OASIS Search Web Services Technical Committee

The original Call For Participation for this TC may be found at http://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/search-ws/200706/msg00001.html

The charter for this TC is as follows.

Name of the TC

OASIS Search Web Services Technical Committee ("Search WS TC")


To define Search and Retrieval Web Services, combining various current and ongoing web service activities.

Within recent years there has been a growth in activity in the development of web service definitions for search and retrieval applications. These include SRU, a web service based in part on the NISO/ISO Search and Retrieval standards; the Amazon OpenSearch, which defines a means of describing and automating search web forms; as well as many proprietary definitions (e.g. the Google and MSN Search APIs). There are also a number of activities for defining abstract search APIs that can be mapped onto multiple implementations either within native code or onto remote procedural calls and web services, such as ZOOM (Z39.50 Object Oriented Model); SQI (Simple Query Interface), an IEEE standard developed for searching and retrieval in the IMS (Instructional Management Systems) space; and OSIDs (Open Service Interface Definitions from the Open Knowledge Initiative. While abstract APIs would be out of scope, these would inform the work to increase interoperability and compatibility.

Scope of the Work

The development of a web service interface specification including

  • Search/Retrieve
  • Query
  • Sorting
  • Record Retrieval
  • Index Browsing

This will include the development or identification of an abstract query language incorporating an extensible framework. One or more application profiles will be developed, either as part of this work, or by another group either within OASIS or another standards body or applicable community. Profiles development within another group will be coordinated with the work of this TC. Profiles might be developed by/for the following communities/applications:

  • Biliographic
  • E-government
  • Geospatial
  • ebXML

The work will also involve semantic description of search services but will build upon existing work (e.g. NISO Z39.92) rather than define new descriptions.

The work will seek input from abstract API initiatives such as:

Out of Scope:  Although as mentioned the work will seek input from abstract API initiatives, the development or standardisation of Abstract APIs is out of scope.

Specific Contribution of Existing Work as a Starting Point: The following works are available to the technical committee for further development:

Additional contributions from other TC members also are welcome.

How it is to be Determined when the Work of the TC has been Completed:

The work will be considered completed when:

  1. An OASIS standard is approved that embodies the functionality provided by the two specifications listed above plus any additional contributions, plus additional functions agreed upon by the TC, minus any functions that the TC decides to exclude.
  2. Any errata, extension or further versioning of the specification that this TC then wishes to create has been completed.
  3. At least one community profile has been developed (whether within OASIS or by an outside group).


  • Service definition(s)
  • XML Schemas
  • Web Service interface specifications including HTTP POST, HTTP GET, and a SOAP binding.
  • Query language definition
  • User best practice documentation
  • Implementer best practice documentation (including ZOOM, OSID, SQI mappings).

Completion Dates:  The target completion date is July 2008. An itemized list of dates for each of the above items will be developed by the TC.

IPR Mode

Royalty Free on Limited Terms

Anticipated Audience/Users

Those involved in the design, development, implementation, or use of elements listed above in "Scope of the Work".  This includes search service providers, prospective users of search services exposed as XML, information architects and bibliographic, metadata, and content providers.