I suggest you ...

Standard Look Up Resource Protocol

There are lots of core "Master Data" bits and pieces that need to be input into form fields in systems all over campus. Things like EID, budget number, org code, object/subobject codes, PCA codes, course numbers...the list is almost infinite. What the end-user often faces is a field that requires a key or code to be entered, but only knows the name or description. They then need to lookup it up somehow. Ideally the lookup function should be close coupled to the data entry field

There should be a standard protocol for writing lookup services so that developers can quickly write them into any application. The app sends you the entity and part of a name, you send back the critical key/code/id#. That's all.

I'm not submitting any particular item to look up, but rather the idea that there should be a standard protocol for all such simple lookups.

11 votes
Vote
Sign in
Check!
(thinking…)
Reset
or sign in with
  • facebook
  • google
    Password icon
    I agree to the terms of service
    Signed in as (Sign out)
    You have left! (?) (thinking…)
    Sean Eamon KennedySean Eamon Kennedy shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    acknowledged  ·  Paul SchurrAdminPaul Schurr (Admin, UW Web Services) responded  · 

    a central metadata repository is a big project that folks in uwit have been talking about. we’ll look for some smaller bits that we could do within the web services to provide some value in the meantime

    6 comments

    Sign in
    Check!
    (thinking…)
    Reset
    or sign in with
    • facebook
    • google
      Password icon
      I agree to the terms of service
      Signed in as (Sign out)
      Submitting...
      • Scott BushScott Bush commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Still curious about this lookup idea. I maintain copies of an array of college codes to their corresponding college names. That info has changed over the past year and I had to update manually, so it made me think about this again...

      • Scott BushScott Bush commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        A number of examples of this sort of lookup can be found in the Registrar's "code manual": https://depts.washington.edu/reptreq/codemanual.htm
        Specifically, suppose a developer needed to know what college was represented by letter C? A webservice that takes code and returns a description ("College of Arts & Sciences" in this case) would be most helpful. More examples:
        * Class standing: "8" means "Graduate", "5" is a fifth-year senior, etc.
        * Veteran status: "0" is non-vet, "1" is a WWII vet, etc.
        * Valid majors: "CM" means "Construction Management" (but also could return an array with dept. code [0052], active dates, and more)
        * Foreign language codes: "7" is Russian

        The list goes on. Some lookups are more complex, like majors, but most are simple key=value pairs and should be easy to look up.
        The ability to go the other direction would be helpful, too. For example, to take the input "Construction management" and get back the major code "CM;" "cum laude" for degree honor code and get back "3;" etc.

        I can think of many applications that could benefit from this, especially advising apps. The data is all public, too, so that's one less hurdle to jump.

      • Sean Eamon KennedySean Eamon Kennedy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        There are a few look up requests in this list already: lookup netid from name, look up person info from netid, and look up person (student) info from SDB systemkey (or is it the other way around?)
        Using a standard protocol you could plug in code that says:
        1) this is a SLURP
        2) I need data about this object (person, budgets, course, etc)
        3) here's what I have, and here's its value (e.g. string containing part of name)
        4) here's what I need (e.g. uw netid for name part)

      • Sean Eamon KennedySean Eamon Kennedy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'm on the analyst side of things and don't know anything about the coding details. What I was hoping for is an easy way to explain to our development team how they could implement a look up function in any app. For instance, if they develop a form that requires the end user to enter a budget number, I could ask them to add a look up function where the end user enters part of the budget name and it returns the budget number (or list of options if there is more than one hit). I could say "just copy the code used in this other app that looks up a person's netid based on part of their name. There's probably a resource that uses the same protocol for a budget number look up and you can probably guess the parameters that need to be changed because it's a standard protocol."

        Besides, it has a good acronym: SLURP

      • T ChangT Chang commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        btw if you got an example of having the name or description but you need the key or code please write it here. I *think* I know what you are asking but an example would help me from making any wrong assumptions.

      • T ChangT Chang commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        good feedback for all of us thinking about our overall web service and data strategy. I will pass this along!

      Feedback and Knowledge Base