Evolution of web services in bioinformatics
Bioinformaticians have developed large collections of tools to make sense of the rapidly growing pool of molecular biological data. Biological systems tend to be complex and in order to understand them, it is often necessary to link many data sets and use more than one tool. Therefore, bioinformaticians have experimented with several strategies to try to integrate data sets and tools. Owing to the lack of standards for data sets and the interfaces of the tools this is not a trivial task. Over the past few years building services with web-based interfaces has become a popular way of sharing the data and tools that have resulted from many bioinformatics projects. This paper discusses the interoperability problem and how web services are being used to try to solve it, resulting in the evolution of tools with web interfaces from HTML/web form-based tools not suited for automatic workflow generation to a dynamic network of XML-based web services that can easily be used to create pipelines.