This section provides the basic information necessary to access and use the BEL Framework V1.2 Web API.
In order to use the Web API you must have access to a computer running the Web API services. The Web API services are bundled with the BEL Framework distribution and must be started. See the BEL Framework V1.2 Getting Started Guide to learn how to start the Web Services bundled with the BEL Framework V1.2 distribution.
Additionally you must be able to access the remote service endpoints over the Internet from the computer you are working on and be able to write computer programs that can access the Web Services API and share information with the client.
The Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) is a W3C standard protocol specification for exchanging information between two geographically separated computers using Extensible Markup Language (XML) as the message body and relying on other network protocols such as HTTP(s) as the for message transmission.
For more information about the SOAP specification see http://www.w3.org/TR/2000/NOTE-SOAP-20000508/
In order to effectively use the GTP Web Services API you should be familiar with the basic use of SOAP-based remote services
BEL Framework Web API Endpoint
SOAP services are available at service endpoints. Like most SOAP-based APIs the BEL Framework V1.2 Web API provides a Web Service Description Language (WSDL) document describing the entities, services, service endpoints, and allowable transport mechanisms available. More information about the WSDL 1.1 specification is available at: http://www.w3.org/TR/wsdl
WSDL documents are designed to be consumed by computer applications that can translate the document into a set of services (methods) on the remote server that can be accessed, and entities (objects) that can be passed between the client and the server.
The actual location of the BEL Framework endpoint will depend on how the service is configured on your network. Using the Web Service bundled with the BEL Framework, the WSDL is available at the following URL: http://localhost:8080/BELFrameworkWebAPI/belframework/belframework.wsdl
where localhost is the network address of the server and 8080 is the port the service is running at. Accessing the URL with a Web Browser will display the BEL Framework Web API WSDL.
Supported Programming Languages
Most modern computer programming languages support the development of SOAP clients using native extensions or third-party plugins. The BEL Framework Web API has been tested using Java 1.6, Perl, Python (SUDS), and Ruby 1.8.7 (Savon).
As part of the BEL Framework V1.2 Web API, Selventa provides a Java library that wraps the SOAP client and provides access to the services without needing to know the details of the networking, encoding, and implementations. Using the client library, mathematical modeling platforms such as R and MATLAB that can load and use a Java library can directly access the Services. The client library has been tested using R 2.13 and MATLAB 2005a.