Software Development and Applications Support

Since its creation by the National Science Foundation and the state of Illinois in 1986, NCSA has been a leader in working with and supporting scientific and engineering communities through the development, deployment, and use of new computing and software technologies.

Software development: Software for analyzing scientific data is increasingly important as scientific data volumes are rapidly increasing; broad community access to data analysis and visualization tools, as well as the data sets, is needed. Researchers collect data; integrate data from multiple sources; model and simulate phenomena; mine, analyze, and visualize data; and collaborate with remote colleagues. This requires an extensive, robust, and reliable cyberinfrastructure. To realize the full benefits of a national cyberinfrastructure, we must make the cyberinfrastructure as accessible and usable as web browsers made the Internet. NCSA is committed to developing the individual tools and integrated, end-to-end software systems—cyberinfrastructure environments or cyberenvironments—required to meet this challenge.

Applications support: Scientists and researchers from a wide variety of disciplines make use of the cyberinfrastructure, both developing their own software and using community codes. NCSA works with these researchers providing computational as well as domain experience to ensure that they make best use of the cyberinfrastructure, whether systems at NCSA such as Blue Waters, or national resources such as those connected by the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE).

NCSA Software development and application support groups

NCSA research groups that develop and support software

Exemplar software products

  • Bro — powerful network analysis framework that focuses on network security monitoring, and provides a comprehensive platform for more general network traffic analysis
  • Brown Dog — providing "Data Transformations As A Service" Brown Dog facilitates data wrangling by providing metadata harvesting/extraction and format conversions to both index and access diverse datasets
  • Cactus Code — open source problem solving environment designed for scientists and engineers, with a modular structure that easily enables parallel computation across different architectures and collaborative code development between different groups
  • CILogon — service facilitating secure single sign on access to cyberinfrastructure (CI) via a number of available credentials (e.g. university credentials)
  • Clowder — web-based content repository for structured and unstructured data providing a platform for automatic metadata extraction, automatic data previews, distributed/heterogeneous data sources, social curation, provenance, and data publication
  • Cyclus — next-generation agent-based nuclear fuel cycle simulator, providing flexibility to users and developers through a dynamic resource exchange solver and plug-in, user-developed agent framework
  • DataWolf — web-based scientific workflow system
  • Einstein Toolkit — community-driven software platform of core computational tools to advance and support research in relativistic astrophysics and gravitational physics
  • ERGO — hazard modeling and management service allowing responders to rapidly address emergency scenarios (e.g. earthquakes, tornadoes, fires, etc.)
  • Geodashboard — customizable portal allowing users to navigate, download, and visualize field sensor data
  • MyProxy — software for managing X.509 Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) security credentials (certificates and private keys)
  • NDS Labs Workbench — catalog and "Platform As A Service" infrastructure for discovery, evaluation, and education around community data management and analysis tools/services
  • Parsl — Python-based parallel scripting library based on the Swift parallel scripting language
  • PEcAn — gateway for ecological modeling and sensitivity analysis
  • Virtual Director™ — virtual reality interface that enables gestural motion capture and voice control of navigation, editing, and recording in the CAVE, ImmersaDesk™, and Infinity Wall™
  • XRAS — web-based resource allocation and user management software used in XSEDE
  • yt — open-source, permissively-licensed python package for analyzing and visualizing volumetric data

Historical NCSA software

  • NCSA Mosaic™ — first popular web browser
  • NCSA Telnet — first implementation of the telnet protocol for the Macintosh/PC that provided the ability to connect to multiple hosts simultaneously
  • NCSA HTTPd — early web server, powered most of the web as of August 1995
  • HDF — Hierarchical Data Format, a set of portable scientific data file formats designed to store and organize large amounts of data
  • NCSA Habanero — collaborative framework and environment containing a set of applications to use, and APIs to convert applications into collaborative applications
  • NCSA Portfolio — 3D library for building applications

Contact us

NCSA software development and applications support fuels discovery, community endeavors, economic development, and the Illinois academic community. We look forward to working with you: