Top Level Architecture


Please note this is a draft plan and will probably evolve rapidly.

First point of contact

The beginning user will likely start at the AusVOPrimarySite ( where a high-level description of the Australian VirtualObservatory will be provided, and they can learn a little about the history and present status of the project. Abstracts of the major data resources, theory resources, data mining and visualisation services will be available to browse, together with links to the primary VirtualObservatoryNodes providing the resources. This site will very much be a standard website, with content added in an ad hoc fashion, rather than in some automated way based on eg. a Resource Registry. New users will be happy to be presented with a familiar, traditional-style website which is easily navigated and comprehended and comprises little or no dynamic or custom content.

Resource-specific operations

If a user knows of and is interested in a particular resource, eg. the HIParkesAllSkySurvey, then they can navigate from the AusVOPrimarySite to a site such as which will be the front-end service node for data products derived from the HIParkesAllSkySurvey. It will serve two main purposes:

  1. It will provide a visual interface -- a WebPortal -- for users to directly and explicitly query and process only HIParkesAllSkySurvey data products. Users will be able to select data products (eg. catalogues, images, ...) in one part of the portal (a WebPortlet?), apply queries in another portlet, and download, analyse or visualise the results in other portlets.
  2. It will provide WebService and/or GridService interfaces -- common to all nodes of the VirtualObservatory -- which support an advertised set of protocols for querying, processing and transferring to other nodes, the available data products. These services will be used by other VirtualObservatoryNodes to access HIParkesAllSkySurvey data either under the direct remote control of a user, or via an agent or broker which is executing a WorkFlow?.

Generic operations

The primary benefit of the IVOA standards that are being and will be developed, will be the ability for diverse resources to be considered together. So at a level above and beyond the resource-specific operations described above, there will be VirtualObservatoryNodes providing interfaces which "glue" distributed resources together. For example there already exists the (design) capacity in the VO Query Language to do "XMATCH" requests on the results of cone searches performed at different VirtualObservatoryNodes.

[ I need to add much more here ...] -- DavidBarnes - 05 Feb 2003