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Rapid Development of Computational Science Portals

Presentation Type: 

Motivation: Scientific web portals are seen as the way forward to improve upon the slow uptake in use of utility computing infrastructure and high-performance computing facilities. Currently, two types of portals exist: general-purpose portals and domain-specific portals. The first type closely resembles the underlying technical infrastructure of compute-job submission systems, thereby providing little appeal to a wide range of domain specialists. The second type is tailored to the application specifications and their end-users' requirements. Unfortunately, the technical complexity in domain-specific portals makes these expensive and time-consuming to develop and maintain. Clearly, an alternative to these two approaches is required.

Results: We introduce an approach, Rapid, that facilitates rapid development of portlets. Its main aim is to reduce the time from development to the deployment from several months to a few weeks. Moreover, it facilitates an easy way to share and maintain these portlets by domain specialist themselves. Both these advantages considerably reduce the cost of developing portal solutions for computational science applications. We highlight several scientific domains where our approach is used or was used successfully.

Availability: Rapid is developed under an Open Source model and is available freely through a Gnu General Public license. Main releases, documentation, tutorials and examples are available at The development of Rapid uses an open read-only CVS repository, which is complemented by a developer community site at

Date and time: 
Monday, 14 September, 2009 - 11:10
IWPLS’09 International Workshop on Portals for Life Sciences, e-Science Institute, Edinburgh, UK