Building Service-Oriented Grid Applications

Building Service-Oriented Grid Applications

Enjie Liu (University of Bedfordshire, UK), Xia Zhao (University of Bedfordshire, UK) and Gordon J. Clapworthy (University of Bedfordshire, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-364-7.ch001
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At the heart of the Grid technology is the concept of resource sharing, which includes computers, storage and networks. Grid currently appears to be the most suitable technology to support this type of future development. Web Services are the key technology in Grid infrastructure. This chapter presents a case study of a Web Services design and implementation to allow medical data in differing formats to be stored in a standardised form and to expose algorithms from existing applications that manipulate these data sets as online service objects. The aim is to explain the key concerns in service design and development using a real-world application as a case study. By reading this chapter, the reader should gain an overall understanding of how a service-oriented Grid application can be designed and implemented.
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In bioinformatics experiments related to in silico modelling, huge sets of data at different physical scales, and frequently from different sources, are created. Algorithms to process these data will often have been developed by researchers in different institutions; some of them will be newly created but others will have been in long-term use. Models are becoming more complex, often involving teams of researchers working at different locations, each possibly specialising in only one aspect of the overall problem, so the demands for resource sharing and high-performance computing, which is often available only at a distant site, are growing.

It remains a huge challenge to share and manage the distributed data, algorithms and computational resources and provide a suitable environment within which users can perform their tasks. Unless users can work in this environment in a familiar way that requires little change from their previous practice, there is likely to be resistance to the change and poor user take-up.

To provide support for users’ activities, it can be valuable to build a digital library infrastructure that allows clinicians and researchers not only to preserve, trace and share data resources, but also to collaborate at the data-processing level.

This chapter describes the implementation of the digital library as a service-oriented Grid application, based on work in a project funded by the European Commission – LHDL: the Living Human Digital Library. We shall briefly introduce Grid technology including the data grid middleware used in the project, then describe Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) and Web Services technology. Finally, we describe the LHDL project, including its overall design and the main concerns for the implementation. We also explain the reasons for choosing the particular technology and tools, with the aim of sharing our experiences with the reader.

To summarise, the overall objectives of the chapter are to:

  • Provide an overview of relevant aspects of Grid technology.

  • Describe the features of a digital bioinformatics library based on Grid and Web Services.

  • Explain in detail a Web Service design and implementation that can be used for the Grid.

  • Share experiences related to building such an application.


Grid Technology

In this section, we briefly describe Grid technology, its key features and its evolution. We then introduce a general Grid architecture, and summarise the resources that are provided by Grid. Finally, we survey Grid middleware and data Grid middleware.


As expressed by Foster and Kesselman (1998) and later refined in Foster et al. (2001), the Grid concept is encapsulated by ‘coordinated resource sharing and problem solving in a dynamic, multi-institutional virtual organisation’.

In the commercial world, IBM defines a Grid as ‘a standards-based application/resource-sharing architecture that makes it possible for heterogeneous systems and applications to share, compute and store resources transparently.’ (Clabby, 2004)

According to the Expert Group Report (2003), the Grid evolved through several phases, beginning as a means of sharing computing resources. Data sharing, and the use of special devices such as scientific instruments and medical equipment, were added later. The combination of the first generation of Grid with Web technology led to generic Grid services.

The focus later shifted to knowledge sharing and collaboration between organisations, while maintaining the security requirements of each individual. The knowledge Grid facilitates data mining across the Internet. It requires techniques for abstracting heterogeneous data, creating meta-data, publishing, discovering and describing data in the Grid.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Mark Baker
Nik Bessis
Nik Bessis
Chapter 1
Enjie Liu, Xia Zhao, Gordon J. Clapworthy
At the heart of the Grid technology is the concept of resource sharing, which includes computers, storage and networks. Grid currently appears to be... Sample PDF
Building Service-Oriented Grid Applications
Chapter 2
Giuseppe Andronico, Roberto Barbera, Marco Fargetta, Emidio Giorgio, Salvatore Marco, Diego Scardaci
Grid computing allows for the creation of e-infrastructures providing computational power and information storage capabilities needed both by... Sample PDF
Sustainable and Interoperable e-Infrastructures for Research and Business
Chapter 3
Vassilikil Andronikou, Dimosthenis Kyriazis, Magdalini Kardara, Dimitrios Halkos, Theodora Varvarigou
The Grid has the potential to make a significant advance beyond the Internet, by turning it from a passive information medium into an active tool... Sample PDF
Scenarios of Next Generation Grid Applications in Collaborative EnvironmentsA Business-Technical Analysis
Chapter 4
Gayathri Nadarajan, Areti Manataki, Yun-Heh Chen-Burger
The infrastructure of Grid is approaching maturity and can be used to enable the utilisation and sharing of large scale, remote data storages... Sample PDF
Semantics-Based Process Support for Grid Applications
Chapter 5
Rogério Luís de Carvalho Costal, Pedro Furtado
The computational grid offers services for efficiently scheduling jobs on the grid, but for grid-enabled applications where data handling is a most... Sample PDF
Placement and Scheduling over Grid Warehouses
Chapter 6
Navonil Mustafee, Simon J.E. Taylor
The computational grid offers services for efficiently scheduling jobs on the grid, but for grid-enabled applications where data handling is a most... Sample PDF
Leveraging Simulation Practice in Industry through use of Desktop Grid Middleware
Chapter 7
Genoveffa Jeni Giambona, Nicholas L.J. Silburn, David W. Birchall
This chapter focuses on the collaborative use of computing resources to support decision making in industry. Through the use of middleware for... Sample PDF
Trust, Virtual Teams, and Grid Technology
Chapter 8
Rob Smith, Rob Wilson
Flexible and remote working is becoming more and more widespread. In particular, virtual team working is growing rapidly. Although virtual teams... Sample PDF
The Socio-Technical Virtual Organisation
Chapter 9
Marina Burakova-Lorgnier
A Virtual Organisation (VO) or Virtual Enterprise is a loosely-coupled group of collaborating organisations, acting to some extent as though they... Sample PDF
Modelling Trust–Control Dynamics for Grid-based Communities: A Shared Psychological Ownership Perspective
Chapter 10
Lu Liu, Nick Antonopoulos
The aim of this chapter is to appreciate the need for and propose some thoughts on modelling trust–control dynamics for communities that use grid... Sample PDF
Small World Architecture for Building Effective Virtual Organisations
Chapter 11
James Dooley, Andrea Zisman, George Spanoudakis
A Virtual Organisation in large-scale distributed systems is a set of individuals and/or institutions with some common purposes or interests that... Sample PDF
Runtime Service Discovery for Grid Applications
Chapter 12
Nik Bessis
This chapter describes a framework to support runtime service discovery for Grid applications based on service discovery queries in both push and... Sample PDF
Model Architecture for a User Tailored Data Push Service in Data Grids
Chapter 13
Eleana Asimakopoulou, Chimay J. Anumba, Bouchlaghem, Bouchlaghem
Much work is under way within the Grid technology community on issues associated with the development of services to foster collaboration via the... Sample PDF
Using Grid Technology for Maximizing Collaborative Emergency Response Decision Making
Chapter 14
Ahmet Sayar, Geoffrey C. Fox, Marlon E. Pierce
Geographic information is critical for building disaster planning, crisis management, and early-warning systems. Decision making in geographic... Sample PDF
Unified Data Access/Query over Integrated Data-views for Decision Making in Geographic Information Systems
About the Contributors