CUSTOM Project, Cloud Computing and Application Store for Tourism and Culture
The CUSTOM Project was an R&D project funded by the Region of Tuscany in 2010 whose goal was the creation of a Cloud-based Cultural Heritage & Tourism Store for the management of value added applications, that is, put simply, a cloud infrastructure able to host third-party applications for providing services related (but not limited to) tourism and cultural heritage.
The infrastructure aims to take care of the Cloud Service Levels up to IAAS and PAAS providing clients with a comprehensive environment to deploy and manage the entire lifecycle applications. An online store for selling new instances of the available software following the SAAS model was also implemented and tested (it was based on the Magento Open Source Product) using applications provided (and adapted) by the partners of the projects (called Building Blocks); the outcome of the project has been an infrastructure able to exploit existing hardware resource and providing an API to deploy legacy applications to a Cloud infrastructure for the provisioning of SAAS services. It is worth to point out that most of the infrastructure was built using Open Source Products.
The Geographic Building Block was implemented by GeoSolutions using its own Open Source Producst with the goal of allowing users to ingest, manage and disseminate geospatial data and maps according to international as well as de-facto standards. In Illustration 60 the Building Block is depicted and will now be briefly described. GeoSolutions has worked closely with the infrastructure team to adapt is components for working in a cloud environment including the ability to tear up and down dynamically new instances of the applications.
GeoSolutions has leveraged on and deeply customized the following components for building the Geographic Building Block:
- The Open Source Product GeoServer has been used to provide the functionalities for ingesting, managing and disseminating geospatial data, raster and vector, according to Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) and ISO Technical Committee 211 (ISO TC 211) standards. Specifically GeoSolutions has extended GeoServer to create an Enterprise version called GeoServer Enterprise which includes a few additional Enterprise functionalities like Back-up and Restore if its configuration as well as advanced clustering.
- The Open Source Product MapStore has been entirely developed within this project in order to providing client-side mapping services. MapStoreis an Open Source webgis framework highly modular developed to create, manage and share securely in a simple and intuitive way maps and mashups created mixing contents served from servers like Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, Bing or from server adehering to OGC standards like WMS, WMTS and TMS. MapStore is composed by various components not all of which are mandatory and as such are optional can be removed and/or customized in ways that can be used to simplified smaller deployments as well as their management. Let us know briefly describe such components introducing their key features.
- The Open Source Product GeoFence has also been developed in order to provide advanced A&A services for GeoServer. It is an external web application that allows administrator to define fine grained access policies for data served by GeoServer using either a user interface or a REST API.
In addition to the aforementioned products, GeoSolutions has developed the connections (via the so called Agents) with the underlying infrastructure in order to allow this component to work smoothly in it; this includes the possibility to hot deploy new instances of the applications as well as to backup and later on restore their configuration.