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Open Access Technical Note

SIDECACHE: Information access, management and dissemination framework for web services

Mark S Doderer1*, Cory Burkhardt2 and Kay A Robbins3

Author Affiliations

1 Greehey Children's Cancer Research Institute, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78229, USA

2 eMetric LLC, San Antonio, TX 78232, USA

3 Department of Computer Science, The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX 78249, USA

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:182  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-182

Published: 14 June 2011

Abstract

Background

Many bioinformatics algorithms and data sets are deployed using web services so that the results can be explored via the Internet and easily integrated into other tools and services. These services often include data from other sites that is accessed either dynamically or through file downloads. Developers of these services face several problems because of the dynamic nature of the information from the upstream services. Many publicly available repositories of bioinformatics data frequently update their information. When such an update occurs, the developers of the downstream service may also need to update. For file downloads, this process is typically performed manually followed by web service restart. Requests for information obtained by dynamic access of upstream sources is sometimes subject to rate restrictions.

Findings

SideCache provides a framework for deploying web services that integrate information extracted from other databases and from web sources that are periodically updated. This situation occurs frequently in biotechnology where new information is being continuously generated and the latest information is important. SideCache provides several types of services including proxy access and rate control, local caching, and automatic web service updating.

Conclusions

We have used the SideCache framework to automate the deployment and updating of a number of bioinformatics web services and tools that extract information from remote primary sources such as NCBI, NCIBI, and Ensembl. The SideCache framework also has been used to share research results through the use of a SideCache derived web service.