 100, 1 );
    function pantheon_http_request_args( $r )
        $r['timeout'] = 10;
        return $r;
    add_action( 'http_api_curl', 'pantheon_http_api_curl', 100, 1 );
    function pantheon_http_api_curl( $handle )
        curl_setopt( $handle, CURLOPT_CONNECTTIMEOUT, 10 );
        curl_setopt( $handle, CURLOPT_TIMEOUT, 10 );

Evaluate the code making the call and the service provider if you encounter frequent problems with external web services.

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