The Space Physics Data Facility (SPDF) Web services provides a distributed programming interface to a portion of the SPDF software. This programming interface conforms to all applicable Web services specifications (especially the SOAP recommendations) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The interface is specified by a Web Services Description Language (WSDL) file.
The SPDF Web services consists of the following components:
- A server implementation of the Web services
- A Software Developer's Kit (SDK) consisting of the following:
- A WSDL file
- A less formal description of the interface
- A Java class library which further eases development of Java based clients
- Java source code for an example client that illustrates the use of the interface
The mission of the SPDF is to enhance the scientific return from NASA programs in the space physics sciences. It has as its primary intent to lead in the definition, development, operation and promotion of collaborative efforts in the collection and utilization of space physics data and models. The SPDF Web services will allow greater collaborative efforts in the collection and utilization of space physics data and models by allowing the SPDF to become part of a larger, distributed space physics research system. The key problem with the existing interface is that it is a human user interface and is not designed for use by other software systems. A distributed programming interface is required to allow additional collaboration and integration with other software systems. To allow collaboration with the most systems, the interface must utilizes industry standard communication protocols to provide a platform independent and programming language independent distributed interface.
This project's main functional goal is to provide a Web services distributed programming interface to a portion of the SPDF software, enabling an integrated user view of the data environment and enabling key functions of proposed virtual observatories.
The SPDF Web services are expected to evolve to meet the needs of an increasingly larger number of client systems including systems that comprise the Sun-Earth Connection Virtual Space Physics Observatory (VSPO). Web services provide a more effective distribution between existing server capability and clients.
The SPDF Web services are an Application Programming Interface (API) that should be as simple and easy to use as possible for the developers of client systems. The API should be usable from a variety of platforms and programming environments.
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