INTERACT provides the RACE community with an integrated, on-line, multi-user communications and information service to enable RACE to achieve its programme objectives. INTERACT is implementing the SONAH Superworkpackage, which will develop a portfolio of on-line services for use in the ACTS programme.
The overall objective of the research was to provide a value added service of technoeconomic and information tools, accessed as part of a project support network and operating with a common user presentation.
The key issues addressed by the research were:
the definition of a common user presentation and the integration of existing technoeconomic tools;
the development of a demand forecasting tools;
the provision of integrated tools over the project support network.
As a result of the research a methodology for demand analysis modelling and data management has been defined in consultation with other projects. This methodology is being used as the basis for developing the demand analysis tool.
A common user presentation (CUP) has been defined and is being used to ensure a consistent user interface between all the tools developed. The cross impact model (CRIMP) model kernel has been ported to Microsoft Windows as a first step towards ensuring that it conforms to the CUP.
The Europia database has been delivered in a form suitable for downloading from a central server. Instructions have been supplied which explain how to download the database. Support for information exchange between ad hoc tools has been provided and a report has been prepared to describe the mechanism for information exchange.
INTERACT: The consortium has installed two servers that are capable of supporting the INTERACT services for a wide range of users. There is a UNIX server linked directly to the INTERNET and a SLIP server which provides dial-up access for users who do not have full INTERNET access. This installation includes the functions necessary to support routing/bridging for communications with remote users. The consortium has developed several multi-user database applications on the project server and administers the operations of the server, including the issuing of user accounts to RACE projects and others.
SONAH: The Superworkpackage will include all of the National Host Organisations who are interested in participating (currently over 20 have registered). A set of service specifications will be produced, with the objective of providing homogeneous services across the widest possible range of heterogeneous infrastructure. The services will include multi-media mail and multi-media libraries. Specifications will be written to cope with the developing range of physical interconnection media, and will be submitted to the National Hosts Forum for ratification.
The key issue for INTERACT in 1995 is to extend the usage of the INTERACT servers within the RACE Community and to respond to the needs of individual participants, requiring for example, project workspaces, mailing list services or World Wide Web services.
The key issue for SONAH is to achieve a rapid consensus of the specifications for services on National Hosts, to provide verification implementations of the agreed services, and to facilitate the widest possible service roll-out by the end of 1995.
INTERACT: The server is raising the level of awareness of the work of RACE worldwide. It provides a vehicle for projects to disseminate the results of their work to a world audience. On-line communications are increasing the level of collaborative working in the RACE programme.
SONAH: The SONAH services will provide the ACTS Programme with an on-line communications platform from its commencement in 1995. This will improve the quality, efficiency and cohesion of the Programme.