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!eSciDoc: Infrastructure, Services, and Solutions
eSciDoc consists of three major parts: a set of core services that provide basic and commonly used functionality (the ["eSciDoc Infrastructure|Infrastructure]"), intermediate and application services providing higher-level functionality (the ["eSciDoc Services"|Services], and discipline- or task-specific applications (["eSciDoc Applications"|Applications]). Each eSciDoc Solution is built on top of the eSciDoc Infrastructure and makes use of the additional services where needed.

* [Infrastructure] to ensure sustainability

* [Services] to connect and disseminate data

* [Applications] to visualize, publish, manage, and work with data

eSciDoc generalizes concepts, processes, and technology to forster the easy development of new and sustainable applications.


!Services instead of a monolithic application
The eSciDoc Infrastructure is implemented as a set of loosely coupled services, following the design pattern of a "service-oriented architecture". This allows for a very flexible configuration of the infrastructure, in which services may be omitted or replaced with ones that are more adequate. eSciDoc provides services for object storage, search and indexing, statistics and reporting, persistent identification, workflows, validation, and transformation.


[{Image src='/media/images/escidoc-services.jpg'src='http://www.escidoc-project.de/media/images/escidoc-services.jpg' caption='eSciDoc Infrstructure and eSciDoc Services' style='align:center;'}]


!Re-use instead of re-inventing the wheel
Building an e-research platform is an ambitious task. However, many people and organizations are currently working in that field, and by joining forces, much more can be achieved. Therefore, one of the guiding principles of the eSciDoc project is to re-use existing concepts, services, and implementations as possible. At the same time, the eSciDoc project team intensively advertizes the outcomes of the project, thus encouraging the re-use of the Infrastructure and the Applications, or just selected services by third parties.


Examples of software that we have integrated into the eSciDoc Infrastructure include
* The repository architecture [Fedora Commons|http://www.fedora-commons.org] for object storage
* [SRW/U|http://www.oclc.org/research/projects/webservices/default.htm] for searching
* [Fedora Generic Search Service|http://defxws2006.cvt.dk/fedoragsearch/] for indexing
* [JHOVE|http://hul.harvard.edu/jhove/] for technical metadata extraction
* [Sun's XACML engine|http://sunxacml.sourceforge.net/] for policy evaluation
* [Shibboleth|http://shibboleth.internet2.edu/] of the Internet2 project for distributed authentication