Raising Awareness

"A centre of excellence in digital information management, providing advice and services to the library, information and cultural heritage communities."

UKOLN is based at the University of Bath.

SaaSy APIs (Openness in the Cloud)

Brian Kelly facilitated a mini-workshop on "SaaSy APIs (Openness in the Cloud)" at the Museums and the Web 2009 conference. Further details are given below.

Note that a wiki was used to record notes from the workshop.

SaaSy APIs (Openness in the Cloud)
Brian Kelly
Date And Time
Friday 17th April 2008 in the session running from 10.30-12.30
See details on conference Web site - timetable details

The MW2008 conference featured a professional forum on "What Does Openness Mean To The Museums Community?" which generated much interest. The main focus of discussion during the forum was on open content and use of Creative Commons licences, with additional discussions covering open standards and open source software. But the next step in opening up the museum sector might be the exploitation of open APIs and greater use of Software as a Service (SaaS).

But what are the potential benefits which Open APIs and SaaS seek to provide? What about the associated risks in moving from an environment in which software is installed and managed either locally or by a hosting agency with formal contractual agreements to a environment in which there may be no formal agreements, the services may be hosted in different countries and governed by different legal frameworks? And at a time of global economic uncertainties is it sensible to be seeking to make use of Open APIs and SaaS at the current time?

This professional forum will seek to encourage open discussion and debate on these questions.

The professional forum will be facilitated by Brian Kelly and is basded on a paper written by Paul Walk, both of whom area based at UKOLN, University of Bath. Brian Kelly, has facilitated sessions, organised workshops and presented papers at the MW2007 and MW2008 conferences and has been pro-active over the last 2 years in promoting effective use of Web 2.0 services across the cultural heritage sector in the UK. Brian is also the project manager for a JISC-commissioned study on "What Makes a Good API?" and the recommendations of this work will inform discussions at the professional forum.

Paul Walk, the Technical Manager at UKOLN, is involved in the development of openly accessible services in the UK's higher education community and has been working on cross-sectoral approaches to developing and exploiting open APIs to support the development of innovate and cost-effective networked services.

The outcomes of the professional forum will be an awareness of ways in which open APIs and SaaS are being exploited within the sector and a better understanding of the approaches which should be taken in order to maximise the potential benefits of this approach.

Materials: Slides
About - [MS PowerPoint] - [HTML]
Materials: Accompanying Paper
Paper - [HTML] (held remotely)


Biographical Details

Image of Brian Kelly Brian Kelly is UK Web Focus, a post funded by the JISC and the MLA which advises the UK's higher and further education communities and museums, libraries and archives sector on standards, emerging technologies and best practices for use of the Web. Brian works at UKOLN, a national centre of expertise in digital information management, which is based at the University of Bath.

Brian is an experienced Web developer, having helped set up his first Web site in January 1993 whilst working in the Computing Service at the University of Leeds. In 1995 Brian was the senior trainer for the Netskills training organisation. He moved to his current job in 1996.

Brian's current interests include making use of standards and supporting accessibility from a user-focussed position, and exploring the potential of Web 2.0. His recent publications include "Contextual Web Accessibility - Maximizing the Benefit of Accessibility Guidelines", "A Contextual Framework For Standards", "Personalization and Accessibility: Integration of Library and Web Approaches" and "Holistic Approaches to E-Learning Accessibility".

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