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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 release Version 0.5.0

Version: 
0.5.0

1. Removal of most child elements of the' page' element. This is replaced with a method in which variables are used to input data.
2. Authentication elements have been removed. Setting username/passwords are performed using variables.
3. New 'loadfile' and 'savefile' elements. Used to load and save files from/to variables.

Projects: 

Rapid 0.4 Released

Version: 
0.4

Persistence. Logging out of the portal no longer deletes old jobs.
Added support for the Range datatype.
Added an 'index' attribute to the text and radio button user interface elements to set values for individual sub-jobs.
Fixed several bugs.

Projects: 

Generate A Portal for Brain Imaging

Student: 
Albert Heyrovsky
Grade: 
first

Although some scientists, such as many physicists, may prefer a command line approach to submitting computational jobs, a majority of scientists want to be shielded from the innards of a computer. A popular approach is to build portals; user community web sites that allow job submissions from the convenience of a web browser.

Project status: 
Finished
Degree level: 
MSc
Background: 
Proficient in XML
Other supervisors: 
Trevor Carpenter, SFC Brain Imaging Research Centre, University of Edinburgh.
Subject areas: 
e-Science
Other
Projects: 
Student project type: 

Rapid

Speaker(s): 
Presentation Type: 
talk

Introduces Rapid, its goals and provides the following information:
* current status of the project
* plans for next three months
* what the software does and who it's targeted at
* how the software integrates with other tools and the software used by target communities of users
* other requirements (e.g. other software that could benefit the project)

Date and time: 
Wednesday, 8 October, 2008 - 10:40
Location: 
OMII-UK Commisioned Software Programme Day
Projects: 

Rapid Chemistry Portals through Engaging Researchers

The primary issue is to enable end-users in the domain of chemistry to make use of computational applications. Currently, a small set of expert-users is able to make use of these tools and they often perform tasks for end-users. This setup does not scale up well as the number of expert-users is not growing. Many of the tasks are well defined and it should be possible to enable these via a web portal.

Acronym: 
RCPER
Value: 
£63,941
Dates: 
Sat, 11/01/2008 to Sun, 05/31/2009
Project members: 
Projects: 

Rapid Version 0.3 has been released.

Version: 
0.3

Support for username/password authentication.
It is now possible to delete jobs from the job monitor.
Advanced job monitoring options.
GSIFTP, FTP and SFTP URLs now have paths relative to the users' home directory.
Various bug fixes.

Projects: 

Rapid: Giving computational science a friendly face

Speaker(s): 
Presentation Type: 
demo

A 20-minute demonstration to show how easy it is to use Rapid to produce web portals that facilitate e-Research.

Date and time: 
Wednesday, 10 September, 2008 - 13:40
Location: 
Appleton Tower Demo Room 1, e-Science All Hands Meeting 2008, Edinburgh, UK
Projects: 

A Rapid Approach to Enabling Domain-Specific Applications

Speaker(s): 
Presentation Type: 
talk

The philosophy of our system, which we call Rapid, is to deliver customised graphical user interfaces that allow a domain specialist to achieve certain tasks. These tasks make use of domain-specific applications that require much computational resources; a requirement which is satisfied by translating the task into one or several computational jobs to be performed on Grid Computing infrastructures and HPC facilities. The customised interface will allow the task to be performed without referring to terminology about the underlying computational infrastructure.

Date and time: 
Wednesday, 10 September, 2008 - 11:00
Location: 
e-Science All Hands Meeting 2008, Edinburgh, UK
Projects: 

Screencast: Rapid Delivers a Custom Portal for the EaStCHEM Project

We show a screencast of a portlet created for the EaStChem project, which is the premier Chemistry research school for Chemistry in Scotland and one of the largest in the UK, with around 500 researchers. The portlet allows chemists to run the most popular simulation software Gaussian 03 and visualises their results in 3D through the use of JMol. To see this demo you require Flash to be installed.

Projects: 
Topic of this submission: 

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