Objectives of the Brokering Interest Group
The purpose of the Brokering Interest Group is to provide a truly cross-disciplinary, global forum for data providers, cyberinfrastructure developers, and data users to discuss short and long terms steps that could be taken to make data more available and interoperable through the services of brokering frameworks (see definition below). The intention is that as the community will define well-scoped, concrete steps forward, and that working groups will be spun off to implement them.
In a multidisciplinary and global domain, t is unrealistic to expect that all software components use the same specification to interoperate. Brokers provide the bridge between communities using different specifications -or different (valid) implementations of the same specifications. Having diverse communities is a strength, each with their own standard. So while there is a drive to adopt common specifications, e.g., standards, this singularly will unlikely be achieved for complex and global domain -like the multidisciplinary Earth Sciences domain. Brokers and standards are complementary to carry out interoperability and in an effective and sustainable way.
Brokers, in general, have existed for many years and have found application in diverse domains and industries, such as financial systems, business-to-business interfaces, business-to-consumer systems, medicine, and the automotive industry, to name a few. However, the emergence of brokers in science is relatively new. Brokering is now being piloted with great promise in cyberinfrastructure and science communities in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere.