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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 l.jpg

Gedcom CGI Protocol and Web Services

John FinlayPhpGedView Project Manager


The problem l.jpg
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 l.jpg

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 l.jpg

Success

0 @I1@ 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


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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 l.jpg

Client

search

get

update

success

success

success

xref=I1

0 @I1@ INDI

1 NAME /Finlay/

1 BIRT

Query=finlay

0 @I1@ 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 l.jpg
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 l.jpg

Individual A

0 @I1@ INDI

1 NAME Individual /A/

1 SEX M

1 FAMS @F1@

Individual B

0 @I1@ INDI

1 NAME Individual /B/

1 SEX F

1 FAMS @gedcom://remote1.com/gedcomX/F1@

1 FAMC @F1@

Family F1

0 @F1@ FAM

1 HUSB @I1@

1 WIFE @gedcom://remote2.com/gedcomY/I1@

1 MARR

2 DATE 24 MAR 2005

2 PLAC Provo, Utah, Utah

Family F1

0 @F1@ FAM

1 HUSB @I2@

1 WIFE @I3@

1 MARR

2 DATE 24 MAR 1975

2 PLAC Provo, Utah, Utah

1 CHIL @I1@

Gedcom X on remote1.com

Gedcom Y on remote2.com

Father I2

Mother I3

Using the protocol to Link Gedcoms


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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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