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In the USA several groups previously in the so-called Portal Collaboration are now collaborating in the Open Grid Computing Environment (OGCE) Portal Project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of its middleware initiative, indeed it is also referred to as the NMI portal. The Portal Collaboration principally involved the San Diego Supercomputer Centre with Perl-based GridPort and HotPage toolkits developed by Mary Thomas and Steve Mock supporting the NPACI Grid and NCSA at Urbana-Champaign with the Java-based GPDK toolkit developed by Jason Novotny. OGCE now includes researchers and end users from Indiana, NCSA, Michigan, Texas and Argonne National Lab. OGCE now embraces the new technologies of portlets and Web/ Grid services to serve the needs of NCSA, NPACI, DOE and NASA Grid users. Jetspeed, CHEF and OGSA/ OGSI are currently being used with the Argonne Globus Java CoG kit. Jason Novotny has gone on to develop GridSphere as a parallel activity with Mike Russell directly supporting the EU GridLab project as described above.

The functionality of OGCE includes a number of the collaboration and Grid tools mentioned below. A lot of this is explained in more detail in the paper by Gannon et al. [54].

In general OGCE (which is also sometimes called the NMI portal project), represents a union of many of the American Grid related portal projects. Dennis Gannon noted in 2003 that it had a long way to go over the next twelve months, including its integration into Sakai and the port of all the portlets to JSR-168 and further consideration of WSRP. Currently much of the effort of the OGCE project is focused on building Grid/ Web services and their access by client interfaces. Some of the work at Indiana has the goal to deploy Grid services for things like workflow tools and make it possible for portal users to discover and load the client interfaces into their portal environment or compose it into applications as components. This work may ultimately also find its way into the Sakai code base.

Portal deployments in the USA that are based on OGCE include:

  1. The NSF TeraGrid portal (prototype at;
  2. The Linked Environments for Atmospheric Discovery NSF ITR project (prototype at;
  3. The DOE Fusion Portal. see: Reports/PortalWeb services final.pdf;
  4. The Southern California Earthquake Center see: for the project which is just starting its portal effort;
  5. The NEES Grid portal is based on CHEF and not OGCE but it was the portal effort that first used many components that are now going into OGCE;
  6. the NCSA Alliance Portal, see:

The current version of OGCE is based on CHEF v1.0 and was planned to be ported to Sakai by autumn 2004 (see note below from Marlon Pierce) so that it will be JSR-168 compliant. The generic OGCE release is available from

According to Marlon Pierce, lead developer on the OGCE project, 21/5/04, In a nutshell, Sakai is an collaboration between educational middleware and portal developers. It's basic component projects are a) implementing a JSR-168 container (uPortal group leads), building education/ courseware and collaboration tools (UMich leads that, I think), and building OKI-compatible middleware services. OKI is a previously unimplemented standard for education services and objects from MIT.

OGCE concentrates more on Grid/ science portal applications. We are experimenting with early Sakai portal releases as they become available, but they still have a ways to go. We are planning to use them primarily as a) our base JSR-168 container, and b) a way to resynch with the latest version of the CHEF tools. I don't have an updated timeline from Sakai, but we hope to have this as part of our next major portal release at Supercomputing [2004].

These comments partly drove our proposal to use Sakai as a VRE Demonstrator which received a supporting letter from Brad Wheeler, PI of the TeraGrid project.

The following table shows some existing projects using OGCE:

Project Location Status
in the UK
in the USA
NMI portal   using for US Grid projects
Alliance Grid Indiana using with Xportlets
NPACI Grid Texas using with HotPage GPIR
DOE Fusion    

next up previous contents
Next: Sakai Up: Sakai Evaluation including CHEF, Previous: CHEF   Contents
Rob Allan 2005-05-09