2007 AGU Fall Meeting, December 10-14,San Francisco, CA
Using Selection Pressure as an Asset to Develop Reusable, Adaptable Software Systems
Chris Lynnes, Stephen Berrick
The Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC) at NASA has over the years developed and honed a number of reusable architectural components for supporting large-scale data centers with a large customer base. These include a processing system (S4PM) and an archive system (S4PA) based upon a workflow engine called the Simple, Scalable, Script-based Science Processor (S4P); an online data visualization and analysis system (Giovanni); and the radically simple and fast data search tool, Mirador. These subsystems are currently reused internally in a variety of combinations to implement customized data management on behalf of instrument science teams and other science investigators. Some of these subsystems (S4P and S4PM) have also been reused by other data centers for operational science processing. Our experience has been that development and utilization of robust, interoperable, and reusable software systems can actually flourish in environments defined by heterogeneous commodity hardware systems, the emphasis on value-added customer service, and continual cost reduction pressures. The repeated internal reuse that is fostered by such an environment encourages and even forces changes to the software that make it more reusable and adaptable. Allowing and even encouraging such selective pressures to software development has been a key factor in the success of S4P and S4PM, which are now available to the open source community under the NASA Open Source Agreement.
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