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Last modified: January 21, 2000
Object Oriented Data Technology (OODT) and XML

"Object Oriented Data Technology, or OODT, develops and promotes science data management and archiving systems that span scientific disciplines and enable interoperability among astrophysics, planetary, and space science data systems. Using OODT's framework of distributed objects and databases, the data collected by scientists and engineers in these disparate disciplines can be jointly searched, stored, retrieved, and analyzed, from anywhere in the world. Our goal is to pioneer this framework, architect it with continual input from the communities that will use it, and implement it efficiently. We have expanded our focus beyond interferometry, our initial risk-reduction effort, and plan on producing the next-generation archiving and analysis framework for use by JPL, NASA, and beyond. This framework allows common data management services to be instantiated and specialized for each data system implementation. In addition, science tools can access distributed data based on a standard generic interface. This improves the scientific results by allowing scientists to correlate data across multiple systems while reducing the overall implementation cost to scientific missions and projects by promoting software reuse through component design."

"Drawing on and expanding upon the prototype, we set out to create a next-generation, multidisciplanary framework for data management that includes a set of distributed services for archiving and analysis using the following technologies: (1) The Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) [...] (2) The Extensible Markup Language (XML). XML, a cutting-edge web technology, gives us a standard for searching for and retrieving data, and for describing data formats. Our profile service accepts sophisticated queries for science data, determines the correct databases to use, fetches the data, and assembles the result into self-documenting XML. The use of XML allows for data to be converted and represented from proprietary formats into a neutral format described by a set of generic XML definitions... OODT is using XML technology to manage metadata that describes data system contents in a repository that is called a profile. Profiles are made available over the Internet using CORBA technology to share the information. Tools can use APIs to submit parallel queries to distributed profiles. Profiles that can support the query will return results of data systems that contain the product, or in some cases it will return a direct hypertext link to the product itself. Products which are inside proprietary databases can be accessed through a capability that OODT is developing called a product server. Product servers wrap legacy data systems and provide a mapping from the OODT query system into the proprietary data system which may be a database, a flat file system, or some other data store. OODT queries can be made using an XML query definition and is supported by both profile and product servers. The Resource Location Service provides the integrated profile and product server environment that allows for queries and products to be searched and retrieved from a distributed data system environment. . . We are also building the resource location service that allows for the search and retrieval part of the framework. We have designed and built an XML profile database for the Planetary Data System (PDS) and the Palomar Testbed Interferometer Archive system. We have also developed the CORBA profile service and a generic XML DTD specification to support PDS, PTI and other future data systems. In addition, we have designed an XML database and deployed an initial profile server to support queries against data from PDS. Future plans include replacing the PDS Distributed Inventory System (DIS) with the profile service. We are currently working to create product servers to access information in proprietary databases for PTI (Palomar Testbed Interferometer) and PDS. As previously discussed these systems will convert data products from the internal data system representation to a neutral format described by XML. The product servers will be integrated with the profile servers to create the Resource Location Service. This service will be integrated with a web search interface that will allow scientists to locate and retrieve products from the systems." [via TA, and J Steven Hughes, NASA/JPL, Open Forum presentation]


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