Wanted: SHARE API Early Adopters

Having completed the SHARE API v1.0 pilot in 2016, CDISC recently announced the SHARE API Early Adopter Program for those interested in beginning to use the API right away. SHARE API access provides a RESTful web services interface to SHARE for retrieving new CDISC standards and terminology.

Having worked on the API pilot, I'm happy to see it released for general use. It's a significant step forward and marks CDISC's movement towards new ways of publishing machine-readable standards content.  As part of the Early Adopters Program new users will be asked to provide regular feedback and input into new features. The SHARE API is currently a v1.0 release meaning the essentials are there in terms of accessing metadata content, but we also have a lot more we'd like to do with it. The API Pilot team developed a list of user stories at the beginning of the project, and while most were implemented during the pilot, many were deferred and will become part of the roadmap for future releases.

Version 1.0 of the API provides access to CDISC standards content in extended forms of ODM-XML or Define-XML. The extension provides access to additional metadata available in SHARE that would not normally be included in ODM-XML or Define-XML. For example, when requesting the CDASH standard in XML, the ODM-XML has been extended to include CDASH metadata such as prompt, completion instructions, and sponsor information. Define-XML is similarly extended for SDTM to include content such as core and CDISC notes. The XML formats also carry the mappings that link the standards across the clinical research data lifecycle (e.g. CDASH to SDTM) where these relationships are available in SHARE. BRIDG mappings are represented where they have been published for a standard.

One of the most useful API features will be the ability to retrieve the quarterly CDISC Controlled Terminology packages. Implementers that use the XML format will get all the CDISC Controlled Terminology content through the NCI EVS extended version of ODM-XML.

For implementers that prefer other formats, full standards content is available in RDF format. JSON is available as an option, but is considered experimental at this time since not all information is available in this format. This year we plan to implement a JSON version of the CDISC XML standards and will look to deploy that in a future version of the API.

I believe I'll be helping to run some SHARE API workshops at the Interchanges again this year. The workshops are a fun way to learn about the API by doing some hands-on exercises.

You can find more details on the SHARE API on the SHARE section of the CDISC web site.

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