Web services are a way of exposing the functionality of an information system and make it available through standard web technologies. These technologies are exposed programmatically and allow anyone with internet access, on any platform, to gain access to the output of the technology.
With the establishment of large scale e-infrastructures, there has been an international move toward making software available as a service. By adopting a service-oriented architecture, existing resources and tools can be used to develop complex component based systems. By hosting NLP web services, the development of end-user facing applications could be facilitated in the sense that software developers (e.g. private enterprises or the South African State Information Technology Agency) and researchers could get direct access to implemented versions of such technologies via simple web queries.
For details on accessing the API, please see the Using the API page.
For users unaccustomed to a service-oriented architecture, the architecture and integration of the components may be quite challenging. As such, we also developed an automated system to assist users in using the services in order to complete certain tasks. This was done by the development of a web-based, user-friendly graphical user interface capable of completing various tasks by providing predefined chains of the web services detailed above. For example, if a user needs to perform POS tagging on a document, that user can upload the document and select POS tagging and the relevant language. The system will automatically perform tokenisation and sentence boundary detection before using the POS tagging service to tag the user’s document. Please see the Using the Web Application page for more details.
Please see the Technologies and Supported Languages page.
The project was funded by the Department of Arts and Culture through the National Language Service HLT Unit.
The web services were developed by the Centre for Text Technology (CTexT®) at the North-West University. CTexT® runs a variety of language technology projects (such as the development of spelling checkers for ten South African languages) and thrives on new challenges and new ideas. Read more about CTexT® at http://humanities.nwu.ac.za/ctext.