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WP5: Data Interaction and Services

The objective for WP5 was to provide seamless integration of relevant external computing services for biodiversity researchers and Scratchpad users. Success is to be measured against the following deliverable: Refined and sustainable software services available for public use with mechanisms to measure usage rates.

  • See the final deliverable report here.


To this end we designed and implemented OBOE, The Oxford Batch Operation Engine. OBOE is a web-based platform providing easy access to research computing applications. It is also a science gateway to research computing, with new methods available for developers to integrate new applications as software services, removing the need for them to build bespoke user interfaces or manage software delivery. For users, OBOE provides easy and uniform access to well-known community research applications and new developments alike without the need for software installation or technical knowledge of running software in the cloud. Scratchpad users can access all of OBOE’s functionality directly from within a Scratchpad. The technology underpinning Scratchpads communicates seamlessly with the OBOE machine API.

  • Go to the main OBOE web application here.
  • Get the OBOE machine API documentation here.
  • See the paper we submitted to CCGrid2014 on the development of OBOE here.


Though OBOE is a general platform for access to research computing, the applications available thus far are mostly for taxonomists, biodiversity researchers, and land-use planners. More services are planned for the future.

Whereas OBOE is explicitly for batch operation services, a number of other software applications were developed within WP5, but separately from OBOE as they fall into the category of interactive services. (See Xper2, GeoCAT, and CartoDB)

Below is a picture of the OBOE architecture showing the Drop & Compute mechanism for integration of services.


Usage Statistics

Number of Users

Number of Tasks

Global distribution of users

European distribution of users

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