Go, Go Gadget AppDB

This week the team behind the EGI Applications Database launched their latest tool, a widget to allow anyone to integrate the database with their website.

AppDB has gone from strength to strength since its launch last summer including a major upgrade late last year. The main aim for the database is for users (and developers) to be able to find out what is already out on the grid that can be used or built upon for their work. For this the AppDB needs to be easy to use, but more importantly easy to find.

During the initial development of the AppDB the developers at the Institute of Accelerating Systems and Applications in Greece focussed on producing a resource that could be easily accessed and leveraged by anyone who was interested. Using standard, and easy to understand, protocols the team made it simple to query, and pull results from, the database. The first place to test the underlying technology was the AppDB's very own website.

Now that the tool was easy to use, how could they make it easy to find? Just put it everywhere. On NGI websites, national lab websites even individual scientists websites. There was a snag, the system was simple to understand and use but the effort required integrating it fully into an existing site would be asking a lot. So the team have developed the AppDB Gadget, a widget which can be placed on any webpage and display a simple interface to the AppDB. In less than 500 characters a website can have a fully functioning, fully customised interface to the AppDB available to its users.

One of the important features of the gadget is the ability to customise it for a particular discipline (even sub discipline), virtual organisation (VO), middleware or even where it was developed. This means that depending on the audience the website is for the gadget can be set up to be relevant to that VO, scientific community or underlying technology.

Marios Chatziangelou is in charge of the team building the AppDB and the gadget, he is really happy with their progress "I think we have done really well since taking over last July. Now with the new gadget the entire community can interact with the AppDB from any website that wants to host it. Also more users mean more testing and comments which will help us build on and improve the AppDB".