Apache Object-Oriented Data Project Goes Top-Level

The Apache Software Foundation's Object-Oriented Data Technology project graduates incubator status and becomes an ASF top-level project.

The Apache Software Foundation announced that Apache Object-Oriented Data Technology has graduated from the Apache Incubator to become a Top-Level Project, signifying that the project's community and products have been well-governed under the ASF's process and principles.

In a Jan. 5 press release, Apache officials said Apache OODT is "middleware for metadata" (and vice versa) used for computer processing workflow, hardware and file management, information integration and linking databases. The OODT architecture allows distributed computing and data resources to be searchable and utilized by any user.

Originally developed in 1998 by Daniel Crichton at NASA's JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) to build a national framework for data sharing, OODT was quickly applied to other areas in physical science, medical research and ground data systems. Early implementations include the National Cancer Institute's Early Detection Research Network, as well as several programs at NASA, including the NASA Planetary Data System, SeaWINDS QuikSCAT project, the OCO/Atmospheric Carbon Observations from Space project, the joint NASA/DOD/NOAA NPOESS Preparatory Project, and the Soil Moisture Active Passive mission testbed.

In addition, Apache OODT is also used in a number of research and technology tasks spanning astrophysics, radio astronomy, and climate change research, ASF said. Apache OODT also supports research and data analysis within the pediatric intensive care domain in collaboration with Children's Hospital Los Angeles and its Laura P. and Leland K. Whittier Virtual Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

"OODT had been successfully operating within the JPL for years; the time had come to realize the benefits of open source in the broader, external community," said Chris Mattmann, vice president of Apache OODT, in a statement. "Bringing new developer talents is integral in enhancing the quality of the OODT code, and making OODT available as an Apache project was an ideal way to introduce new features and capabilities."

OODT is the first NASA-developed software package to become an ASF TLP -- OODT was submitted to the Apache Incubator in January 2010. Projects incubating at the ASF benefit from hands-on mentoring from other Apache contributors, as well as from Apache's stewardship, outreach, support, and community events, ASF officials said.

"The Apache Software Foundation has a long history of software innovation through collaboration -- the larger the pool of potential contributors, the more innovation we see," added Mattmann. "The Apache model and the incubation process provided great guidance. We received solid mentoring, infrastructure, and development support from the Apache Software Foundation."

ASF officials said all Apache products are released under the Apache Software License v2.0, and are overseen by a self-selected team of active contributors to the project. Upon a Project's maturity to a TLP, a Project Management Committee is formed to guide its day-to-day operations, including community development and product releases.