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A presence service enables the discovery and retrieval of, and subscription to changes in, an end userÂ¿s context information. RESTful web services are now emerging as a lighter alternative to the so-called Big Web services. This article presents an early feasibility prototype of a RESTful web-services-based architecture. The architecture enables the discovery and retrieval of and subscription to changes in context information, independent of the technologies used in the end usersÂ¿ domains. Concretely, it enables end users with multiple presence accounts (e.g., MSN, Yahoo, Gmail) to publish context information related to the account(s) they are using at any given time. It also enables other end users or applications to retrieve this information by subscribing to any of the multiple accounts of the publisher. The project has demonstrated that RESTful web services are quite suitable for bridging services across technologies and domains. It has also demonstrated that a RESTful web services approach has several advantages over a traditional web services (also known as Big Web services) approach. However, more functionality needs to be added to the prototype before market introduction is contemplated. The lessons learned are discussed and the missing functionalities are identified.
Date of Publication: December 2010