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Informatics applications that are available as web services are numerous and are growing in number. More service providers are supplying web service versions of their applications and more ‘legacy’ command-line and web page applications are being made available as web services via SoapLab and GowLab wrapping. Consequently, service discovery is becoming increasingly important.

Feta is a semantic discovery tool that can be used to search available services and find those that best match the requirements of the user.


It is often difficult to ascertain the function(s) of a web service application from its name. Experienced informaticians may be familiar with a number of applications, but perhaps not all of them. Scientists, who may also wish to use myGrid tools, are even less likely to be familiar with the web services they can use in workflow designs.

myGrid has addressed this problem by implementing Feta, a system to search for web services not only by name, but also by function or input or output parameters.

Feta can assist the user in workflow design, shortening time taken to discover services and incorporate them into workflows. Feta can also provide extra information on the format required or produced for inputs or outputs.

Another important function of Feta is that it can provide information on alternative services. Several organisations can provide different implementations of the same application, or provide applications that are very similar and essentially perform the same function. The semantic discovery capabilities can be used to find alternative services if a particular web service is unavailable, or if past experience has shown that a particular web service is unreliable or slow.

Feta builds upon the myGrid Ontology.