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Paper: Building an Archive Backbone Extending TAP
Volume: 485, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXIII
Page: 139
Authors: Molinaro, M.; Apollo, P.; Knapic, C.; Smareglia, R.
Abstract: A data center (DC) willing to add VO (Virtual Observatory) capabilities to existing archival resources, or new ones, will probably face some issues regarding the constraints on the existing structure of the datasets. On the opposite direction a DC may want to give priority to VO flavored data access but maintain flexibility on proprietary or dedicated access solutions. This contribution tries to delineate a solution, feasible for both approaches, taking advantage of the IVOA (International Virtual Observatory Alliance) existing standards and, at the same time, forcing no constraint at archive generation or ingestion level. The IVOA TAP (Table Access Protocol) specification generalizes the way a set of database schemas and tables, related or not, can be deployed as a queryable resource in the framewok of the Virtual Observatory. The TAP protocol itself has, at its core, a DB schema, named TAP_SCHEMA, that actually acts as an attribute-extended information schema for the exposed set of tables; the TAP_SCHEMA, in short, describes the content of the schemas and tables, and their connections, in a VO aware flavour. It seems then quite immediate to think about pushing the generalization step a little further, i.e. to extend the TAP_SCHEMA itself to provide a more general description of an astrophysical archive (or part of it). Here we discuss on how, adding optional tables and columns to the TAP_SCHEMA, it would be possible to create an archive thin layer solution in terms of this DB schema alongside with a content manager application for it. The goal is to provide a re-usable, configurable connection between an archive's back end and front end, having the benefit of creating a VO translation layer to ease VO resource and service deployment and preserving custom data access and publishing.
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