The Centre for Computational Science


Robust Application Hosting in WSRF::Lite

Investigator: Professor Peter V Coveney, Centre for Computational Science, University College London

Co-Investigator: Dr Stephen M Pickles, Manchester Computing, University of Manchester .



The Open Grid Services Infrastructure (OGSI) aimed to provide a better infrastructure for building Grids by leveraging industrial investment in Web Service technologies. OGSI extended Web Services to support common patterns arising in Grid computing: explicit state management, soft-state lifetime management, notification etc. Although technically successful, OGSI did not gain sufficiently widespread support to bring about the hopedfor convergence of Web Services and Grid computing.

The Web Services Resource Framework (WSRF), announced in January 2004, preserves the best ideas of OGSI, but presents them in a way which is friendlier to current Web Service tools, standards, and philosophies. Two sets of composable specifications -WS-Notification and WSRF itself - are superseding the monolithic OGSI specification. The new specifications are being standardised in the OASIS consortium. WSRF is a cornerstone of the important Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA) initiative.


WSRF::Lite is a Perl implementation of WSRF from the University of Manchester. It builds on the earlier success of OGSI::Lite, the implementation of OGSI chosen by the RealityGrid and TeraGyroid projects. The first prototype of WSRF::Lite was released in February 2004, shortly after the announcement of WSRF. Subsequent versions have performed well in WSRF interoperability tests, correctly interoperating with WSRF implementations written in Java, .NET, and Python.

	  fits between users and resources

WSRF::Lite has several strengths:

  • Lightweight installation - all dependencies of the WSRF::Lite container are freely available Perl modules.
  • Dynamic service deployment - new services can be deployed without restarting the container.
  • High portability - WSRF::Lite can be installed on platforms for which no Java Virtual Machine is available.
  • Easy to interface with system software - Perl is the glue language par excellence.
  • Persistent resources - resilient to service failure - can be represented as files or stored in databases.
  • Transient resources can be represented as Unix processes for higher performance


Through the OMII Managed Programme WSRF::Lite will be funded to:

  • Track and contribute to the standardisation of WSRF through participation in the OASIS Technical Committees.
  • Implement the complete set of WS-Resource Framework and WS-Notification specifications.
  • Develop native Perl implementations of WS-Security and other specifications necessary for secure communications.
  • Demonstrate practical interoperability with other WS-RF implementations.
  • Harden WSRF::Lite through rigorous validation using a comprehensive test suite.
  • Produce production quality installation procedures, comprehensive test suite, training materials and documentation for users, developers, and sysadmins.

WSRF::Lite will be released to the open source under a dual license scheme (the Perl Artistic License and the OMII modified BSD license). The project will also deliver a general hosting environment based on WSRF::Lite and other components of the OMII distribution.

Further information

Web Services Resource Framework