iServe is an open source platform that unifies the discovery, publication, analysis and use of sensors and smart devices, Web APIs  and Web services available on the Web. iServe provides advanced search and discovery support for Web developers to locate and use existing components to create smart Web of Things application and API mashups.

I launched iServe in the context of the European project SOA4All. Since then we have strived to provide both end user support through a publicly available registry as well as to help advance the state of the art around search engines and registries for sensors, Web APIs, and services by offering a modular and extensible open source platform ready to be customised and extended for research and development purposes.

The main goal of the project is to help developers in identifying and integrating reusable services available on the Web, such as the Twitter API or some temperature sensor in a remote location, in order to enable a more rapid and effective development of smart Web applications. To this end, iServe combines state of the art Information Retrieval, Web Mining, and Semantic Web technologies into an integrated platform.

After carrying out a series of advanced analyses on the data collected, the entire registry’s data is exposed following Linked Data principles in order to better promote and support its use. Additionally, for those developers who are not familiar with Linked Data technologies or those who simply wish to make use of the advanced search support within their software, iServe offers a simple yet efficient RESTful API.

Finally, in the interest of promoting further take up and progress in the area, iServe is not only open source but it has also been designed in a highly modular manner. Notably, it embeds a plugin-based infrastructure allowing users to add support for new formats, new discovery algorithms, novel ranking approaches, or further filtering techniques, by dropping a new library in the server deployment. In this way, researchers and developers wishing to work on novel techniques can avoid the time-consuming implementation of the core functionality of the registry and focus instead of providing novel features.

If you are looking for services and sensors to use in your application and using traditional search engines provide frustrating results or if you are looking for a powerful registry to embed within your infrastructure, iServe is certainly a software you may want to have a look at!