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Gedcom CGI Protocol and Web Services. John Finlay PhpGedView Project Manager. The Problem. We need a way to inter-connect different genealogy systems GEDCOM provides a standard for encoding genealogy data, but we still lack a common communication protocol.

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gedcom cgi protocol and web services

Gedcom CGI Protocol and Web Services

John FinlayPhpGedView Project Manager

the problem
The Problem
  • We need a way to inter-connect different genealogy systems
  • GEDCOM provides a standard for encoding genealogy data, but we still lack a common communication protocol.
  • Other industries have tapped into this potential by offering a variety of B2B and P2P services.
gedcom communication protocol

Client

Server

GEDCOM Communication Protocol
  • Client-server system architecture.
  • The client and server communicate over HTTP
  • Data is encoded in the GEDCOM 5.5 standard
    • Lightweight specification
    • Ubiquitous among genealogy programs.

HTTP &

GEDCOM

gedcom communication protocol4

Success

0 @[email protected] INDI

1 NAME Joe /Tech/

1 SEX M

1 BIRT

2 DATE 4 OCT 1976

GEDCOM Communication Protocol
  • Every client request must specify an “action” value.
    • The “action” determines what other variables also need to be sent by the client.
  • The server will respond with data and/or a success code.

Action

Server

Client

gedcom communication protocol5

Success

SESSID abcdefg12345

GEDCOM Communication Protocol
  • Initiating a Connection
    • The client sends “connect” action.
      • Anonymous read-only session or an authenticated session by providing a username and password.
    • Client must include this session identifier with every future request.
    • The server responds with client’s unique session identifier.
    • Authenticated clients may receive greater access to private data or be allowed editing privileges.

action=connect

Server

Client

gedcom communication protocol6

Client

search

get

update

success

success

success

xref=I1

0 @[email protected] INDI

1 NAME /Finlay/

1 BIRT

Query=finlay

0 @[email protected] INDI

1 NAME John /Finlay/

I1 I2 I3 I400

Server

GEDCOM Communication Protocol
  • Query the server with the “search” or “soundex” actions
  • Request Gedcom record through the “get” action.
  • Authenticated clients can send an “update” action to update a gedcom record.
using the protocol to link gedcoms
Using the protocol to Link Gedcoms
  • Link people in different Gedcoms such that individual A in Gedcom X links to individual B in Gedcom Y.
  • Useful when trees are joined through marriages
  • Gedcom X and Gedcom Y could reside on different computers.
using the protocol to link gedcoms9

Individual A

0 @[email protected] INDI

1 NAME Individual /A/

1 SEX M

1 FAMS @[email protected]

Individual B

0 @[email protected] INDI

1 NAME Individual /B/

1 SEX F

1 FAMS @gedcom://remote1.com/gedcomX/[email protected]

1 FAMC @[email protected]

Family F1

0 @[email protected] FAM

1 HUSB @[email protected]

1 WIFE @gedcom://remote2.com/gedcomY/[email protected]

1 MARR

2 DATE 24 MAR 2005

2 PLAC Provo, Utah, Utah

Family F1

0 @[email protected] FAM

1 HUSB @[email protected]

1 WIFE @[email protected]

1 MARR

2 DATE 24 MAR 1975

2 PLAC Provo, Utah, Utah

1 CHIL @[email protected]

Gedcom X on remote1.com

Gedcom Y on remote2.com

Father I2

Mother I3

Using the protocol to Link Gedcoms
using the protocol to link gedcoms10
Using the protocol to Link Gedcoms
  • With this protocol and the simple extension of the GEDCOM specification, you can see how it would be possible to truly create that elusive world tree.
  • It allows people to maintain control and ownership over their own data, but still allow it to be shared and linked into other family trees.
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