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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

Rapid Portals for Seismological Waveform Data

The main aim of this project is to remove the barrier of uptake to the seismology community of an application that allows analyses of seismic waveform data. This will be achieved by embedding this analysis application in a community gateway, which already exists in the form of a web portal.

Mon, 06/01/2009 to Mon, 11/30/2009
Project members: 

Rapid 0.8.5 released.


Copyvariable action
A button can be a child of setjob
Fileupload uploads files to filesystem/path


Liferay Support in version Rapid 0.8.0.


- Added support to halt a job on a cluster with the haltjob action.
- Added a dotarget tag to perform target transfers depending on the success state of the job
- Added support for the Liferay portal. Use mvn package -Pliferay
- Bugfixes


e-Infrastructure and e-Researchers: lessons and opportunities from the ENGAGE Initiative

Presented by Stephen J Brewer, OMII-UK in the Modelling protein-carbohydrate recognition in-silico workshop, New Cavendish Campus, University of Westminster, London, UK, 20-24 April 2009.

Includes results from the ENGAGE-funded "Rapid Chemistry Portals through Engaging Researchers".


Rapid release 0.7.0


- preprocess/postprocess tags allows a set of actions to be performed at job initialisation and job completion.
- added the callprogram action
- the job monitor now automatically selects a job
- several bugfixes


Rapid: giving computational science a friendly face

Presentation Type: 

Rapid is a unique approach to quickly designing and delivering web portal interfaces for applications that require large amounts of computing resources or that need to run on specific servers. The approach consists of defining the resources, application use and user interface in one XML file. This file is then validated and translated directly into a live portlet that can be inserted into a portal container. The whole process can be performed without any conventional programming. Rapid provides all the necessary components for handling compute-jobs.

Date and time: 
Wednesday, 29 April, 2009 - 15:00
edikt2009 Symposium, Dundee, UK

Building portals for computational chemistry

Presentation Type: 

Rapid is a unique way of quickly designing and delivering portal interfaces to applications that require grid or high performance computing. We will demonstrate how this has been used as part of the ENGAGE initiative in the context of computational chemistry.

Date and time: 
Tuesday, 24 March, 2009 - 14:00
JISC Conference 2009, Edinburgh, UK

Google Summer of Code 2009: Generating User Interfaces to the Cloud

Raviteja Dodda

Rapid is a unique way of quickly designing and delivering web portal interfaces to applications that require computational resources, such as utility computing infrastructures or high-performance computing facilities. It focuses on the requirements of the end-user by designing customised user interfaces for domain-specific applications that allow users to achieve particular tasks.

Project status: 
Degree level: 
Knowledge of Java is required. A bit of experience with XML is useful.
Supervisors @ NeSC: 
Subject areas: 
WWW Tools and Programming
Student project type: 
Rapid: Google Summer of Code 2009: OMII-UK: EUCALYPTUS: Hadoop:

Screencast: Rapid Portal for Computational Chemistry Students

We show a screencast of an example portal created using Rapid, which allows computational chemistry students to perform exercises using Gaussian 03. To see this demo you require Flash to be installed.

Topic of this submission: 
Research topics: 

New version of Rapid released


1. Programmable Buttons.

The concept of a button is introduced, where a button can be added to which one or more actions can be added.
Currently the supported actions are: navigate submit deletejob loadfile savefile copyvariable

2. Addition of the PBS submission system

3. various bugfixes