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LLD Web Services

From: Ford, Kevin <kefo@loc.gov>
Date: Thu, 5 May 2011 09:42:41 -0400
To: public-lld <public-lld@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1D525027B29706438707F336D75A279F1AB164298C@LCXCLMB03.LCDS.LOC.GOV>
Dear All,

Joachim contacted me and asked, based on discussion during a telecon, if I could trim the Web Services text he and I authored for inclusion into the final report.  After reviewing the minutes of that telecon, I am operating under the assumption that it is to go in the Relevant Technologies section of the report (or, at least what appears to be the current draft) [1].  I hope so: I've tried to tailor it to that section.  I see it going after "Linked Data front-ends to existing data stores" and before "OWL and supporting tools".  I've halved the text (at least).  I'm having a devil of a time signing in to the wiki currently, so I've pasted it below.  If someone wants to paste it into the document, that would be great.



[1] http://www.w3.org/2005/Incubator/lld/wiki/Draft_Relevant_Technologies

Web Services for LLD

Many LD implementations, for a variety of reasons, can not or have not provided SPARQL endpoints (or bulk downloads).  Some LD implementations might not use a triplestore in the back-end, which is seen as a natural precursor for a SPARQL endpoint; for others, security or robustness considerations preclude such a feature in production use.  Not offering these options can hinder further resource discovery.  Furthermore, it may also not be feasible to layer a Linked Data front-end on to an existing back-end.  

Therefore LLD efforts should encourage the development of LD Web Services to facilitate greater access to the data offered by a LD Implementation.  Web Services can be offered in the absence of a SPARQL endpoint or in conjunction with one.   Web Services should be fully documented.

A few LD implementations have endeavored to implement Web Services to enhance discovery and use of resources, often by providing some form of an application programming interface (API).  Agrovoc and STW provide an API to discover resources based on relationships in the data, among many more web services.  VIAF, LC's ID, and STW offer autosuggest services for resources, delivering JSON responses ready for consumption in AJAX browser applications.  Agrovoc and STITCH/CATCH include support for pure RDF responses.  Some services provide full-fledged SOAP APIs, while others support a REST approach.   

By focusing on method parameters and response formats to provide enhanced discovery, LD Web Services diminish, if not eliminate, the requirement that data be stored in a triplestore.  And, because web service APIs are common, web services can lower the barrier to entry.
Received on Thursday, 5 May 2011 13:42:55 UTC

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