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  neurogateway.org Server Documentation

Catalog Query Overview

PDF version

Table of Contents

Query Interfaces

This server currently offers three means of accessing catalog contents. None of these are necessarily intended for neuroscientist end users. This server is a prototype built to aid development of the NIF inventory. A more sophisticated interface will be built as part of (optional) Phase II.

The first access method is a "browse" interface. Access it by clicking "Browse the Catalog" in the left-hand navigation bar. Each link on the resulting page represents a catalog entry field. Clicking on a link will call up all catalog entries with a value set for that field, sorted by that value.

The second means of access is a simple search form, reached by clicking "HTML Form" on the left. This form implements a structured search paradigm, so you enter one or more values which are searched for in specific fields in the catalog entries. The resulting query is a logical 'AND' of all the conditions entered. All text field queries will be searched as substrings.

The third means of access is intended only for developers interested in interfacing directly to the catalog server in software. For this purpose an XML interface is provided. Ordinarily (see below), this interface is accessed directly over HTTP by a software client other than a browser. However, for testing purposes, a form is provided in which an XML query can be edited and passed to the server for processing. This is accessed by clicking "XML (Expert)" on the left.

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Output Options

The server is currently able to display catalog entries using HTML or PDF, or to return them in XML, a "raw" format suitable for use by other software. To select the output format, click one of the radio buttons on a results page.

When an XML query is sent directly to the /query.do URL, the return format can be controlled by passing an additional 'format' parameter. This may be set to one of 'xml' (the default), 'html' or 'pdf'.

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XML Interface

The XML interface can be accessed through the form as mentioned above, or by direct HTTP POST to URL /query.do under parameter 'xml'. In the latter case, the response will also be in XML, unless the 'format' parameter is also present and set to one of 'html' or 'pdf'.

The XML accepted conforms to the BrainML-X protocols (description, and definition) and the data model describing the catalog entry format. The response will also conform to the data model schema and is identical to that which can be obtained by selecting XML output from one of the browser-based query methods.

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NIH Neuroscience Blueprint