GridAnt: A Client-side Grid Workflow System
GridAnt: A Grid Workflow System
The popularity of UNIX and DOS was initiated through the availability of sophisticated shells to express command line sequences. Soon it was
noticed that complex workflow dependencies as part of the program generation process needed to be expressed. Makefiles have an essential
part in automating the complex build process leading to a revolution in software engineering. It allowed users to structure their code and
to build sophisticated reusable libraries with ease.
For the Java Platform a similar tool exists under the Apache Project with the name
Ant. It provides the Java community with a sophisticated build
tool. Dependencies and parallelism can be expressed easily and new tasks can be included with little effort. As
ant is used by a large community it has been transitioned to a commodity tool and is the defacto standard for controlling the build
processes in Java. Based on our experience with Grid
workflows we propose to reuse the Ant framework to develop a simple yet powerful client side
workflow system for Grids, which named as GridAnt. We find that the availability of the GridAnt framework provides a much needed
functionality for testing and developing Grid applications with the alpha version of the
Globus Toolkit 3 (GT3).
GridAnt proves to be an excellent tool, not only to map complex client-side workflows, but also as a simplistic client to test the
functionality of different Grid services. GridAnt will help applications to make a smooth transition from GT2 to GT3. GridAnt is
not claimed as a substitution for more sophisticated and powerful workflow engines
such as BPEL4WS,
and WSFL. Nevertheless,
applications with simple process flows tightly integrated to work with GT3 can vastly benefit from GridAnt without having to endure any complex
workflow architectures. The philosophy adopted by the GridAnt project is to use the workflow engine available with
Apache Ant and develop a Grid workflow vocabulary on top of it. In other words, we provide a
set of Grid tasks to be used within the Ant framework.
For further details please refer to the GridAnt whitepaper,
This is a work in progress. For more information please
Gregor von Laszewski
9700 South Cass Avenue
(630) 252 0472
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This work is supported by the Mathematical, Information, and
Computational Science Division subprogram of the Office of Advance
Scientific Computing Research, U.S. Department of Energy under
Contract W-31-109-Eng-38. DARPA, DOE, NSF support for the Globus
Toolkit research and development. We thank all the members of the
Globus Project for their valuable help.
Kaizar Amin and Gregor von Laszewski, GridAnt: A Grid
Workflow System. Manual, February 2003 (pdf).
Gregor von Laszewski, Beulah Alunkal, Kaizar Amin, Shawn Hampton, and
Sandeep Nijsure, GridAnt-Client-side Workflow Management with Ant. Whitepaper,
July 2002 (pdf).
Sriram Krishnan, Patrick Wagstrom and Gregor von Laszewski,
GSFL : A Workflow Framework for Grid Services. In Preprint ANL/MCS-P980-0802, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 S. Cass Avenue, Argonne, IL 60439, U.S.A., 2002