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DDI + API: building services on top of your existing DDI holdings

Presenter 1
Ornulf Risnes
Norwegian Social Science Data Services (NSD)

A Nesstar Server is an example of a web-based container that can store and make available DDI metadata to consuming applications. Once a DDI-document is published to a Nesstar Server, the contents of the document is made available via a Java API. Developers of third party clients may use this API to connect to any such server, and programmatically navigate and harvest collections of DDI-documents held there, or just to extract information from specific DDI-fields relevant to the consuming application. For many years, most clients developed to interact with the Nesstar API was developed in-house, and integrated as part of the Nesstar Software Suite. Recently, however, third party clients have started to emerge, and they use the DDI-container and the API for very different purposes, including, but not limited to:

  • Variable “shopping carts” for simplified downloads of complex data sets
  • Automated harvesters for indexing in Solr-powered search systems, including searchable study- and question/variable databases
  • Harvester taking snapshots for persistent archiving in DataVerse (beta)
  • Search engine optimized rendering of DDI content for exposing DDI-holdings to generic search engines like Google

The presentation will demonstrate the basic architecture of the DDI-driven API, and show examples of some of the current services built to interact with the API.

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