Probe Framework: Introduction
Probes are a very powerful mechanism by which information held outside InfoGrid can be brought natively into an InfoGrid environment.
A Probe can access any type of data anywhere on the network, as long as the developer knows the format of the data and how to access it. Unlike other import mechanisms in other software, Probes not only access and transform the external information, but actively monitor and track it the external information after the initial import for as long as desired. During this period, information accessed via Probes appears locally "as-if" it was comprised of native InfoGrid MeshObjects.
By using a Probe, the InfoGrid Probe Framework can recreate events that lets InfoGrid applications pretend that all the world's information outside InfoGrid is:
- event-driven (even if it is held by a legacy system, or a file)
- always up-to-date
- integrated with all other information through actively maintained relationships (in the same or different locations, in the same or different format), and
- supports subscription mechanisms such as Javaâ€™s event model.
This enables developers to create an application using the most appropriate paradigm (such as event-driven), even if the underlying data sources accessed by the Probe are legacy data sources that are very hard to interact with.
In spite of all this power, Probe development does not typically require advanced programming knowledge. For example, Probe class implementations are stateless; the InfoGrid Probe Framework manages the state without requiring the application developer to do anything. There is also a good chance that part or all of an existing parser for a given data source can be adapted to become a suitable Probe. Most of the "rocket science" is in the Probe Framework itself, allowing developers to use the power of Probes with comparatively little programming effort.