The HDF Product Designer – Interoperability in the First Mile

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 9:15 AM
Hyokyung Lee, Aleksandar Jelenak and Ted Habermann, The HDF Group, Champaign, IL, United States
Interoperable data have been a long-time goal in many scientific communities. The recent growth in analysis, visualization and mash-up applications that expect data stored in a standardized manner has brought the interoperability issue to the fore. On the other hand, producing interoperable data is often regarded as a sideline task in a typical research team for which resources are not readily available. The HDF Group is developing a software tool aimed at lessening the burden of creating data in standards-compliant, interoperable HDF5 files. The tool, named HDF Product Designer, lowers the threshold needed to design such files by providing a user interface that combines the rich HDF5 feature set with applicable metadata conventions. Users can quickly devise new HDF5 files while at the same time seamlessly incorporating the latest best practices and conventions from their community. That is what the term interoperability in the first mile means: enabling generation of interoperable data in HDF5 files from the onset of their production. The tool also incorporates collaborative features, allowing team approach in the file design, as well as easy transfer of best practices as they are being developed. The current state of the tool and the plans for future development will be presented. Constructive input from interested parties is always welcome.