Press Release

The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache OODT as a Top-Level Project

By SpaceRef Editor
January 5, 2011
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Open Source middleware for managing, unifying, and archiving data used in critical scientific applications, including NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Cancer Institute, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Virtual Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

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.”

Oversight and Availability

All Apache products are released under the Apache Software License v2.0, and are overseen by a self-selected team of active contributors to the project. Upon a Project’s maturity to a TLP, a Project Management Committee (PMC) is formed to guide its day-to-day operations, including community development and product releases.

“We are working on improvements to our initial, v0.1 Apache release,” added Mattmann. “Our dozen-strong team of contributors are developing new components to more reliably and accurately extract metadata from science datasets.”

Apache OODT downloads, documentation, and related resources are available at

About the Apache Incubator and Incubation Process

The Apache Incubator is the entry path for projects and codebases wishing to become part of the efforts at The Apache Software Foundation. All code donations from external organisations and existing external projects wishing to join the ASF enter through the Incubator to: 1) ensure all donations are in accordance with the ASF legal standards; and 2) develop new communities that adhere to our guiding principles. Incubation is required of all newly accepted projects until a further review indicates that the infrastructure, communications, and decision making process have stabilized in a manner consistent with other successful ASF projects. While incubation status is not necessarily a reflection of the completeness or stability of the code, it does indicate that the project has yet to be fully endorsed by the ASF. For more information, visit

About The Apache Software Foundation (ASF)

Established in 1999, the all-volunteer Foundation oversees nearly one hundred fifty leading Open Source projects, including Apache HTTP Server — the world’s most popular Web server software. Through the ASF’s meritocratic process known as “The Apache Way,” more than 300 individual Members and 2,500 Committers successfully collaborate to develop freely available enterprise-grade software, benefiting millions of users worldwide: thousands of software solutions are distributed under the Apache License; and the community actively participates in ASF mailing lists, mentoring initiatives, and ApacheCon, the Foundation’s official user conference, trainings, and expo. The ASF is funded by individual donations and corporate sponsors including AMD, Basis Technology, Cloudera, Facebook, Google, IBM, HP, Matt Mullenweg, Microsoft, SpringSource, and Yahoo!. For more information, visit

SpaceRef staff editor.