The RESTful NCBI query

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

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=homologene&cmd=search&term=dystrophin

And here come queries that look like this

http://view.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/homologene/search/dystrophin 

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

http://www.connotea.org/tag/metagenomics

Or on del.icio.us  the URL

http://del.icio.us/tag/metagenomics

I dont yet know how extensive the possibilities of such querying of the NCBI are,  but it looks so much easier than understanding equery.

Ref: NCBI resource locator.

Advertisements

One response to “The RESTful NCBI query

  1. Pingback: Creating your own JSON Endpoints for Bio Web Services: Basics | Abhishek Tiwari

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s