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[bioontology-support] Annotator help request

Brelsford, Jeffrey S. (LNG-DAY) Jeffrey.Brelsford at
Tue Aug 10 09:29:26 PDT 2010

Hi there,

My name is Jeff Brelsford and I am working for Elsevier on an Open Social application that will interface with two NCBO web services (Annotator and the Resource Index).
In order to understand the feasibility of developing this application I would like to get an idea of how dynamic the changes are for the data supplied in your web services. We have a very limited amount of information that we can persist from our end (mostly user preferences) and I'd like to understand how often the following can change.

For the Annotator Web Service, how often can the following change?

  *   The list of ontologies
  *   The list of semantic types
  *   Are ontologies or semantic types ever removed?

For the Resource Index Web Service, how often can the following change?

  *   The URL format to access content from the individual resources (these are typically the URLS built from the resourceID and the elementID).
  *   The frequency of a change in the data structure in the response concerning the <entry> and <string> elements. This is largely due to each resource having its own unique entries (for example DrugBank may have an indication field, but Clinical Trials will not). I'm specifically curious about how often we can expect a change in the data format for the following resources: Clinical Trials, DrugBank, OMIM and Research CrossRoads.

Nigam Shah has made us aware of there's a call we can make to see changes in formats from the response. But as I've stated earlier, there's not a great deal that we can persist with these applications, and it would also be difficult for us to perform ad-hoc releases to address changes. Any type of release to address a change from the web services would need to be scheduled on our end. In the event that a change on your end (or from the resources themselves) is coming, is there a period where backward compatibility is ensured?

Thank you very much for your time.

Jeff Brelsford
Science & Technology Electronic Product Services
937.865.6800 x56699
Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars - Casey Kasem

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