Structured Dynamics today released a new UMBEL Web site and set of eight Web services. UMBEL (Upper Mapping and Binding Exchange Layer) is a general reference structure of 28,000 concepts, which provides a scaffolding to link and interoperate with other datasets and domain vocabularies. This project is now six years old.
The first release of the UMBEL site occurred in 2007 when UMBEL was still under development. That release was followed in 2008 by the addition of UMBEL's first Web services. The Web services were well-received, which caused Structured Dynamics to develop the more general structWSF Web services framework (most recently updated as the OSF Web Services). The earlier UMBEL Web services were subsequently migrated to this more general framework, which also included Drupal as the standard content management component for OSF. Unfortunately, that version of the UMBEL site witnessed both performance and stability problems. These problems did not limit the use of UMBEL for general browsing purposes, but did limit its usefulness as a working API.
The new UMBEL site uses Bootstrap and plain ol' HTML. The Web services for UMBEL's 28,000 concept graph are now written in Clojure. They have been created to help developers quickly start using the reference structure without having to download and deploy the entire structure on their own infrastructure. The 8 web services are:
Each web service endpoint is comprised of simple functions, none of which exceed more than 30 lines of code, which greatly simplifies their creation, debugging, maintenance and optimization. The system uses the libraries of Ring and Compojure to manage the creation of the Web service endpoints, and Clucy/Lucene for the search engine.
The Web services can easily scale horizontally since everything is self contained in a single WAR file that can be deployed on new servers in a few clicks. Another advantage of this design is that the UMBEL programming API may be used in any Clojure or Java applications by including the JAR file. UMBEL thus becomes portable and it can be used as a library in any JVM application without requiring it to send queries to external Web services.With the new release, SD also provides fully accessible APIs for free to all and without limits or restrictions.