Introduce: An Open Source Toolkit for Rapid Development of Strongly Typed Grid Services
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Service-oriented architectures and applications have gained wide acceptance in the Grid computing community. A number of tools and middleware systems have been developed to support application development using Grid Services architectures. Most of these efforts, however, have focused on low-level support for management and execution of Grid services, management of Grid-enabled resources, and deployment and execution of applications that make use of Grid services. Simple-to-use service development tools, which would allow a Grid service developer to leverage Grid technologies without needing to know low-level details, are becoming increasingly important for wider application of the Grid. In this paper, we describe an open-source, extensible toolkit, called Introduce, that supports easy development and deployment of Web Services Resource Framework (WSRF) compliant services. Introduce is designed to reduce the service development and deployment effort by hiding low level details of the Globus Toolkit and to enable the implementation of strongly typed services. In strongly typed services, a service produces and consumes data types that are well-defined and published in the Grid. This enables data-level syntactic interoperability so that clients and services can access and consume data elements programmatically and correctly. We expect that enabling strongly typed Grid services while lowering the difficulty of entry to the Grid via toolkits like Introduce will have a major impact to the success of the Grid and its wider adoption as a viable technology of choice in the commercial sector as well as in academic, medical, and government research.