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Serving services Lower the barrier for users to remix the output of services . Theo van Veen, March 3 2006 Overview Goals Trends in information retrieval How do we enhance integration Explanation of the concept of service integration Demonstration of one solution (Ajax)

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Serving services l.jpg

Serving services

Lower the barrier for users to remix the output of services.

Theo van Veen, March 3 2006


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Integration of services - integration of standards

Overview

  • Goals

  • Trends in information retrieval

  • How do we enhance integration

  • Explanation of the concept of service integration

  • Demonstration of one solution (Ajax)

  • What data and service providers can do

  • Remaining issues


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Integration of services - integration of standards

Goals

  • Improve sharing of information and services

  • Bring enriched information within reach of a mouse click

  • Lower implementation barriers to create new functionality by combining existing services

  • Enhance personalization: user chooses which services to integrate


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Integration of services - integration of standards

Some trends in information retrieval

  • Web 2.0: Let users (re)mix information and services from others and themselves in their own way

  • Ajax (Asynchronous, Javascript and XML): Simultaneous requests can be sent from a web page to multiple targets. Results are retrieved asynchronously without freezing the screen and are dynamically transformed (and mixed) to new web pages.


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Integration of services - integration of standards

How to enhance integration

By:

  • standardisation of access to services

  • publishingstandard service descriptions

  • creating services registries

    But also by:

  • describing the non-standard world as it is

    • to make use of what is available now

    • to facilitate the standardisation process

  • combining (the best of) different native standards to evolve into new ones

  • describing relations between services and the metadata that might trigger those services !


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Integration of services - integration of standards

Extrapolation of OpenURL concept

  • OpenURL:

    • Vendor specific knowledge base to create OpenURL

    • User is linked to OpenURL resolver

    • Links to services are controlled by user’s institution

  • Towards (expected):

    • Service providers publish all their services

    • User selects preferred services stored in a personal knowledge base

    • User controlled criteria for invoking the service

    • Direct linking to service, automatic or on user request, based on user’s preferences, skipping the OpenURL resolver


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Integration of services - integration of standards

The components of a new concept

  • Any web page, for example showing results of a search

  • The services: any application that can be invoked by an URL

  • The user agent, which can be:

    • A browser extension (Firefox)

    • A portal running in the browser (Ajax)

    • A server side application that intercepts user requests and service responses

    • An OpenURL link resolver

  • A knowledge base containing information on services, how to access those services, which metadata should trigger a link and the user preferences with respect to handling services


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5. Request with output from service A as input

Knowledge

Base

2. Interpretation of response from service A

1. Request and response

3. Lookup metadata and services

User agent

Integration of services - integration of standards

Schematic illustration of the concept

Output from service A

Output from service A

gets link to service B

Description of service B

Service

B

4. Modify presentation and add links e.g. to service B

Service

A


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Search images of this person in Google

Integration of services - integration of standards

Demonstration of concept: add image search for creator field

<h3>HTML:<p/>

This html pages demonstrates how the field "<creator>Shakespeare</creator>" can be processed by a user agent. </h3><br />


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Integration of services - integration of standards

Normal response form Google Scholar


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Integration of services - integration of standards

OpenURL link added by user agent to Google Scholar response


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Integration of services - integration of standards

(semi-)automatic invocation of a SRU search


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Integration of services - integration of standards

When found the link is changed


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Integration of services - integration of standards

Activation of another link


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Response of the user’s OpenURL server when clicking the link

Integration of services - integration of standards

When it is NOT found the link remains an OpenURL link


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SOAP

http GET

XML knowledge base

XSL user agent

Integration of services - integration of standards

Ajax: Asynchronous, Javascript and XML

Native protocol

gateway

SRU

http POST

SRU

XSL and Javascript

Add your own functionality and collection descriptions

For Z39.50 not under our control ...

Z39.50 targets will use a Z39.50-SRU gateway

Integration is in your browser!

User query is sent via SRU to all targets ...

Transform XML collection descriptions using XSL

Use XSL and Javascript to create a search page

… a central gateway will be provided

TEL

XML service descriptions (SRU)


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Integration of services - integration of standards

The knowledge database

Combination of:

  • Machine readable descriptions of service behavior and how to access services:

    • URL

    • URL syntax

    • Request parameters

    • Fixed parameters

    • User interaction

    • Access mechanism (POST, GET, SOAP)

  • Services in relation to metadata elements

    • Which metadata field triggers which services?

    • How does it trigger the service?

Demo of Ajax portal


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Integration of services - integration of standards


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Integration of services - integration of standards


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Integration of services - integration of standards


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Integration of services - integration of standards

With a little bit of imagination (work to be done)

  • Services can be triggered by more complex criteria rather than the presence of a single metadata field in a structured metadata record

  • Services can be activated in the background and only appear when there is something to show rather than bothering the user in advance

  • Services can trigger other services, for example from location to coordinates to display on a map

  • Web pages can be analyzed (semi-automatically) to discover potential services and generate new service descriptions to be added to the service descriptions (like favorites)

  • By formalization of service descriptions users or user agents may exchange “working” service descriptions


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Integration of services - integration of standards

From service description to development of a standard

Describing non-standardized services in a knowledge base will facilitate the standardization process and the integration (automatic invocation) of services.

  • Describe input and output of different services that do the same thing

  • Describe common parameters

  • Recognize parameters that describe the differences between services and their extra options

  • A good generic formal description of different services with native protocols almost specifies a standard or a universal interface to these services


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Integration of services - integration of standards

What can data/service providers do?

  • Provide machine readable output (XML)

  • Semantic tagging of HTML pages to recognize metadata in web pages (e.g. COinS, unAPI)

  • Prevent the need for complex interpretation of output, be tolerant with respect to input to make it easy to use output from services and to generate input into services

  • Use existing standards or create new ones analogue to existing ones (e.g. SRU)

  • Provide service descriptions for any service that is usable in this context at a standard location e.g.: http://your.host/services.xmland searchable by Google

  • Create registries with generic service descriptions


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Integration of services - integration of standards

What might the SRU implementors group do?

  • Expand the protocol to

    • incorporate other useful services (translation services?)

    • accept OpenURL and Opensearch URL as input?

  • Specify HTML with COinS/unAPI as recordSchema?

  • Make use of driving forces for reaching a critical mass:

    • low implementation barrier

    • Fun to implement, cool to use


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Integration of services - integration of standards

Issues

  • Are providers willing to provide machine readable data without branding?

  • Even with semantic tagging there is a possibility that user agents will hide branding information

  • Still much variation in the encoding of metadata

  • Security issue with mixing and merging services from different domains in the browser

  • Providers may not be aware that they are offering services that are useful for integration

  • Providers and institutions may not yet be ready for Web 2.0 (protection of their data)


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Integration of services - integration of standards

Thanks

Email: theo.vanveen@kb.nl


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