Announce: Beta Release of AstroGrid Plastic Hub, ASR, ACR & Workbench
Noel.Winstanley at manchester.ac.uk
Mon Apr 24 06:12:08 PDT 2006
The first beta release of the Astro Runtime family of software
products is available from
There are 4 variants of the Astro Runtime available:
* PLASTIC Hub - just for client-side UI tool interop.
* Astro Server Runtime - for non-UI unattended operation
* Astro Client Runtime - for desktop operation
* Workbench - suite of applications built upon the Astro Runtime
(Astroscope, Application Launcher, Workflow editor)
Each variant is available as
* a webstart application, to click and run
* single executable jar, to download, install and run
* zip of libraries, for integration with other projects.
The Astro Runtime is a facade for any client code that wants to
access Virtual Observatory services. It's facilities are exposed via
a range of techniques - HTTP / XML-RPC / Java-RMI, making it easily
accessible from almost all programming and scripting languages.
The runtime simplifies access to IVOA standard services : Registries,
Siap, SSAP, (SkyNode coming real soon now); All AstroGrid services :
MySpace, Workflow, CEA; Other popular protocols: NVO Cone-search;
Useful one-off services - CDS Simbad, etc
It also provides GUI components - simple dialogues that can be reused
by client applications to perform common tasks (myspace microbrowser,
registry browser, etc). Other benefits of the runtime include single
sign-on, single-configuration, and single cache service responses -
making implementation of client-side applications simpler.
A standard for interoperation of client-side vizualization tools .
Relationship between the current AstroGrid Workbench and the Astro
After a period of testing, the Astro Runtimes will replace the
current monolithic Workbench. The Astro Runtimes repackage the
functionality of the current Workbench, so that the user/developer/
integrator can select the subset of functionality they require.
Download sizes range from 3Meg (for the plastic Hub) to 24Meg (for
the Workbench). The Astro Runtimes are also much more configurable -
service parameters can be set trivially on the commandline even
disabling services altogether. While the Workbench version probably
isn't ready for production use yet, the smaller variants - Hub, ASR,
ACR - should be usable with no problems. YMMV.
Senior Java Developer, AstroGrid Project
Jodrell Bank Observatory, University of Manchester
More information about the apps