You are here

Rapid: Giving Computational Science a Friendly Face

Rapid is a cost-effective and efficient way of designing and delivering portal interfaces to tasks that require remote compute resources. The aim of Rapid is to make completing these tasks as simple as purchasing a book or booking a flight on the web.

The philosophy of Rapid is to deliver customised graphical user interfaces that enable domain specialists to achieve their tasks. These tasks make use of domain-specific applications that run on remote compute resources; a requirement which is satisfied by translating the task into one or several computational jobs to be performed on Grid and Cloud Computing infrastructures, and High-Performance Computing facilities.

Customised interfaces allow tasks to be performed without referring to terminology about the underlying computational infrastructure. Moreover, the system allows to expose particular features of applications as not to overwhelm the user.

Where to start
Have a look at what Rapid can produce in the form of a video. If you like it, then have a look at a short video that explains how to install Rapid and deliver your first portal. Move on to the basic tutorial and finally, consult the manual to unlock advanced features.

Relevant files and media

Funding and support
The development and application of Rapid is funded by EPSRC, BBSRC, NERC, JISC, ENGAGE (JISC) and OMII-UK (EPSRC)

Rapid News

Web Portals for Computational Science

Presentation Type: 

Not every user knows how to submit a compute job by a remote login or to adapt to different job- submission systems when switching between facilities. In recognition, a recent trend is to provide web portals as an interface, which come in two types, each with its own major drawback. The first type consists of generic job-submission portals, which still require many technical specifics to be supplied by the user and much manual handling of data and results. The second type consists of domain-specific portals, which are expensive and time-consuming to build and maintain.

Date and time: 
Monday, 15 November, 2010 - 13:30
SC10, New Orleans, LA

New version Rapid 2.0 released!


With Rapid it is now even easier to develop advanced computational portals in a
very short time. The syntax has been simplified and many powerful features have
been added. A few examples:

- new 'static' variables
- better security options with ssh
- vastly improved 'browser' element
- simplified syntax
- array jobs
- 'id' and 'class' tags can make use of web frameworks


Ms Sandra Gesing

University of Tübingen, Germany

Sandra will work with Jano and Jos to develop a portal for mass spectrometry tools using Rapid. She is in room 2.23.

15 Sep 2010 to 18 Sep 2010

Screencast: A Rapid portal for Parallel TCoffee running on HECToR

We show a screencast of a portlet created for Parallel TCoffee—the first parallel implementation of the TCoffee multiple sequence alignment tool. The portlet was developed using our Rapid technology and shows how TCoffee can be run on the UK National Academic Supercomputer HECToR. To see this demo you require Flash to be installed.

Topic of this submission: 

Surfing for earthquakes

A better understanding of the ground beneath our feet will result from research by seismologists and Rapid—a group of computer scientists at the University of Edinburgh. The Earth's structure controls how earthquakes travel and the damage they can cause. A clear picture of this structure would be extremely valuable to earthquake planners, but it requires the analysis of huge amounts of data. The Rapid team developed a system that performs the seismologists' data-crunching, and have made it easy to use by relying on an interface familiar to all scientists – a web browser.

Topic of this submission: 

Screencast:A Rapid portal for computational chemistry on HECToR, the UK-national academic supercomputer

Below a screencast where Rapid was used to develop a portal for the UK-national academic supercomputer HECToR. The portal shows how to setup an advanced compute job involving computational chemistry. You need Flash installed in the browser to watch the video below. Click here for a large version

Topic of this submission: 

Rapid Version 1.5.0 Released


This new version of Rapid uses a new and faster build system based on Ant and Ivy that generates smaller portlets. File Browsers are improved and can be used to select multiple files at once. Error reporting is improved with the addition of Schematron Rapid now checks a large number of referential constraints. The Code Generation system has been rewritten and a number of bugs have been fixed.