What is LAARC Catalogue Search API?
The LAARC Search API is a new addition to the existing LAARC Online Catalogue website.
It is the result of a complete re-engineering of the old application in order to build
the foundations for extensible LAARC data services.
The LAARC Search API will allow you to build your own specific search queries,
and results will be returned in xml format.
In addition, you will still be able to use the 'Simple Search' and 'Advanced Search' features
of the existing LAARC Online Catalogue to search for data.
An API (Application Programming Interface) is an interface used by software programmes
that enables other software to interact with them in a common language.
The current version of the LAARC Search API offers an REST-like interface
for external data aggregators and data harvesters and returns LAARC Catalogue data in xml format.
This version of LAARC Search API is our first attempt to re-launch the LAARC Catalogue as a web-based data service.
As the LAARC Search API is in its absolute infancy it does not have many search methods or features
that we had in mind when we decided to re-write the old application.
However, the new architecture lays the foundations for the addition of many new features,
plugging external services and ultimately growing it into a data aggregator for London archaeology.
Work in progress
The LAARC Search API is the first release of the completely re-architectured middle tier
of the old LAARC Online Catalogue application and is still very much work in progress.
In the next phases of the LAARC Online Catalogue re-development we are planning to
- optimise the data retrieval
- provide schema for xml response format
- build further search operations
- build a new web interface for the LAARC Online Catalogue that will replace the existing one
In the more distant future we would hope to
- extend the API to support more search operations as well as search operations on aggregated data sources
- offer LAARC data in other response formats such as json, csv, html and/or name=value strings as well as via SOAP
- consider building a URL pre-processing module to handle properly formed RESTfull URLs that would also present LAARC resources in semantic form
- pass search queries to the application in common web query format such as YQL
Special thanks to Brooklyn Museum developers whose
was inspirational to our efforts to add LAARC data to the pool of web resources.