Woohoo! Zhubert Has a Webservice!
This just makes me incredibly happy. And yes, this shows you that I’m still way behind on my blogging.
Zhubert is now making his data available as xml. See his post to get more details. I’ll definitely be doing this for the NET GEMS project when we go public with our data. And I want to see others do it as well. Major, major, major kudos for Zhubert. Now, two thoughts...
Ultimately, the goal is that resources need to be accessible programmatically on the web in a structured format, and xml is a great way to do it. Most webservices out there user SOAP as their method of building webservices. That’s what .NET 1.1 seems to do by default, and I’ve heard it’s a little of a hassle to do otherwise. The webservices I’ve done have all been .NET to .NET, and it has worked great and is very simple. Zhubert’s doesn’t use SOAP, but that’s just fine. I can use it as is, and will hopefully be able to do so sooner rather than later. And I’m not sure there is any real advantage in this case for you to mess with SOAP.
Also, what shall we standardize for passing this data back and forth? That is a good question. The first comment on your entry (by Anonymous) mentions OSIS. There is a lot of great stuff about OSIS. It’s a good standard. And it’s a standard, which is always good to have. I plan on outputing NET GEMS data in an OSIS format if one exists for the data (which is not the case at the moment, I do not believe -- no syntactical markup standards are available to my knowledge). But, I think Zhubert is right. There is a lot of overhead there. I would suggest making the data available in both OSIS format and a simpler format as well. That’s my plan.