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Documentation

HGNC/wr is a web interface to the HGNC (HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee) database.

This website allows traditional access for humans using a browser. Simultaneously, it exposes a web resource interface that follows REST principles for a web service allowing programmatic access. It has been designed according to the Resource-Oriented Architecture.

Any modern programming language having HTTP and XML libraries can be used to access the web service. No special software, client or knowledge of esoteric technologies (SOAP, WSDL, UDDI, WS-whatever,...) is needed. The URLs of the web service resources are designed for consistency and clarity. The XML format is compact and straightforward.

The human website and the programmatic web resources are isomorphic. The URLs to, and contents of, the web pages (HTML) and corresponding XML documents have been designed to be as similar as possible. This allows a user to investigate the available features with an ordinary web browser. Accessing the same features from within a client program then simply becomes a matter of applying standard HTTP and XML techniques. Using the web resource does not entail having to understand a completely different system.

The links available in the human website are also present in the web resource XML format. This is crucial to allow a client program to easily navigate through the resources available on this web service and others.