As part of my ongoing plan for world domination, I decided to write a REST wrapper for the SOAP webservice provided by CiteXplore, the EBI's Citation Database. At first I thought this might be a daunting task. However, CPAN and the nice people on freenode came to the rescue, as usual.
First, I installed SOAP::WSDL locally using my usual recipe, and then simply pointed the handy script it provides at the WSDL for the CiteXplore SOAP webservices:
wsdl2perl.pl -b CXPSC URL
This 'auto-created' the Perl client for the webservice. What impressed me most was the resulting perldoc, that told me exactly how to use the Perl client. For example, typing:
gave this output. Using the POD and CiteXplore's Web Services Reference Guide I created a simple test script that even works!
Next came the task of wrapping these functions in a REST server. Some people on freenode told me to use Mojolicious::Lite. Although it's trendy, it also seems to work with minimal fuss.
Here it is, but it isn't pretty:
Finally I used the newly created REST interface to pull citation data into SEQwiki using the External Data extension. Setting up the execution environment using App::perlbrew (my webhost didn't have the requisite version of Perl for Mojo) was also much easier than I imagined.