Tool Kit Combines Grid Technology, Web Services

Alpha version of next generation of open-source tool kit for grid technology to debut next week.

The next generation of the open-source tool kit for grid technology, which will bring support for Web services, will be released in an alpha version next week.

The alpha version of Globus Toolkit 3.0 (GT3) is slated for release Jan. 13 at the GlobusWorld conference in San Diego, said officials of the Globus Project, the organization behind GT3 and the open-source grid computing efforts.

Grid computing enables enterprises and users to share computing power, databases and other tools across enterprise boundaries without sacrificing local autonomy, Globus Project officials said. The Globus Toolkit includes software services and libraries for resource monitoring, discovery and management, as well as security and file management.

GT3 combines grid technology with Web services and includes a focus on e-business, as well as the scientific and engineering focus that grid technology has traditionally had. GT3 will implement Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA) as the base for combining grid computing and Web services.

The current version of the Globus Toolkit, Version 2.2, was released in October 2002. A beta version of GT3 is scheduled for April, with a final version due in June, Globus Project officials said.

"Next weeks release is GT3 alpha, which means still in development but releasable to early adopters," said Tom Garritano, a spokesman for the Globus Project at Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Ill.

New features include not only tight integration with Web services technologies such as the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and the Web Services Definition Language (WSDL), but improvements to key protocols, database support and integration with Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE).

Three main organizations conduct the core software development for the Globus Toolkit: Argonne National Laboratory, the University of Southern Californias Information Sciences Institute and the University of Chicago, Globus Project officials said. Other major contributors include the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, the University of Wisconsin, Sandia National Laboratory, NASA Ames Research Center, IBM and Compaq Computer Corp.

Globus officials said the intent behind GT3 is to deliver an open-source implementation of the Open Grid Service Infrastructure.

GT3 will deliver a stable implementation of the Grid Service Specification in Java, which delivers SOAP message security, a Java software development kit, four Java hosting environments and several new grid services, Globus officials said.