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Volume 18 / Issue 2

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-018-02-0286


RESTifying a Legacy Semantic Search System: Experience and Lessons Learned

Guillermo Vega-Gorgojo (University of Valladolid, Spain)

Eduardo Gómez-Sánchez (University of Valladolid, Spain)

Miguel L. Bote-Lorenzo (University of Valladolid, Spain)

Juan I. Asensio-Pérez (University of Valladolid, Spain)

Abstract: The REST architectural style pursues scalability and decoupling of application components on target architectures, as opposed to the focus on distribution transparency of RPC-based middleware infrastructures. Ongoing debate between REST and RPC proponents evidences the need of comparisons of both approaches, as well as case studies showing the implications in the development of RESTful applications. With this aim, this paper presents a revamped RESTful version of a legacy RPC-based search system of educational tools named Ontoolsearch. The former version suffers from reduced interoperability with third-party clients, limited visibility of interactions and has some scalability issues due to the use of an RPC-based middleware. These limitations are addressed in the RESTful application as a result of applying REST constraints and using the Atom data format. Further, a benchmarking experiment showed that scalability of the RESTful prototype is superior, measuring a ∼3 times increase of peak throughput. In addition, some lessons learned on RESTful design and implementation have been derived from this work that may be of interest for future developments.

Keywords: C.2.4, H.3.3, K.3.1

Categories: RESTful web services, educational tools, remote procedure call, semantic search