This wiki space contains archival documentation of Project Bamboo, April 2008 - March 2013.
See also the Bamboo Program Document Outline, Sec 4, v.0.1
This is a second-draft iteration of the Shared Technology Services section of the Program Document. The outline-numbering scheme has changed since the last version; this section of the Program Document is now numbered "4." Version 0.1 of the outline of the Program Document has been posted to this wiki space, and linked from the home page. The new outline reorganizes, fleshes out, and shifts emphases, but does not radically alter the fundamental areas of Shared Technology Services activity described in the "Preliminary Overview" of this section of the Program Document, published to the community in February.
The purpose of this draft is to give a revised but still quite provisional sense of the Program Staff's evolving idea of how the Shared Services area of work might be framed. While some developed sense of where Bamboo is headed has been is included in this draft, what's most important at this juncture (March 9-18) is the questions included in each subsection. These are asked in order to encourage expression of your (and your institution's) opinions about most valuable directions to pursue, along with reasoning you can share with the community for your suggestions. Without attempting a quantitative, scientific poll, the Program Staff does want to encourage your input in the brief period before Chad and David (with the help of other members of the Berkeley and Chicago team) begin to pull together evolving pieces of a more complete draft of the Program Document for distribution before and discussion at Workshop 4. W4 will take place in mid-April in Providence, RI.
A discussion of this draft with the Shared Services Working Group, expected to take place on 11 March, will be an opportunity to suggest additional ideas/input into that first, more complete draft of the "Program Document."
Note: "Program Document" is the working term for the document that outlines and details a range of activities for Bamboo through 2020. A subset of the work described in the Program Document, specifically between 2010 and 2013, will be included in a Bamboo implementation proposal to the Mellon Foundation in Fall 2009.
Capsule Summary: The Services Atlas presents community input (Scholarly Narratives, Recipes, Activities, Tool examples, Content/Resource examples, Service Families, Service Candidates, Service Contracts, and extant Services) in easily updated, hyperlinked, annotatable forms that may be mixed, matched, categorized, and re-categorized in order to render the community's understanding of scholarly practice accessible from the multiple perspectives of diverse stakeholders native to Bamboo. Dynamic ability to incorporate and view evolving input and analysis, and quickly and clearly draw connections to broader context, will benefit faculty, librarians, funders, institutional leaders, technical architects, and service developers. These varied views of a changing landscape will enable informed governance by key stakeholders in arts, humanities, and qualitative social sciences scholarship.
A Service Atlas is, for Bamboo's purposes, a collection of information - some general some detailed - that in its expression and linkages permits individuals with different interests, skills, experience, and perspectives to understand the nature and utility of services, their purpose and relevance, and the body of work they are meant to support. A Service Atlas is intended to help funding agencies, university leaders, scholars, technologists, and technology vendors to navigate a large collection of information at the level of detail that will most effectively illuminate understanding from the viewer's or user's perspective.
The Bamboo Services Atlas will fulfill a number of purposes:
Principal qualities of the Bamboo Services Atlas will include:
The diagram above is a preliminary concept for how a Services Atlas user interface might look to someone primarily interested in narratives and recipes. Higher level views more relevant to university executives or funding agencies might look more like a hyperlinked version of the Australian National Library's "high level view of a Service Framework".
The Bamboo Service Atlas will be composed from:
The Bamboo Service Atlas, once implemented, is expected to offer much simpler and more fully facilitated input, update, and hyperlinking capability than offered by the Bamboo Planning Wiki. The goal will be to provide the Atlas in accessible formats that are easily updated, hyperlinked, and annotatable. The Atlas will support means to organize, mix, match, categorize, and re-categorize its constituent elements in order to render the community's understanding of scholarly practice accessible from the multiple perspectives of diverse stakeholders native to Bamboo. Dynamic ability to incorporate and view evolving input and analysis, and quickly and clearly draw connections to broader context, will benefit faculty, librarians, funders, institutional leaders, technical architects, and service developers. These varied views of a changing landscape will enable informed governance by key stakeholders in arts, humanities, and qualitative social sciences scholarship.
Evolution of the Bamboo Service Atlas will occur gradually and iteratively. The collection and recording of information that is occurring in 2008-2009 on the Planning Wiki should be regarded as building an initial body of information to populate the Atlas, and evolving its information architecture. Atlas elements and functionality are expected to be made available through services that may be composed and rendered in a variety of end-user views and tools, such as web browsers, faceted browsers, and scholarly-networking platforms. A primary venue for delivery of the Bamboo Services Atlas will be the Bamboo Marketplace.
This sub-section ("4.2 - Marketplace of Services") has not been significantly expanded beyond the Preliminary Overview published to the Planning Wiki on Feb 10, 2009. This sub-section will be developed further in the near future.
Capsule Summary: The Bamboo Marketplace of Services will serve as a focal point for information about services, including but not limited to services incorporated in the Service Atlas; and as a venue for exchange between marketplace participants. Incentives to participate in this marketplace will include channels of communication to and feedback from the community of institutions and disciplines participating in Bamboo, as well as an avenue for access to Bamboo's experimental "incubator" service-deployment platform (cf.Local and Incubator Services, below).
The Bamboo Marketplace will seek to aggregate and disseminate information about available services relevant to scholarship in arts, humanities, and qualitative social sciences, from a broad range of providers, but will also acknowledge that no single catalog can describe this space comprehensively. Because services applicable to scholarship have been and will continue to be developed for scholars, projects, disciplines, institutions, et al., outside the auspices of Bamboo, mechanisms will be implemented to automatically harvest public information from service-building or -providing organizations and projects, as well as from other catalogs, in order to make their work and offerings discoverable from within the Bamboo Marketplace; as well as mechanisms that allow service builders/providers to actively and explicitly register information in the Bamboo Marketplace.
Bamboo Marketplace mechanisms for discovery of available services, including but not limited to those incorporated in the Services Atlas, will help scholars identify whether their need is already addressed before they put out a "bid" to technologists who might be interested in filling or helping to fill a gap. These mechanisms will also help technologists identify services that they might compose into new, enhanced service offerings. An exchange system (perhaps based on RFPs - Requests for Proposals - or other auction mechanisms) will enable people who need services developed to identify them, and people who want to build or provide services to share or sell them.
Mechanisms in the Bamboo Marketplace will seek to track usage of developed services, and provide for collection of feedback; these data will be modeled, collected, and presented in ways that are meaningful to scholars and to technologists.
The Bamboo Marketplace is expected to be supported by services developed or adapted, then deployed by, Bamboo Partners (cf. Common Services, below); and made available in the form of plug-ins and/or widgets based on open interface standards that allow the Marketplace to be easily incorporated into and presented/used within existing portal, virtual research environments, or other aggregation and/or research workflow systems and tools.
Adherence to development guidelines and standards for data/content interoperability will be encouraged by incentives to build services more likely to become Bamboo "Common Services," such as the opportunity to deploy services that evolve outside Bamboo in a "Bamboo Incubator" (cf. Local and Incubator Services, below). There may be minimum constraints for participation in the Bamboo Marketplace, such as open source software licensing. Another key question will be whether and how any notion of "membership" in a Bamboo, higher education, or other community comes into play.
Capsule Summary: Working services that are not yet refined and offered as "common" may be provided from local or regional deployments by Bamboo institutions, and listed with appropriate descriptors of service quality (SLA, Service Level Agreement) in the Bamboo Marketplace. A deploying institution or group of institutions would be wholly responsible for availability and maintenance of such services; Bamboo as a consortium would make no guarantee regarding these limited or experimental deployments. Services deployed in Local and Incubator contexts are considered to be potential candidates for refinement, standardization, and adoption as "Common Services." Services deployed in these contexts may originate in the work of Bamboo member-institutions, or in the broader universe of service builders; it is the latter case that comprises Bamboo Incubator Service deployments, which will generally be segregated into a separate and parallel deployment context from services that originate in the development efforts of Bamboo members.
Recognizing that a world of tool and service development has occurred, is occurring, and will continue outside the formal auspices of Project Bamboo, and that innovative development and use of software is likely to occur at the edges and beyond the borders of Bamboo's processes for normalizing characteristics, standards-compliance, and deployment requirements of software services, Bamboo will make explicit provision for its partners to offer, from within a Bamboo context, services for scholarship at levels of availability and refinement that fall outside a definition of "Common Services" (see below).
Services that are not "Common Services" but are offered by Bamboo partner institutions and organizations:
Bamboo Members involved in Explore and Plan layers of activity may identify services and service-providers evolving independently of Bamboo that are of 'preliminary interest'; and may invite deployment in an "Incubator" context that offers exposure to the provider/builder and opportunity for exploration to Bamboo's community of scholarship. Local and Incubator deployments are avenues by which services may be identified - through exposure, experimentation, and observation of scholarly usage - for possible selection as candidates for refinement, standardization, and adoption as "Common Services." At least initially, no cost-recovery model is assumed to be available in the provision of services deployed in Local and Incubator contexts. Therefore, it is reasonable and expected that limits will be imposed on the quantity of resources that may be consumed as these services are utilized. Such limits will be an explicit element of SLAs associated with these service deployments.
Capsule Summary: Services of foundational or broad utility may become candidates for refinement into "Common Services." Service interfaces that have been refined through a process of architectural modeling, design, alignment to applicable standards, and coordination to maximize interoperability, then developed as reference implementations, will be considered "Common Services." As such, they can and will be deployed for use by the global community of scholars by Bamboo member institutions in a redundant, distributed network of Bamboo Appliances that comprise a Bamboo Cloud. These services will include those that enable core digital infrastructure of the Bamboo Community (the Services Atlas and its component entities; and the Bamboo Marketplace, including its elements). Additional services will deliver direct support to scholarship by automating workflows (recipes) that add value to the arts, humanities, and qualitative social sciences. Some classes of service will provide resources delivered directly from servers operated by Bamboo member institutions; while others will wrap (call) or refer to compute, storage, and/or service-delivery resources operated by others. Service Level Agreements for services offered from the Bamboo Cloud, as well as those for underlying services hosted elsewhere, will be clearly articulated to service consumers.
Common Services deliver qualities that the Bamboo Consortium guarantees. These will address stability, availability, composability (i.e., usability in multiple workflow contexts), standards-compliance, scalability, and robustness. Architectural coherence, intended to forestall problems that would otherwise follow from a scatter of arbitrary decisions (not related to delivery of functionality) that might reasonably or unreasonably be made if development is not constrained by architectural principles and standards orientation, is also a key quality of Common Services. With the exception of services deployed in close proximity to distributed tools or content, Common Services are expected to be deployable on a standard Bamboo Appliance for service-delivery (see below and #Glossary). Common Services will support or permit usage tracking (technical and functional), and add value to scholarship in the arts, humanities, and qualitative social sciences. A fundamental aspect of the commonality of "Common Services" is their composability into multiple workflows ("recipes") and interoperability with one another.
Once a service is accepted at the Bamboo Plan layer as a candidate, there is a set of refining activities that must occur before it is capable of delivering the qualities enumerated above, and is considered a "Common Service." The current draft of this document does not attempt to enumerate these activities.
Services of foundational or broad utility may be proposed for "Common Service" candidacy by Bamboo Members. A usual path to candidacy includes evolution of a service to a point where it is deployed, used, and studied in a Local or Incubator context (see Local and Incubator Services). Bamboo Members with responsibilities in the Plan areas of work will actively seek to identify candidates from services emerging in the larger world of digitally-enabled scholarship, as well as within Bamboo Marketplace, Local Services, and Incubator Services contexts. Anyone may propose a service or set of services to Bamboo as potential candidates. Services emerge as candidates for refinement into Common Services because they:
Some classes of Common Services will provide resources delivered directly from servers operated by Bamboo member institutions; while others will wrap (call) or refer to compute, storage, and/or service-delivery resources operated by others. Service Level Agreements (cf. #Glossary) for services offered from the Bamboo Cloud, as well as those for underlying services hosted elsewhere, will be clearly articulated to service consumers.
A "Bamboo Appliance" for service-delivery is expected to evolve as a standardized (probably virtual) server provisioned with a technology stack on which services may be deployed and made available for consumption. A number of distributed Bamboo Appliances will respond to service requests addressed to and routed from a Bamboo Cloud, via a mechanism that provides load-balancing, fail-over capability, and diagnostics of the "health" of constituent appliances. Bamboo Members active in the Plan layer of the consortium will be responsible for defining the architecture and technology requirements for this appliance; Bamboo Members active in the Build layer will be responsible for implementing, testing, distributing, and maintaining it.
The diagram above is a very preliminary, rough, and tentative conceptual model of a set of Bamboo Appliances comprising a Bamboo Cloud. Reviewers are advised not to read it too closely, and, especially, to ignore the TLAs (three letter acronyms) in the cloud...
Capsule Summary: Bamboo will partner with interested tool and application projects and developers to wrap and/or deliver functionality (automation capabilities) as services that can be deployed alongside, and interoperate with, Bamboo Common Services. By exposing capabilities from other projects and providers as Bamboo-affiliated services, broader and more diverse uptake of those capabilities is more likely; such exposure will also enrich the pool of service candidates being considered for refinement into Bamboo Common Services. These partnerships will deepen and broaden the Bamboo ecosystem with expertise and experience rooted in domain- and function-centric communities.
Some of the most fertile ground for development of automation capability in arts, humanities, and qualitative social science scholarship to date has been in discipline- or tool-focused communities and projects, such as (but in no way limited to) ARTFL, MONK, the Perseus Digital Library, SEASR, and Zotero. As the technology landscape evolves toward delivery of decomposed functionality as services, some discipline- and tool-focused projects will likely be interested in delivering their capability in an architecture congruent with Bamboo's. This will present opportunities for partnership.
In collaborative negotiation with projects whose valuable algorithms and implementations can be enhanced by alignment and partnership with Bamboo architecture, mutually beneficial incentives will be defined and exchanged to best advance scholarship as a whole in the arts, humanities and qualitative social sciences. Broader and more diverse uptake of partner-delivered capabilities is a likely incentive Bamboo can offer. In the other direction, Bamboo will benefit from enrichment of the pool of service candidates being considered for refinement into Bamboo Common Services, and from an ecosystem deepened and broadened by expertise and experience rooted in domain- and function-centric communities.
Capsule Summary: Bamboo will partner with interested content (digital resource) providers to enable Bamboo Common Services to discover, search, and appropriately operate on their diverse and distributed holdings. Similarly, partnerships with interested repository platform providers will enable Bamboo Common Services to discover, search, and appropriately operate on resources hosted on platforms of strategic value to communities of arts, humanities, and qualitative social science scholarship. These efforts will likely take the form of modeling, implementing, and deploying service interfaces to expose strategically identified content stores and platforms. Bamboo-facilitated exposure of content via service interfaces will broaden uptake and trans-disciplinary opportunities for scholarship, as well as suggest additional candidates for refinement into Bamboo Common Services.
Objects of scholarly interest - "content" or "digital resources" in a world of bytes and networks - are the gravitational centers around which much or most scholarship in the arts, humanities, and qualitative social sciences orbits. Improving the ability of scholars to discover, inquire of, compare, integrate, decompose, and re-integrate objects of interest that reside in diverse repositories, as well as to digitize and store additional objects-of-interest, are fundamental goals of cyberinfrastructure in the academy, and key interests expressed by many participants in Bamboo workshops and in other venues - from blogs to white papers - focused on what IT can do for scholars.
Bamboo will therefore partner with library, archive, and repository partners, and those who deliver platforms on which digital repositories are hosted and accessed, to collaboratively develop interfaces and content-transformation services that will maximize exposure of unique features of diverse partners, while leveraging commonality or similarity to broaden the field of inquiry and operation over diverse and distributed content repositories.
This quickly-assembled glossary explains some of the terms used in this draft. A more formal and fully vetted glossary will be part of the draft Program Document considered at Workshop Four, in April 2009.