DDBJ has opened to the public REST(Representational State Transfer) * service as a WEB service which is available from a program since August 2007. You can use it from XML Central of DDBJ. It is possible to integrate various systems such as search system, analysis program and data retrieve provided by DDBJ by using REST service. DDBJ opened to the public SOAP service as a service which can be available from program. However REST service has advantages compared to SOAP service as follows.

  1. REST is easy to use.
    Only you have to do is to input the URL in the web browser for accessing REST service. Furthermore we make sure that various program languages such as Perl, Java, C, Ruby and Python can be used in the case of using from a program. And you can also use REST services by using telnet or wget command.
  2. REST is easy to treat large-scale data.
    REST service provides you with the result as a stream. Therefore you can retrieve the result every one line and lower the machine load since it isn't saved to the computer memory. So you can retrieve large-scale data effectively by using REST service compared to SOAP. For example if you want to get a DDBJ genome data of Escherichia coli with flat file format, REST service provides you with more than three times speed compared to SOAP.

On the other hand, SOAP service has also advantages that coding volume is small and it has extensibility.
DDBJ will enhance WEB API(Application Program Interface) in the future to be more easy to use. Please contact xml-admin@ddbj.nig.ac.jp, if you have any opinions or suggestions.
* What is REST?