Getting started

I always swore I’d never write a blog, but here I am. I guess now they’re considered passe, it’s ok for me to have one. Bit of background: I am the technical director of the North Eastern Regional e-Science centre (, which is based in Newcastle University. I get involved in all sorts of projects, basically supplying e-Science based technical advice (hence the job title). The reason for this blog is, primarily, to document my experiences with writing a prototype e-Science research platform using Microsoft tools instead of the more traditional approach of fighting with Open Source. This way is easier, supposedly. The task I have set myself is to recreate, at a basic level, the software being developed by the CARMEN project ( This project aims to help Neuroscientists share data, workflows, results, etc. It is being written as a set of Java Web Services, uses the Storage Request Broker (SRB) for storage, and provides an AJAX based portal for the end users.

The plan, at the moment, is as follows: SQL Server for data storage, Windows LiveID for security and authentication, Windows Workflow Foundation for the workflow enactment, Silverlight for the GUI and ASP.NET for the Web Services hosting.

First step, therefore obtain the software, install it and start playing around. More later…!


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