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  1. Serving services Lower the barrier for users to remix the output of services. Theo van Veen, March 3 2006

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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 !

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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 />

  10. Integration of services - integration of standards Normal response form Google Scholar

  11. Integration of services - integration of standards OpenURL link added by user agent to Google Scholar response

  12. Integration of services - integration of standards (semi-)automatic invocation of a SRU search

  13. Integration of services - integration of standards When found the link is changed

  14. Integration of services - integration of standards Activation of another link

  15. 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

  16. 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)

  17. 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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  25. 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

  26. 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

  27. 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

  28. 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

  29. 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)

  30. Integration of services - integration of standards Thanks Email: theo.vanveen@kb.nl