I attended a really good session on Web Services today in the Web
Design and Development Track. The only problem with the session was
that it was two presenters (Frank Cervone and Larry Mzarek) and not
enough time. Frank provided an overview of Web Services while Larry
talked more about the possible practical applications including how
library’s could use Amazon’s Web Services.
“Web services” are services and components that can be used on the Internet to provide extended functionality. Web services provide a standard of providing information using XML-related technologies such as SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI. Cervone explains how Web services extend the functionality of library services into new areas. Mzarek outlines methods of using Amazon’s Web services to display additional information about books, CDs, and other media types on a Web-based library catalog.
I think this is awesome. As I have said before, I think this is part of the future of library interfaces.
Do keep in mind though that all currently offered Web Services have limitations in the number of calls allowed per day. Sometimes these may be quite low. If I'm reading the licensing agreement correctly, Amazon is quite generous:
2) You may make calls by ASIN, browse ID,
Listmania(r) ID or keyword (or by any other method Amazon may permit in
the future) to Amazon Web Services 24hrs a day, 7 days a week, provided
you: (i) do not exceed 1 call per second or send files greater than
40K, and (ii) in regards to obtaining the Alexa Data, do not exceed a
maximum of 10,000 requests per 24 hour period. If you build and release
an Application, the 1 call per second limitation applies to each
installed copy of the Application.