Saturday, January 1, 2011

Project Trident: A Scientific Workflow Workbench


Project Trident imagery
With Project Trident, you can author workflows visually by using a catalog of existing activities and complete workflows. The workflow workbench provides a tiered library that hides the complexity of different workflow activities and services for ease of use.

Version 1.2 Now Available

Project Trident is available under the Apache 2.0 open source license.

About Project Trident

Built on the Windows Workflow Foundation, this scientific workflow workbench allows users to:

  • Automate analysis and then visualize and explore data
  • Compose, run, and catalog experiments as workflows
  • Capture provenance for each experiment
  • Create a domain-specific workflow library to extend the functionality of the workflow workbench
  • Use existing services, such as provenance and fault tolerance, or add new services
  • Schedule workflows over HPC clusters or cloud computing resources

Current Status: Microsoft Research is working in partnership with oceanographers involved in the NEPTUNE project at the University of Washington and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, to use Project Trident as a scientific workflow workbench. A workflow workbench prototype has been developed for evaluation and is in active use, while an open source version is being implemented for public release.

Learn More

Project Trident in Action—Videos

Papers, Presentations, and Articles

Partner Highlight

  • myExperimentmyExperiment team
    University of Manchester and Southampton University. myExperiment makes it easy to find, use and share scientific workflows and other files, and to build communities. Project Trident uses myExperiment as the community site for sharing workflows, along with provenance traces.

Background: Project Trident

Project Trident: A Scientific Workflow Workbench began as a collaborative scientific and engineering partnership among the University of Washington, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Microsoft External Research that is intended to provide Project Neptune with a scientific-workflow workbench for oceanography. Later, Project Trident was deployed at Johns Hopkins University for use in the Pan-STARRS astronomy project.

An increasing number of tools and databases in the sciences are available as Web services. As a result, researchers face not only a data deluge, but also a service deluge, and need a tool to organize, curate, and search for services of value to their research. Project Trident provides a registry that enables the scientist to include services from his or her particular domain. The registry enables a researcher to search on tags, keywords, and annotations to determine which services and workflows­—and even which data sets—are available. Other features of the registry include:

  • Semantic tagging to enable a researcher to find a service based on what it does, or is meant to do, and what it consumes as inputs and produces as outputs
  • Annotations that allow a researcher to understand how to operate the registry and configure it correctly; the registry records when and by whom a service was created, records its version history, and tracks its version

The Project Trident registry service includes a harvester that automatically extracts Web Services Descriptive Language (WSDL) for a service, to allow scientists to use any service as it was presented. Users simply provide the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) of the service, and the harvester extracts the WSDL and creates an entry in the registry for the service. Curation tools are available to review and semantically describe the service before moving it to the public area of the registry.

Because the end users for Project Trident are scientists rather than seasoned programmers, the workflow workbench also offers a graphical interface that enables the user to visually compose, launch, monitor, and administer workflows.

Project Trident: Logical Architecture

Tridente Logical Architecture