The Object Oriented Data Technology group at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is developing software for locating data — especially scientific data — stored in various formats on heterogeneous computer systems at different locations. The software is intended to exploit and extend advances in Internet software and in distributed object-oriented software to overcome the technological obstacles to integration of heterogeneous computing environments. The approach taken in this development involves refocusing effort on the development of metadata, which would be used to describe the available data resources and to support interoperability of computing systems. The software would manage a hierarchical conglomerate of data-set-resource definitions that would make it possible for application programs to locate the data that they require, without advance knowledge of which computer data systems and catalogs to search. This software would utilize the Extensible Markup Language (XML) and the Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) to support for interchange of data among heterogeneous sources. CORBA would enable over-the-wire exchange of XML-based profiles that would contain descriptions of data stored in remote computer systems.
This program was written by Daniel Crichton, John Hughes, Sean Kelly, and Jason Hyon of Caltech for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at www.nasatech.com/tsp under the Information Sciences category.