October 25, 2005
Internet Librarian :: Day 1 :: Web Services
Monday, October 24, 2005, 2:15pm
Web Services: Enabling a New Generation of Library Technology, Frank Cervone and Larry Mrazek
Frank Cervone, Northwestern University
What are web services?
- A set of infrastructure components such as SOPA, WSDL, and UDDI
- Application-orientated services over the web: technologies, standards, business models
- A new breed of web applications, but they tend to be much smaller and self-contained. They really only do one specific thing, and are self-describing. Some are very simplistic and others enable whole complex business processes.
- Comprised of a service provider, service requestor and a service registry.
- Implemented via http and xml as the wrapper for transmitting data packets through the protocol.
- It is implemented in layers
SOAP: Simple object access protocol - the envelope that sends packets of information around to the provider
WSDL (web services descriptive language): Metadata that describes what a service is and what it can do, implemented through 'interactions'.
UDDI: Kind of like a DNS
SRU/SRW: Interesting for libraries, a replacement for Z39.50 implemented through XML. Uses REST (representational state transfer) to perform 3 basic operations:
- Explain: returns location of the database, what it contains
Idea of 'loose coupling' and connecting and disconnecting from services as we need to, and not having to develop otherwise complex programmatic applications. This expands the uses of library data and integrates more tightly with the ILS.
Larry Mrazek, LCM Research Inc.
Possible uses of web services in libraries:
- provide additional content for library catalogs
- readers advisory service
- collection development
- custom search interface
- supply content for custom portals
- integrate information with other sources (ex. Maps with business location data)
- information gathering
- interlibrary loan
- friends of libraries/fundraising
Suppliers and Sample Uses of Web Services:
- Amazon (book search, alexa): appending list of books to blogs; creation of min amazons, complete with shopping cart and search engine
- Google: interaction with handheld devices
- Yahoo: custom site search
Benefits of Web Services:
Access to information from the vendor. Amazon's e-commerce services provide access to the following:
- product images, reviews, etc
- complete control over search criteria
- platform neutral
- cost (free in most cases)
- usage restrictions
- content quality
- reliance on single source for data without any contractual obligations
- restrictions on content due to copyright and other issues
- XML/XSL Tools
XML Professional Suite www.altova.com
Stylus Studio www.stylusstudio.com
- Application Development Tools
More examples available at the LCM Research website.
Posted on October 25, 2005 1:23 AM to conferences