One of the questions in the HDF5 FAQ (http://www.hdfgroup.org/HDF5-FAQ.html#grem) reads:
"Are there tools to remotely access parts (subsets) of an HDF5 file on-line?"
The affirmative answer refers the reader to OPeNDAP and iRODS. While both solutions have helped and continue to help users to satisfy domain-specific needs, neither capability offers an unobstructed view of HDF5 files to HTTP clients, e.g., mobile devices. By 'unobstructed' we mean a capability that, for example, does not "abstract away" important HDF5 characteristics such as the hierarchical structure or overload the HTTP protocol semantic.
The presentation has two parts. In the first part, we give an overview of a REST API for HDF5. This includes a description of the resources, representations, URIs, content negotiation, and queries that are supported by the interface. We believe that this API is true to HDF5 and the REST architectural style. In the second part, we describe an implementation of the REST API on the Windows Azure cloud platform. We conclude with a discussion of several opportunities for advancement.