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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Apache Abdera: Atom, AtomPub, and Java

The Apache Abdera project, an open source Atom Syndication and Atom
Publication Protocol implementation currently still in its incubation
phase, has recently reached its 0.40 milestone, an important step towards
graduation [as an Apache project]. Snell: "While Atom and AtomPub
certainly began life as a way of syndicating and publishing Weblog
content, it has proven useful for a much broader range of applications.
I've seen Atom being used for contacts, calendaring, file management,
discussion forums, profiles, bookmarks, wikis, photo sharing, podcasting,
distribution of Common Alerting Protocol alerts, and many other cases.
Atom is relevant to any application that involves publishing and managing
collections of content of any type... Abdera is an open source
implementation of the Atom Syndication Format and Atom Publishing Protocol.
It began life as a project within IBM's WebAhead group and was donated to
the Apache Incubator in June 2006. Since then, it has evolved into the
most comprehensive open-source, Java-based implementation of the Atom
standards.. Abdera has been part of the Apache Incubator for long enough.
While there are still some details to work out, I would very much like
to see Abdera graduate to its own Top Level Project at Apache, and become
host to a broad range of Atom-based applications." Diephouse: "Look to
some of the public services out there: most of the APIs for Google are
based on AtomPub. Microsoft is moving toward it for web APIs too. These
services are all going beyond just blogs. AtomPub goes beyond public web
APIs as well -- I've noticed that many enterprises are starting to use
AtomPub for some of their internal services as well. Both AtomPub and
SOAP/WSDL give you a way to build a service for others to use. But AtomPub
takes a fundamentally different approach to helping users implement
services. It implements constraints which give new types of freedom.
Because the data format is constrained -- every entry has a title, entry,
id, and content/summary -- I can use an Atom feed from any type of
application and get some useful information out of it... Abdera includes
support for developing/consuming AtomPub services, an IRI library, a URI
template library, unicode normalization, extensions for things like XML
signature/encryption, GData, GeoRSS, OAuth, JSON and more. One of the
cool new things in the latest release are a set of 'adapters' which allow
you to have an AtomPub service without any coding by storing entries in
JDBC, JCR or the filesystem...

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