January 5, 2011

NASA JPL Software Architecture to Become Top-Level Apache Software Foundation Project

Nicole Hemsoth

The Object Oriented Data Technology (OODT) architecture, which was first developed at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a way to make use of metadata to seek out distributed computing and data resources, has been selected as one of a small handful of projects that will receive management and resource support from the Apache Software Foundation.

As NASA notes, the OODT architecture was first intended “to build a national framework for data sharing, but soon other applications in physical science, medical research and ground data systems became apparent.”

It has already been used for a number of Earth-based scientific missions as well as a number of ongoing projects at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in the areas of astrophysics and climate change research.

There are a number of benefits that several at the JPL see by offering OODT as an open source package, including the fact that it will be opened to a wide base of developers who can build on the existing code, speed development and provide the “peer review process that pushes a certain development standard for the package.”

According to Chris Mattmann, one of the lead developers at JPL and Vice President of OODT at the Apache Software Foundation, “we regularly used open software in our daily JPL tasks and were impressed with the quality of code and vibrant nature of free and open source software communities…it was then decided that OODT should be released as an open source software package.

Full story at NASA