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Source Code Biol Med. 2010 Jun 21;5:6. doi: 10.1186/1751-0473-5-6.

EntrezAJAX: direct web browser access to the Entrez Programming Utilities.

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1
Centre for Systems Biology, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK. n.j.loman@bham.ac.uk.

Abstract

Web applications for biology and medicine often need to integrate data from Entrez services provided by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. However, direct access to Entrez from a web browser is not possible due to 'same-origin' security restrictions. The use of "Asynchronous JavaScript and XML" (AJAX) to create rich, interactive web applications is now commonplace. The ability to access Entrez via AJAX would be advantageous in the creation of integrated biomedical web resources. We describe EntrezAJAX, which provides access to Entrez eUtils and is able to circumvent same-origin browser restrictions. EntrezAJAX is easily implemented by JavaScript developers and provides identical functionality as Entrez eUtils as well as enhanced functionality to ease development. We provide easy-to-understand developer examples written in JavaScript to illustrate potential uses of this service. For the purposes of speed, reliability and scalability, EntrezAJAX has been deployed on Google App Engine, a freely available cloud service. The EntrezAJAX webpage is located at http://entrezajax.appspot.com/

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