Web Services for Professional Data
May 2, 2012, 1:00 PM
Steve Kenney and Tarang Shah
American Osteopathic Association
Kirke Lawton and Josh Swann
Association of American Medical Colleges
The W3C defines a "Web service" as "a software system designed to support interoperable machine-to-machine interaction over a network. It has an interface described in a machine-processable format (specifically Web Services Description Language, known by the acronym WSDL). Other systems interact with the Web service in a manner prescribed by its description using SOAP messages, typically conveyed using HTTP with an XML serialization in conjunction with other Web-related standards."
The American Osteopathic Association has developed web services to share data across disparate systems for various uses with a growing number of external consumers. Some of these implementations include online retrieval of Membership Profiles, cross-state verification with ESAR-VHP, cross-platform compatibility between iMIS and SharePoint, cross-development technology to utilize API created for one development language to be consumed by a different development language.
In this workshop, we will review several web service implementations, discuss why we used web services for these solutions, and identify other real-world uses for such data sharing such as the growing Data Commons project. We explain the main components of any web service and discuss how to build them and implement them. We will go through exercises in the work-shop to allow more in-depth consideration of the benefits and challenges of implementing web services.