The primary goal of our work package is to
develop a Grid portal development framework that we call GridSphere.
GridSphere provides an open-source portlet based Web
portal that offers support for developing portlets and customizing websites online. GridSphere is, in fact,
a generic environment for developing just about any Web application. However, the ultimate aim of the GridSphere
project is to develop a set of well-integrated, easy-to-use portlets for utilizing Grids to collaborate online,
perform computations, manage & visualize data, and to gain access to a wide variety of value-added services.
To this end, we are also developing a high-level application programmer interface (API) for developing
customized Grid-enabled portlets.
Much like the Grid Application Toolkit,
GridSphere is intended to be a generic toolkit that enables developers to plug in their own Grid technologies
as required by their user communities. The GridLab approach is to encapsulate the appropriate levels of
abstraction in an API, as determined through real-world use-cases, and to support that API with modular
services that leverage off emerging standards in the Web and Grid communities. Indeed, by implementing
and leveraging off standards like the Portlet API, we hope to make our work accessible to a larger target audience.
But Grid portals are only as good as the underlying Grid technologies that support them. GridSphere's strength
lies in its support for the use of GridLab services to provide access to Grid resources.
GridSphere is still very much in development. Yet it has already acquired a large user base within the Web and
Grid portal development communities. Moreover, GridSphere was designed to serve the needs of user communities
for which the GridLab Project was commissioned. These user communities include the researchers at
the Albert Einstein Institute as well as the researchers and developers
that make up the GridLab Project. Thus, our work package is actively engaged in developing two production
portal environments, the AEI Portal and the
GridLab Portal, respectively.