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A web service is a method of communication between two electronic devices over a network. Web services are built to allow communication between programs or computers without requiring human participation. UCLA Library Digital Initiatives and Information Technology (DIIT) has built web services to expose data in various contexts. Example web service implementations include the following scenarios:

  • Within a particular CCLE (Common Collaboration and Learning Environment) class page, a web service exists which will pull
    • that particular course's library reserves information to be displayed on the class page.
    • that particular course's library guide (if one exists), otherwise it will pull an appropriate subject LibGuide
  • Within a link to an audio reserve from the Music Library, a web service exists which will pull an audio file.
  • The "Today's Hours" block on the Library home page is populated from a web service.

Web services are generally built in one of two formats/architectures–SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and REST (REpresentational State Transfer). SOAP provides a standardized framework and access-control model at the cost of great complexity. REST behaves more like default Internet communications, but has no standard model for telling consumers how to access it.

Because web services need to be platform and computer-language agnostic, data delivered by and submitted to services are encoded in machine-readable, textual formats, most often XML or JSON.

Digital Initiatives and Information Technology (DIIT) supports web service consultation, creation, implementation and maintenance.


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If this service is not available to you, and you have questions, please send an email to for more information.

Please visit the Technology Portal  portal to raise a request.


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