g-Eclipse - an integrated, Grid enabled workbench tool for Grid application users, Grid developers and Grid operators based on the Eclipse platform
In recent years, many Grid projects were initiated on the national and European level. However, they focus mainly on building infrastructure and middleware instead of on supporting users, developers and administrators. There is still the lack of a uniform toolbox, which will be an entry point to the Grid and which will allow for a one stop grid access for different user's activities. Currently, most of the Grid tools are stand-alone applications that address one specific problem or application-domain on the Grid. Consequently, Grid application development is hindered by the lack of common, generic Grid-based environments and tools that can easily integrate existing stand-alone tools. Such a tool must have the potential of being adopted by a broad range of application-developer, operator, and end-user communities.
The g-Eclipse framework – based on the Eclipse framework – will be the future workbench, bringing new applications, new users, and new Grid resource providers together in the European Research Area. It will provide an integrated Grid environment for Grid users, Grid operators, and Grid developers, bringing together expertise from the academic Grid community and from the Eclipse community.
The g-Eclipse integrated Grid environment will allow for user-friendly access to Grid resources by making the increasing complexity of the Grid invisible. The architecture of the g-Eclipse framework will be made for reuse and extensibility in order to allow for easy adaptation by new Grid applications. The g-Eclipse project will address three major groups in the Grid domain: Grid users will benefit from the Desktop-like access to Grid resources; Grid operators and resource providers will be able to reduce the time-to-service by the Grid management and Grid site configuration tools; and Grid application developers will reduce the time-to-market for new Grid applications by accelerating the development and deployment cycle. The g-Eclipse framework will be built on top of the open source Eclipse framework, which is currently the most successful open-source integrated development environment (IDE).
The g-Eclipse project has the following strategic objectives:
- Develop an integrated tool for Grid application development and deployment based on the Eclipse platform.
- Develop a general framework that can be used by Grid users, Grid developers and Grid operators.
- Integrate many existing Grid tools into the framework that have been developed and are contributed by consortium partners such as the Migrating Desktop (MD), the Grid Visualization Kernel and the GridBench from the EU CrossGrid project.
- Integrate external developments from other projects.
- Provide a general framework in order to enable other projects to integrate their Grid tools into this framework.
- Provide integration support for other FP6 projects.