This glossary provides definitions of many of the technical terms used on the eHive Developers website.
A process where data records are gathered from multiple sources and organized into a single standard database. An example is Trove, an aggregation of cultural heritage catalog records in Australia. Multiple organizations allow Trove to harvest (copy) basic catalog data into a common system where it can be presented on a single website.
Application Programming Interface (API)
APIs provide a way for two systems to have a conversation with each other. eHive’s REST API provides ways for third party systems to read and optionally write information to and from the eHive servers. This is like a telephone line between eHive and other systems with a pre-agreed set of basic questions, commands and responses.
Authentication refers to techniques for ensuring that data stored in a computer cannot be read or compromised by any individuals without authorization. The eHive REST API uses the OAuth2 to authorize access to specific content on eHive’s servers.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the standard protocol used to request and transmit files, especially webpages and webpage components, over the Internet or other computer network.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is a combination of the HTTP protocol for transferring files and the SSL/TLS protocol for encrypting communications. eHive’s API can only be used over HTTPS to ensure that all content is securely transferred between the eHive servers and destination server.
From the OAuth website: “it allows the you the User to grant access to your private resources on one site (which is called the Service Provider), to another site (called Consumer, not to be confused with you, the User). While OpenID is all about using a single identity to sign into many sites, OAuth is about giving access to your stuff without sharing your identity at all (or its secret parts).”
In this case, the Service Provider is eHive and you, the User, are granting access to another site, the Consumer. One example of a site granted access is a separate branded WordPress site.
From the OAuth site: “Many luxury cars today come with a valet key. It is a special key you give the parking attendant and unlike your regular key, will not allow the car to drive more than a mile or two. Some valet keys will not open the trunk, while others will block access to your onboard cell phone address book. Regardless of what restrictions the valet key imposes, the idea is very clever. You give someone limited access to your car with a special key, while using your regular key to unlock everything.”
Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH)
This is a standard API for copying records from one system to another. It is the most common API in the cultural heritage sector for aggregating data. i.e. Copying records from multiple systems (usually with each having their own website) into one central system (again, usually with its own website). Sites such as Trove, Culture Grid and DigitalNZ use OAI-PMH as one method for aggregating records from many organizations. Read about eHive and OAI-PMH.
A plugin is a piece of software which enhances another software application and usually cannot be run independently. A common example is web browser plugins which add additional features. Plugins are a key part of WordPress’ architecture. With plugins you can add a huge range of additional features such as contact forms, video support and website visitor analytics.
eHive’s support for WordPress is provided by a set of plugins covering key collection search and display functions. For example, an image grid plugin allows you to present an array of object images (like recent objects for example) from eHive within any WordPress page.
A RESTful web API is a web service implemented using HTTP and the principles of REST. It is a collection of resources, with four defined aspects:
- the base URI for the web service, such as http://ehive.com/api/v2/
- the Internet media type of the data supported by the web service. For eHive the data is represented in JSON format.
- the set of operations supported by the web service using HTTP methods (e.g., GET, PUT, POST, or DELETE).
- The API must be hypertext driven.
WordPress is a free and open source tool for developing websites. It has many features including a plugin architecture to add features and a template system for altering the style of a site. WordPress is currently the most popular CMS in use on the Internet with hundreds of thousands of sites developed using it.