WG Proposal on the Governance of Brokering Middleware
WG Charter:
This working group will consider the governance and use of brokering middleware focusing on:
Issues relating to open source, commons and other licensing
Implications and concerns relating to the long term use of middleware under grant, public and
industrial funding models.
Managing brokering middleware for long-term development and use.
The WG will work with and solicit the opinions of community stakeholders such as middleware
developers, data end users, funding agencies and the wider development community in order to create
a set of best practices for the management and governance of original and third-party brokering
middleware. At its conclusion, the WG will make available a white paper of these best practices as well
as a set of recommendations for the funding, licensing and support of brokering middleware for longterm or experimental development.
Value Proposition:
Middleware significantly simplifies distributed system construction, as well as providing a much more
efficient means of integrating legacy systems with new technology. In terms of data brokering,
middleware can simplify data access, schema adjustment, metadata translation and security across a
multiple-repository system. However, middleware may be created as part of funded grants, as an
industrial project, or under an open-source model. Middleware may also be subject to licensing and
ownership changes or have other restrictions on access, reuse and modification. Given brokering
middleware’s importance in the simplified integration of disparate databases and data systems
continued access to and availability to these middleware components is vital to supporting long-term
development and continued use of integrated data systems. As development work is done under a
variety of funding models, and middleware is made available under a similar variety of license and
access models issues of modification, support and reuse become more central to planning useful
integrative brokering systems.
We propose a standard set of best practices for governing the ownership, licensing, development,
modification and reuse of brokering middleware. These standards will work to ensure future
interoperability, reuse and access to brokering middleware independent or in light of various
development and funding models to support long-term planning of brokered, integrated data systems.
These will be of value not only to developers and system architects who can plan integrated systems
assuming the continued use and support of brokering middleware, but also to the data end users. The
potential for scaling and expansion of integrated data resources and systems in brokering middleware is
of value to increasingly interdisciplinary research work as well as in managing growing big data sets.
Effective middleware governance has the potential to support longer-term development under a variety
of funding models, to simplify and standardize licensing and access models, and establish a basis for the
continued value of brokered systems. It is not, however, clear what the best practices for this
governance are and how those practices shift in response to different funding and property models,
under different architectures or as standards change. In order to ensure sustainable, stable
development of brokering systems reliant on middleware service architectures an effective model for
the governance and reuse of that middleware must be agreed upon.
Engagement with Existing Work:
The brokering model seeks to create interoperability, and ease of access and discovery among a variety
of relatively independent data systems. As such, the work of a wide variety of working and interest
groups in the RDA is related and important to engage throughout the project. As stakeholders and
communities of relevance will be more robustly established in the early phases of the WG’s efforts, the
following list of relevant RDA working and interest groups is merely indicative of the variety of those
whose work is relevant to or could be facilitated by a data broker:
Preservation e-Infrastructure IG
Development of cloud computing capacity and education in developing world research IG
PID Information Types WG
Standardisation of Data Categories and Codes WG
Metadata Standards Directory Working Group
Data Type Registries WG
Data Foundation and Terminology WG
Data Citation WG
Big Data Analytics IG
Biodiversity Data Integration IG
Brokering IG
Data in Context IG
Marine Data Harmonization IG
Metadata IG
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