The EMBRACE (European Model for Bioinformatics Research and Community Education) web service collection is the culmination of a 5-year project that set out to investigate issues involved in developing and deploying web services for use in the life sciences. The project concluded that in order for web services to achieve widespread adoption, standards must be defined for the choice of web service technology, for semantically annotating both service function and the data exchanged, and a mechanism for discovering services must be provided. Building on this, the project developed: EDAM, an ontology for describing life science web services; BioXSD, a schema for exchanging data between services; and a centralized registry (http://www.embraceregistry.net) that collects together around 1000 services developed by the consortium partners. This article presents the current status of the collection and its associated recommendations and standards definitions.
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The authors gratefully acknowledge the contributions of Fred Marcus, Stephan Hohman, Rita Casadio, Matthew Woodwark, Jacques van Helden and Kay Hofmann for providing constant encouragement and stimulating discussions. European Commission within its FP6 Programme, under the thematic area ‘life sciences, genomics and biotechnology for health’ (contract number LHSG-CT-2004-512092 to EMBRACE project).
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