WP8-Resource Model

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At a focused meeting at the project’s kick-off, the partners have unanimously agreed that the main requirement is for an extensible notion of resource, particularly for a resource model which is open to modular extensions at runtime by arbitrary third parties (under appropriate security restrictions of course).

Resources would share a minimal set of common properties (such as identifiers and scopes), but no further attempt would be made to statically classify their semantics and the information required to describe it. Rather, the semantics of resources would be characterised solely by the information that has been bound to them during their lifetime by various parties. This information, which we enumerate in units called facets, would be namespaced and act as configuration for a class of components that require it in order to carry out a given resource management function within the system. Functions that fall within the Enabling Layer would be re-implemented in this manner (e.g. lifetime management, deployment) ) in the context of T8.1. Additional resource management functions would also be implemented in this manner (e.g. seach profiles, activation records, runtime component configurations, etc.). An optional typing regime remains possible, by dynamic associations of facets to schemas.

Following this approach, FAO and CNR have then associated the new resource model with a design methodology in collaboration with T8.1 in which:

a) we first define the interfaces of the components that, collectively, implement a given resource management function,

b) we then describe the facet(s) which the components require to carry out of the function, and

c) we finally define a range of tools to support the publication and discovery of the required facets, striving for properties such as modularity, generality, non-invasiveness, testability, and optionality.

We have identified that, to bootstrap development under the new model and methodology, resource publication and discovery are the first resource management functions that need to be refactored, so as to enable all the others. For the time being, FAO and CNR have been working on the service interfaces and local tools required for publication, trying to address issues of retro-compatibility in the process. It has been decided to retain the existing implementation of the IS, and to relax requirements for strict validation of existing resource profiles, which allows facets to co-exist with legacy information (they would be ignored by existing clients).

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