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B Overview of the DODS Client

A DODS client is any web client that makes a service request to a DODS server. Since several of the DODS services return ASCII and HTML data, any web browser, such as Netscape Navigator can be considered a DODS client, so long as it is in the process of making a suitable request to a DODS server. The clients of interest in this appendix, however, are clients that use the DODS DAP (Data Access Protocol) library to make their requests for data.

Of these clients, there are two varieties: clients that have been written expressly for DODS, and clients that existed in some form already, and that have been adapted to use with a DODS client library.


The Original Program, untouched by DODS. The application's code accesses data by calls to the netCDF library functions, linked with the program. Data access is direct, with the application program accessing local disk files to read data.


The Modified Program, using the DODS netCDF client library. The application's code now accesses data by calls to the DODS netCDF library functions. These are written to be functionally identical to the original netCDF functions, but instead of using a local disk to retrieve data, this library invokes functions from the DODS DAP library, which makes HTTP GET requests to a DODS server. The client code is unchanged.


Another Way. An application program can also call the DODS DAP directly, eliminating the need for a client library. When starting from scratch, this is probably easiest, unless you are an old hand at one of the supported data access APIs.

Tom Sgouros, July 2, 2004

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