I first caught this on Pierres blog.
NCBI it turns out can be queried along REST principles ( hence the RESTful in the title). Ever since learning about REST-based URLs , I always wished that many web APIs implemented the ideology in their design. I was excited to learn how easy and intuitive it becomes to query a database using REST principles.
Gone are queries that looked like
And here come queries that look like this
which look for genes that have homology to dystrophin.
Several of the web APIs like the one for connotea and del.icio.us are also implemented RESTfully, making them very easy to query. For eg to get all entries on connotea or del.icio.us with tag metagenomics you would query the URL
Or on del.icio.us the URL
I dont yet know how extensive the possibilities of such querying of the NCBI are, but it looks so much easier than understanding equery.