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e-Science Workflow Support with Grid-Enabled Microsoft Project Gregor von Laszewski and Leor E. Dilmanian , Rochester Institute of Technology. Abstract. Cyberaide Grid-Enabled Microsoft Project. Implementation.

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e-Science Workflow Support with Grid-Enabled Microsoft Project

Gregor von Laszewski and Leor E. Dilmanian, Rochester Institute of Technology


Cyberaide Grid-Enabled Microsoft Project


The design, execution, and monitoring of challenging scientific applications is often a complex affair. To cope with the issue, several tools and frameworks have been designed and put into use. However, the entry barrier to using these tools productively is high, and may hinder the progress of many scientists or non-experts that develop workflows infrequently. As part of the Cyberaide framework we designed and developed an e-Science Workflow support tool with a Grid-Enabled Microsoft Project interface. Thus, Microsoft Project as a typical project management tool is being used in a new context for scheduling and coordinating Grid jobs. Furthermore, it is being used to design and monitor the execution of Grid based projects. The motivation for this choice is based on the fact that many scientists are already familiar with Microsoft Project. Hence, Cyberaide Project enables seamless access to computational Grids, such as the NSF sponsored TeraGrid. We test our hypothesis of usability while evaluating the tool as part of several graduate level courses taught in the field of Grid and Cloud computing.

The Cyberaide Grid-Enabled Microsoft Project allows users simple design, scheduling, execution and monitoring of workflows on the Grid. It provides the user a well known, familiar, easy to navigate user interface via a familiar interface.

Console Application

  • Console Application
  • Launches Microsoft Project
  • Accepts Commands

MS Project








Command Interface

  • Apache CLI
  • Manipulate MSP

Mediator & Abstractions

Our implementation is provided through a console application developed in C#. It starts a running instance of Microsoft Project and provides a command shell to the user. Objects implementing the command interface are registered with the shell.

Each object implementing the command interface interacts with a running instance of Microsoft Project and uses Apache CLI to parse input parameters. Commands can be thought of as belonging to one of three categories. Workflow Manipulation commands are used to build, modify, and schedule a set of jobs on the Grid. Workflow Execution command is used to seamlessly run jobs on the Grid. Additional Utility Functions are used to import and export workflows, and query Microsoft Project in the command line interface.

Technologies used: Visual Studio 2008 Professional, Microsoft Project 2007, Microsoft Project Primary Interoperability Assembly, Java CoG Kit, Cyberaide, Cyberaide Mediator, Apache CLI, WSI.












Experiment Management


Figure 2: Cyberaide Project consists of Microsoft Project, a console window, and proxy initialization capabilities from the Java CoG Kit.

Scientist are often concerned about the management of a large number of experiments over a research environment supporting advanced data acquisition and information processing services over the internet. To support this experiment management challenge, our Cyberaide Grid-enabled Microsoft Project allows the coordination of such experiments in a structured fashion.

The development of this experiment management tool has its origin in the Commodity Grid Kits (CoG) that have evolved over time. The early meta computer is created using a basic meta-computing framework for uniform access and orchestration over multiple compute resources. The latest generation of middleware technologies, called Cyberaide, includes sophisticated information services, shells and applications to simplify development for and interaction with Cyberinfrastructure. Overall, we lower entry barrier to and increase productivity in e-Science.

Cyberaide Framework

Cyberaide is a framework used to simplify Cyber-infrastructure development, deployment, and integration through advanced mediated services. A Cyberaide Mediator provides a uniform interface and simplifies access to Grids, Clouds, and Social Networks.

Gantt Chart

Task Table




von Laszewski, G., & Dilmanian, L. E-Science Project and Experiment Management with Microsoft Project. Accepted for publication at GCE08 at SC08.

G. von Laszewski, A. J. Younge, X. He, and F. Wang, “GridShell: Interactive Task Management for Grid and Cluster Computing,” Sep. 2008,

G. von Laszewski, “Java CoG Kit Workflow Concepts,” Journal of Grid Computing, Jan. 2006,

Work conducted by Gregor von Laszewski is supported (in part) by NSF CMMI 0540076 and NSF SDCI NMI 0721656.

Proxy Initialization


Gregor von Laszewski

Service Oriented Cyberinfrastructure Laboratory

Rochester Institute of Technology

Service Oriented Cyberinfrastructure Lab

Building 74-1076 Lomb Memorial DriveRochester, NY 14623

(585) 298-5285 *

Figure 1: The Cyberaide Evolution

Figure 3: Cyberaide Mediator