RESTful web services are at the cutting edge of contemporary web technology and have proven to boost flexibility and modularity, promote loosely coupled development and implementation independence thus are the perfect tool for large-scale projects. Moreover, REST-based services are suitable for distributed computing applications. The involvement of our team in the developers group of OpenTox (An FP7-funded EU research project) has offered us great experience as far as REST services are concerned. Popular machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms such as MLR and SVM were developed in our Laboratory and are deployed as REST web services. These services are used by the applications ToxCreate and ToxPredict for the purposes of predictive toxicology.
Being involved in a state-of-the-art project, we also gained great experience in “web2.0” technologies such as Web Ontologies (OWL-DL) and RDF (Resource Description Framework) both of which are W3C recommendations. RDF is the prime data exchange format (among other such as JSON, HTML and PDF) accepted/produced by our services.
We have also been involved with the design and implementation of an SSO-based authorization and authentication API for the management of different access levels in the application. Mainly, our web services (available at http://opentox.ntua.gr:8080 ) are Java-based. Java is a programming language – inter alia – suitable for WS development and a language our team does expertize in. We also have put major effort in the design of DeciBell: a novel Java-based Object Relational Mapping for the management of databases; an inescapable part of web services.