Latest Release of Access Grid Toolkit Available to Researchers
Both researchers and academic computing professionals can now access the latest version of the free and widely used Access Grid Toolkit, a
software that allows research collaboration among individuals working at different sites. The Access Grid Toolkit software enables audio, video, data and text communications through computers with broadband Internet connections.
Developed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, the Access Grid Toolkit has come out with its third release and is available for download. Officials say previous versions of the toolkit have been downloaded more than 20,000 times by users in 56 countries.
“The emphasis on compliance with standards and insistence on openly licensed technologies in this new version is a key differentiator for the Access Grid,” says Thomas D. Uram, the lead technical adviser for the project. “It delivers free software with significant improvements to the users, while providing a platform for exploring how remote researchers can work together effectively. With this release, the Access Grid provides a basis for scientists not only to discuss their research, but also to perform their research.”
The software has an open license, which will encourage researchers to use the toolkit as a platform for research. The Access Grid is also expected to support technology transfer by allowing commercial firms to create products centered on the program. In recent years, the software has been used in a broad range of applications, including college courses where the students and the professor are in different locations. The Access Grid has also been used to facilitate global cooperation between scientists and experimental facilities working on fusion power, and has given doctors and medical specialists the ability to examine patient scans simultaneously at multiple sites.
“Collaboration is part of science and the Access Grid provides a robust foundation on which researchers can build collaborative tools for enabling discovery, allowing them to communicate seamlessly and naturally across physical and institutional boundaries,” says Michael E. Papka, the acting deputy associate laboratory director for computing and life sciences at Argonne.
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