Press Archive

NSF Middleware Initiative Release 4.0 Features the Latest in Grid Services and Identity Management Components

Systems integration teams contribute leading software, white papers and best practices

Published 12/30/2003

December 16, 2003 - Today's fourth release by the National Science Foundation Middleware Initiative (NMI) includes a wide range of software, services, documents and recommendations for the effective use of information technology in research and education. NMI-R4 emphasizes open-source solutions to issues critical to collaboration across multiple organizations that may be separated by geography and by divergent local computing architectures.

The release, available for free to the public at, is designed to facilitate sharing of on-line resources. NMI-R4 includes a robust collection of tools and services for organizations to build their security and identity management infrastructure. New and updated components in NMI-R4 include several that emphasize Grid services, a new type of capability that uses open-source, open-architecture tools to build on popular Web service standards. Grid services make it much simpler for developers to create easy-to-use applications for accessing massive databases, computing power, networks and instrumentation across the Internet.

"NMI-R4 is a diverse set of software and related tools," said Kevin Thompson, NSF program director for NMI. "In addition to its being the first Grid services-compliant NMI release, it has new components that will help universities and other institutions collaborate via multimedia conferencing and enable appropriate access management using single sign-on web-enabled authentication, and authorization packages. Standards-based software and other tools distributed by NMI are having significant impact not only in research and education, but also in business sectors that are gravitating to the Grid and developing and deploying federation-based services."

A full NMI news release is at