DC-X offers a comprehensive web service API which is based on the Atom Publishing Protocol (RFC 5023) and OpenSearch 1.1 standards – basically XML over HTTP. This means two things:

  • Skipping the browser user interface, you can read and search for DC-X documents (and other information) in any RSS reader (including the RSS readers integrated into your web browser or e-mail client).
  • Developers can write custom software that acts as a “remote control” for DC-X, since almost all functionality the browser interface offers is also available through the API. There’s endless possibilities: They could write an iPhone application, an integration with a content management system, a custom front-end…

Why not a SOAP web service? That’s a rather long story… The web service landscape is divided into the SOAP/WS-* and REST (Representational State Transfer) camps, and the Atom Publishing Protocol (AtomPub) belongs to the REST side. If you’re interested, read the excellent book „RESTful Web Services“ for an in-depth comparison and REST philosophy and best practices. For us, a REST approach was easier to implement and more transparent.

Differences compared to DC5: DC5 had a custom, REST-inspired web service API. DC-X still offers limited support for that old API, but we recommend migrating to the new AtomPub API when moving from DC5 to DC-X. It is based on popular standards and offers many more features.

Tim Strehle
About Tim Strehle

Tim was part of Digital Collections' Research & Development team from 1999 to 2017. He is an expert for Metadata and Thesauri.


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