A web service based approach for integrating statistics tools into an information system for experiment data
Data management in the life sciences has evolved from simple storage of data to complex information systems providing additional functionalities like analysis and visualization capabilities, demanding the integration of statistical tools. In many cases the used statistical tools are hard-coded within the system. That leads to expensive integration, substitution, or extension of tools because all changes have to be done in program code. Other systems use generic solutions for tool integration but adapting them to another system is mostly rather extensive work. This paper shows a way to provide statistical functionality over a statistics web service, which can be easily integrated in any information system and set up using XML configuration files. The statistical functionality is extendable simply by adding the description of a new application to a configuration file. The service architecture as well as the data exchange process between client and service and the adding of analysis applications to the underlying service provider are described. Furthermore a practical example demonstrates the functionality of the service.
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