Styx grid services: lightweight middleware for efficient scientific workflows
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Official URL: http://iospress.metapress.com/content/7fxavx6kq56c...
The service-oriented approach to performing distributed scientific research is potentially very powerful but is not yet widely used in many scientific fields. This is partly due to the technical difficulties involved in creating services and workflows and the inefficiency of many workflow systems with regard to handling large datasets. We present the Styx Grid Service, a simple system that wraps command-line programs and allows them to be run over the Internet exactly as if they were local programs. Styx Grid Services are very easy to create and use and can be composed into powerful workflows with simple shell scripts or more sophisticated graphical tools. An important feature of the system is that data can be streamed directly from service to service, significantly increasing the efficiency of workflows that use large data volumes. The status and progress of Styx Grid Services can be monitored asynchronously using a mechanism that places very few demands on firewalls. We show how Styx Grid Services can interoperate with with Web Services and WS-Resources using suitable adapters.