Topic: Any interest in Drupal implementation of Gateway webservices?

All,
I am interested in testing whether there would be any interest in some generic implementations of the Gateway web services in Drupal. This would allow an organisation to rapidly enhance a Drupal web presence with maps of data available through the Gateway even if the data are not publicly available.

The specific ideas are:
1)    A local atlas facility

Re: Any interest in Drupal implementation of Gateway webservices?

Hi Steve, I didn't know what Drupal was so have just done a quick bit of reading on wikipedia and Stuart Ball's document on the NBN website. If I've understood correctly then this would be of use to those using Drupal to manage their website, but not anyone else? In which case we wouldn't have an immediate use for it, although I suppose useful modules such as these may lead us to using Drupal at some point down the road.

Anything which makes it easier for web novices to use gateway web services is potentially a good thing. For example, I've found it difficult to find time to fully investigate their potential, but by using the BRC NBN Widget  I was able to quickly add example maps of KMBRC data on the NBN to our website in order to highlight the datasets we have uploaded.

Teresa.

Teresa Frost
WeBS National Organiser, BTO. NFBR Council Member.
ex-ALERC/CBDC/KMBRC

Re: Any interest in Drupal implementation of Gateway webservices?

Hi Teresa
Your understanding is correct. You coud always have a themed version of Drupal running just to support the bits of the website that use the webservices. The thing we would also get out of it would be some example code of implementing at least two fo the webservices in PHP which I think would simplify implementation in that environment. But maybe that sort or functionality is just not a priority for the LRCs?
Steve

Re: Any interest in Drupal implementation of Gateway webservices?

TeresaF wrote:

Anything which makes it easier for web novices to use gateway web services is potentially a good thing. For example, I've found it difficult to find time to fully investigate their potential, but by using the BRC NBN Widget  I was able to quickly add example maps of KMBRC data on the NBN to our website in order to highlight the datasets we have uploaded.

Teresa.

I agree and it's a shame that the two projects funded by the NBN to do that seem to provide little support in this area although I may be wrong.

I also agree with Steve that using Drupal to perform an area of functionality for your site is a good way to see this. You could even have a sub domain running Drupal on another web server which hosts Drupal. Many hosts do not support Drupal. TSO Hosts does and at a reasonable cost it you need to see an example and at about

Tony Price
Data Manager, Somerset Environmental Records Centre (SERC)

5 (edited by mhorlock 06-10-2010 15:38:05)

Re: Any interest in Drupal implementation of Gateway webservices?

Hi Steve

Here in Norfolk we have begun the switch to drupal for our web activities and these 2 services are things we would be very interested in.

Regards
Martin

Martin Horlock
Biodiversity Information Officer
Norfolk Biodiversity information Service

Martin Horlock
Chair of ALERC
Senior Biodiversity Officer
Norfolk County Council

Re: Any interest in Drupal implementation of Gateway webservices?

Great - that is beginning to sound encouraging
Steve

Re: Any interest in Drupal implementation of Gateway webservices?

I'm very seriously considering using Drupal for the SxBRC website redesign, so yes, it would be useful here. Part of the reasoning for this is the gravitation towards Drupal by the biodiversity informatics community: http://groups.drupal.org/node/30444

For anyone looking to get to grips with Drupal, I highly recommend the following book: http://www.usingdrupal.com/

Re: Any interest in Drupal implementation of Gateway webservices?

I would steer away from anything that ties you into a technology (aside from things like HTML, PHP, JavaScript) or doesn't allow for/isn't designed to be integrated into other systems.

Charlie Barnes
Information Officer
Greater Lincolnshire Nature Partnership

Re: Any interest in Drupal implementation of Gateway webservices?

Thanks Charlie. Just to clarify this slightly. The proposal here is effectively to develop a set of exmple code for implementing the NBN webservices in PHP. However, also bundling that example code within a Drupal module means that potential users of Drupal can very rapidly implement them (ie. without fiddling about with PHP). If you are concerned about the use of Drupal as being the tie in then I woudl say that it is no more so (in less than most) any other CMS package. Effectively it is just a PHP wrapper around a MySQL database so you can always extract anything you have added directly from the database and put it into something else. And if it is a popular task (eg. bulk imports) you can virtually guarantee that someone will have established a generic way of doing it.
DOes that help address your concerns?
Steve

Re: Any interest in Drupal implementation of Gateway webservices?

Given that it is based on PHP and MySQL, runs on Apache web servers on Windows or *nix and has a huge, thriving community of developers, uerss and designers running the gamut from open source hackers to large-scale commercial entities, I'd say Drupal is about as open as it gets for a CMS. These are the reasons I am probably going to go with Drupal as our CMS even though PHP is not my personal first choice of language.

Re: Any interest in Drupal implementation of Gateway webservices?

It's very much a personal opinion/something I try to do - (hence the word I smile). If you gave me the option of a PHP/Mysql solution vs. PHP/Mysql/Drupal solution, I would choose the former, just because it can used by more people (and because I don't use Drupal, and probably never will (or any other fullblown CMS for that matter).)

Of course, if your targeting Drupal users (or those yet to be) then fair enough.

Charlie Barnes
Information Officer
Greater Lincolnshire Nature Partnership