The European Middleware Initiative (EMI) presented a new initiative for a long-term, open, lightweight collaboration on the coordination of distributed middleware technologies: the Middleware Development and Innovation Alliance (MeDIA). The goal of the initiative is to facilitate the future development and evolution of middleware solutions beyond the current short-term project limits. The event launch took place last week in one of the most ancient places of the world, Rome, just remembering what Roman poet Ovid said in his Metamorphoses: omnia mutatur; nihil interit, that is everything changes, nothing perishes. The place was indeed the right stepping stone to open a new era for the EMI project, which achieved many important results in the design and implementation of common services and technical agreements in several areas.
As EMI has shown the importance of coordination and iterative practical implementation and validation, MeDIA would like to provide this same highly qualified cooperation mechanism through the definition of dedicated working groups based on contributions from several development teams. The workshop represented a truly open kick-start meeting to summarise three years of work and achievements of the EMI project and to discuss about future goals, scope, activities finalised to setting up new technical collaborations among team leaders, members of middleware development teams and other interested parties, such as technical experts from the user communities, infrastructure providers, application developers, and commercial companies.
During the entire event, the heated discussions put the spotlight on an effective and sustainable continuation of the key activities. In substance, MeDIA plans to provide a forum for coordinating the innovation and development of middleware services across academic and scientific research infrastructures based on the members’ interests and priorities. The members’ participation is voluntary and bottom-up and relies on an active sharing of information, proposals and ideas from members to members.
The participants were very proactive in all debates and, after fruitful exchanges, have outlined the following goals for the MeDIA initiative:
· To provide a forum for synchronization of technical development roadmaps;
· To concretely act upon the actions identified during the roadmap discussions;
· To build the bases for a solid collaboration platform on distributed computing and data management;
· To enhance the relationships among all partners using modern social networking techniques.
In conclusion, MeDIA is intended to be not only a coordination initiative to give software developers from existing EMI product teams, but also a place where the technical collaboration can continue and expand to include other development teams worldwide. Last, but not least, this initiative aims to outline future technical roadmaps for the European research infrastructures, promote interoperability and common development work, and put in place all the necessary activities to continue the success of EMI.