Washington State

Legislative Web Services

 

Introduction

Executive Summary

Support Policy

Notification Policy

Change Management Policy

Legislative Web Services

Technical Information

Glossary

 

Introduction

The Washington State Legislature is making legislative information available using Web Services. The following sections provide information about Legislative Web Services (LWS) and outline the policies regarding the level of support that customers can expect from Legislative Service Center (LSC) staff, notifications, and change management policies. A glossary defining associated acronyms and terms is also included. The content does not represent any legally binding agreements and is subject to change based on the support needs of the Washington State Legislature.

 

Executive Summary

The Legislature is providing information free of charge to all interested parties through the use of Web Services. Web Services provide a mechanism allowing agencies, interest groups, and the general public to obtain real-time legislative information for their in-house applications, regardless of the development language and operating platform. Web Services are based on widely accepted standards which foster integration and communication between systems.

 

The Legislature is providing the following information.

 

Service Name

Description

 

Amendments

Bill being amended, chamber in which amendment was offered, amendment type, floor number, sponsor, etc.

Committees

Chamber, name of committee, committee acronym.

Committee actions

Committee actions.

Committee meetings

Date, time, and location of committee meetings and the bills scheduled to be heard.

Documents

Document name, type (bill, amendment, bill report, etc.), document name translated into English, the URLs of the HTML and PDF versions of the document.

Legislation

Bill number, current status, bill history, sponsors.

RCW cite affected

Which sections of the RCW a bill affects.

Session law

The session law number of any bill passed by the Legislature, its effective date, veto information, etc.

Sponsors

Chamber, name of sponsor, sponsor acronym.

 

 

The information is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. LSC will notify customers of any scheduled downtime. When possible, LSC will give 30 days notice to any change to production services. LSC will make exceptions for changes deemed critical to the accuracy or completeness of the data provided by the services. To receive change notifications, please send contact information to WebRequest@leg.wa.gov.

 

LSC has provided a more detailed description of the services, a data dictionary, and tests at Legislative Web Services Details. For inquiries or support, send e-mail to WebRequest@leg.wa.gov. LSC support staff will make every reasonable effort to respond to reported issues within 24 hours. LSC’s priority, however, is to support the Legislature.

 

To request a change to the services, send the request to WebRequest@leg.wa.gov. Only those changes deemed critical will be implemented during a legislative session. Priority will be given to those requests that provide the broadest benefit. LSC has provided a staging area at which customers can test changes and new services.

 

Support Policy

Although the intended goal is to provide reliable access to LWS 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it is strongly encouraged that customers consider how they will operate in the event that any services should become temporarily unavailable. All scheduled downtime will be communicated, when possible, based on the Notification Policy. It is the responsibility of customers to ensure that appropriate and timely risk mitigation is taken based on changes to, or disruption of, services.

 

LSC’s priority is to support the Legislature. The services and applications deemed most critical to supporting the operation of the Legislature will be given priority when considering support requests.

 

All problems, issues or questions regarding the content, performance or availability of LWS should be forwarded to WebRequest@leg.wa.gov. To ensure the most prompt response possible do not forward issues directly to individuals, as support resources are subject to change. LSC support staff will make every reasonable effort to respond to reported issues within 24 hours. A response does not automatically guarantee a resolution since all resource allocations are balanced against the support needs of the Legislature.

 

No guarantees can be made regarding the performance or response time of services. Several variables can affect the response time of a service. The following list comprises the most common variables known to affect service performance:

 

·        Input parameters (for example, date ranges)

·        Concurrent access to common resources

·        Network bandwidth capacity and availability (customer and provider)

 

During periods of poor performance, LSC expects that customers will make a reasonable attempt to determine the cause of the performance issues (e.g., requesting more data than is necessary, customer’s network capacity).

 

Notification Policy

When possible, LSC will give customers 30 days notice prior to any changes to production services. Exceptions to the Notification Policy will be made for changes that are deemed critical to the accuracy or completeness of data provided by the services. To receive change notifications, please send contact information to WebRequest@leg.wa.gov.

 

Change Management Policy

Send change requests to WebRequest@leg.wa.gov. LSC will consider each request based on the broadest application. Priority will be given to those requests that provide the broadest impact and the greatest benefit. To expedite an appropriate response, provide as much detailed information as possible in your request.

  

Only those changes deemed critical will be implemented during a legislative session.

Due to the nature of Web Services and a general lack of a standard versioning protocol, LSC will support only the current version of a service will be supported. LSC will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that any changes will allow previous versions to continue to function as intended.

  

LSC will provide a staging area allowing customers the opportunity to test changes to existing services as well as new services. The staging area is for testing only and is subject to change - with no advanced notice - once a service version is moved into production.

  

Legislative Web Services

LWS provide information that supports the law-making processes of the Washington State House of Representatives and Senate. They are not designed to meet the needs of any specific agency or customer.

 

For a current list of all LWS, please refer to Legislative Web Services Details. The LWS data dictionary can be found here.

 

Technical Information

XML Web Services

XML Web Services are the technical mechanism used to implement LWS. XML Web Services are defined as software components that are implemented using XML structured messages transferred over HTTP. The XML messages used to send and receive data conform to the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP).

 

Response Time

LSC can make no guarantees regarding the performance or response time of services. Several variables can affect the response time of a service. The following list comprises the most common variables known to affect service performance:

 

·        Input parameters (for example, date ranges)

·        Concurrent access to common resources

·        Network bandwidth capacity and availability (customer and provider)

 

During periods of poor performance, LSC expects that customers will make a reasonable attempt to determine the cause of the performance issues (e.g., requesting more data than is necessary, customer’s network capacity).

 

Interoperability

Every attempt is made to ensure that the LWS conform to the currently adopted interoperability standards defined by the Web Service Interoperability (WS-I) protocols. Details regarding the specifications of the WS-I standards can be found at http://www.ws-i.org.

 

Request-Response Message Exchange Pattern

Request-Response is the only form of communication currently supported by LWS. This means that there is a two-way exchange of messages between the requestor and the responder. Each service takes exactly one request message as input and returns exactly one response message as output. Under certain conditions, the service may generate a fault in lieu of a response message. Faults can occur for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to:

 

·        Invalid input data (e.g., null values, invalid biennium)

·        An error during processing

·        Data not found when reasonably expected

 

Components and Information Supplied

The following software components and/or information are provided for each service:

 

·        Service Name – all service methods are grouped into a service

·        Service Description – a description regarding the legislative activity that the service provides data for

·        Service Version Number – the current version number of the service

·        Service Interface Diagram – A UML-formatted diagram describing the interface of the service

·        Class Diagram – A UML-formatted diagram describing all the classes associated with the service

·        WSLD – An XML-formatted document containing details on how to interact with the service including method names and parameters

·        Service Test Page – A web page that allows customers to invoke the service by entering input parameters and returning XML-formatted data while also providing sample input and output messages.

 

Error Handling

LSC strongly suggests that customers of the LWS follow good programming practices when it comes to error (fault) handling. This includes the use of try-catch programming blocks that allow the application using a service to appropriately interpret any errors that occur. This allows the application to deal with errors gracefully as well as helps provide detailed troubleshooting information.

Glossary

 

LSC (Legislative Service Center) – LSC supports the Washington State Legislature’s operations and functions by establishing, providing, and maintaining cost-effective, reliable, customer-oriented IT services. Major areas of emphasis include law-making processes, constituent communications management systems, internal business/support processes, and Internet-based information services.

 

LWS (Legislative Web Services) – The suite of Web Services that provide legislative information to any interested parties including state agencies and the public.

Service – A unit of work performed by a service provider that fulfills the request of a service consumer which typically, but not always, involves a response back from the service provider.

 

Service Consumer – An entity invoking (making a request) a service provided by a service provider.

 

Service Provider – An entity responsible for providing services to other entities.

 

SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) – A protocol used for exchanging XML-based messages over a network.

 

W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) – An international consortium where member organizations, a full-time staff and the public work together to develop standards for the World Wide Web.

 

Web Service – A software system designed to support interoperable machine-to-machine interaction over a network.

 

WSDL (Web Services Definition Language) – An XML format used to describe all relevant information about a service including all interface details required to interact with the service.

 

WS-I (Web Services Interoperability Organization) – An industry consortium whose responsibilities include promoting interoperability between different Web service specifications through the use of standards.

 

XML (eXtensible Markup Language) – A general-purpose markup language used for a wide variety of purposes including describing all artifacts involved in Web service interactions.