The Apache Software Foundation (ASF), the all-volunteer developers, stewards, and incubators of nearly 150 Open Source projects and initiatives, today announced that Apache OODT (Object-Oriented Data Technology) has graduated from the Apache Incubator to become a Top-Level Project (TLP), signifying that the Project’s community and products have been well-governed under the ASF’s meritocratic, consensus-driven process and principles.
Apache OODT is “middleware for metadata” (and vice versa), used for computer processing workflow, hardware and file management, information integration, and linking databases. The OODT architecture allows distributed computing and data resources to be searchable and utilized by any end user.
Originally developed in 1998 by Daniel Crichton at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to build a national framework for data sharing, OODT was quickly applied to other areas in physical science, medical research, and ground data systems. Early implementations include the National Cancer Institute’s Early Detection Research Network, as well as several programs at NASA, including the NASA Planetary Data System, SeaWINDS QuikSCAT project, the OCO/Atmospheric Carbon Observations from Space project, the joint NASA/DOD/NOAA NPOESS Preparatory Project, and the Soil Moisture Active Passive mission testbed. In addition, Apache OODT is also used in a number of research and technology tasks spanning astrophysics, radio astronomy, and climate change research. Apache OODT is also currently supporting research and data analysis within the pediatric intensive care domain in collaboration with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and its Laura P. and Leland K. Whittier Virtual Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (VPICU).
“OODT had been successfully operating within the JPL for years; the time had come to realize the benefits of open source in the broader, external community,” said Chris Mattmann, Vice President of Apache OODT. “Bringing new developer talents is integral in enhancing the quality of the OODT code, and making OODT available as an Apache project was an ideal way to introduce new features and capabilities.”
OODT is the first NASA-developed software package to become an ASF TLP (OODT was submitted to the Apache Incubator in January 2010). Projects incubating at the ASF benefit from hands-on mentoring from other Apache contributors, as well as the Foundation’s widely-emulated process, stewardship, outreach, support, and community events.
“The Apache Software Foundation has a long history of software innovation through collaboration — the larger the pool of potential contributors, the more innovation we see,” said Mattmann. “The Apache model and the Incubation process provided great guidance. We received solid mentoring, infrastructure, and development support from the Apache Software Foundation.”

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