[OAI-implementers] SOAP-PMH

Joachim Wackerow wackerow at zuma-mannheim.de
Wed Dec 8 04:35:59 EST 2004

I think, OAI has done the right thing (OAI-PMH is based on the REST 
model) at the right time (in a time when SOAP was not well established). 
This approach was probably one of the reasons of the large success of 

It seems to me, that now - when SOAP is well established - a migration 
of OAI to SOAP is advicable. This would give the chance to use SOAP 
tools and to open OAI for other purposes. As fare as I know, OAI-PMH is 
mainly used for metadata on publications (i.e. Dublin Core based).

I am interested to have a protocol for harvesting and also for specific 
retrieval of one record or only a part of this record. My background is 
metadata of social science data (DDI - Data Documentation Initiative). 
This standard has ca. 300 elements and the DDI documents could grow 
large. On "requesting a part of a record" see an older discussion thread:

Regards, Achim

Matthew Cockerill wrote:
> SOAP isn't by any means all about search interfaces - it's designed to  
> be used for any web service.
>  Remote search is one important kind of service  
> [http://www.loc.gov/z3950/agency/zing/srw/ ], metadata harvesting is  
> another, 'what's the weather' is another, stock prices are another,  
> customer contact management is another  
> [http://www.sforce.com/resources/api.jsp] , mailing list management is  
> another  
> [http://www.lyris.com/products/listmanager/beta_news.html?s=sdbr ], the  
> NCBI eutilities are another  
> [http://eutils.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query/static/esoap_help.html ]
> The fundamental point of SOAP is well expressed in the comment:
>>> "With a SOAP
>>> interface, it would be fairly easy to build a harvester for
>>> our search engine. It would be a very nice sample program for our
>>> indexing interface. But with a one-of-a-kind XML protocol, it isn't
>>> worth the trouble.
>>> "
> This is precisely the benefit of SOAP - it lowers the amount of 'one of  
> a kind' work that an implementor has to do. And as a result it  
> *dramatically* increases the chance that people outside the direct  
> target area for the OAI protocol will actually use it.
> Migrating OAI to use SOAP as its transport does seem long overdue...
> Matt

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