The National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) proposes citizen service delivery up to the village level through various channels including village kiosks. The citizen services to be delivered are going to be web services (as against the present simply web enabled services) based on the Service Oriented Architecture paradigm. These Web Services expect adequate networking and computing resources for effective and efficient service delivery. Grid computing is the new computing paradigm. According to Gartner, computing (scientific, business and e-governance based) will be completely transformed in this decade by using grid enabled web services to integrate across the Internet to share not only information and application but also computing power. The latest grid computing standard OGSA (Open Grid Services Architecture) integrates the power of the grid with that of the web services – both stateless and stateful, based on Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Leveraging the power of grid computing for e-governance takes us towards an e-governance grid for India. Towards this objective, the existing computing networks such as NICNET with all its SAN Data Centres connected with each other and also the other state owned Data Centres and SWANs (State Wide Area Networks) are required to be connected with each other to ultimately form the e-Governance Grid of India (e-GGI). Once this is achieved, the web services which offer citizen services will be effectively supported by the powerful resources of this e-ggI, ensuring nonstop, fast and efficient delivery, with all the due backup, mirroring and recovery features in place. Then we can successfully operationalise Web Services Repositories at the District, State and National levels on the e-governance grid of India, thereby delivering citizen services across the country. An architectural framework for citizen services delivery is also proposed based on e-GGI.
Ogsa (Open Grid Services Architecture): Integrating Web Services (Based On Soa) With Grid Computing
While the earlier versions of grid computing technology were supporting predominantly applications of scientific domain and thus were not concerned with the concept of Web Services (based on Service Oriented Architecture), the current grid technology initiatives are based upon the new standard OGSA or Open Grid Services Architecture, wherein the Web Services are integrated with grid technology so as to result in a win-win situation both for the Web Services (by higher resource provision) and grid technology (extending to the commercial or e-governance domain). As Web Services are increasingly becoming standardized, the ability of the “grid” to support Web Services is a key provision for effective delivery of services in any application domain, especially e-governance domain, wherein citizen services are being launched as Web Services over the grid for better and efficient service delivery. In fact, without the grid computing approach, Web Services may not even be possible to be launched at a large scale.
OGSA (Open Grid Services Architecture) is the latest standard evolved by Global Grid Forum (GGF) to integrate Web Services with grid computing. This Architecture integrates the conventional grid computing features such as resource allocation and monitoring, mirroring, etc., with Web Services facility. Citizen services which are basically Web Services, will be supported by grid computing features and facilities to ensure adequate resources and background processes to effectively operationalize them.
OGSA supports WSRF (Web Services Reference Framework) which provides standard architecture for Stateful Web Services (conventionally all Web Services are Stateless). Stateful Web Services will be useful for applications that require reference to data of past transactions, for continuity of processing (if such continuity is not essential, conventional (stateless) web services can be utilised).