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.

One Response to DC-X: Web Service API
  1. DC-X: Managing image rights @ Digital Collections Blog 1. März 2010 at 14:15

    […] Rights properties can be used in the DC-X user interface to detect whether certain actions are allowed (i.e., the export to the online CMS can detect that you’re trying to export an image for which you do not have online usage rights). Finally, usage rights can be queried and even changed through the DC-X Web Service API. […]


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