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Paper: Integrating IRAF with the Virtual Observatory
Volume: 376, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XVI
Page: 575
Authors: Fitzpatrick, M.; Malik, O.; Holdaway, K.; Tody, D.
Abstract: We present a high-level overview of two projects undertaken that integrate a large body of legacy software (specifically, IRAF) with Virtual Observatory (VO) technologies in a highly resource-constrained environment. On the server side, a framework has been developed to allow virtually any IRAF task to be exposed as a conventional VO web-service. Service-definition files (written as XML) are converted to a Java code implementation (via XSLT) and used as the web-service endpoint. An intermediate server process communicates with the entire IRAF system, and new web applications require at most a small wrapper script around an existing task. This permits many services to be created or updated easily using an unmodified version of the underlying IRAF system. On the client side, a C-based API has been developed to interface to the generic VO Registry (service/data-discovery), data (access), and web-services (analysis) side of the VO. VO services are now commonly implemented in Java, but these interfaces are normally beyond the reach of legacy systems because of the legacy implementation language. Using this new VOClient interface, bindings for many non-traditional development environments, including the IRAF CL (scripting) and SPP (compiled) languages, now provide a uniform, high-level interface to the VO that bridges this language barrier. The application of either project to other legacy software systems, and future work, will also be discussed.
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