Interoperating Remote Laboratory Management Systems (RLMSs) for more Efficient Sharing of Laboratory Resources


Remote laboratories have emerged as a viable addition to the tools supporting experiential learning. The advent of Remote Laboratory Management Systems (RLMSs) has allowed several integrated heterogeneous remote laboratories, developed with various technologies, to be administrated and accessed through a common portal. A key benefit arising from the ability to access the laboratories remotely through RLMSs is the opportunity to share laboratory resources across multiple institutions. This sharing is, however, restricted by the inability of a contemporary RLMS installed at an institution to communicate with other RLMS installed at other institution. In this paper we propose a novel Application Programming Interface (API) design pattern for inter-communication between RLMSs accommodating different levels of functional support and thereby allowing more efficient sharing of laboratory resources regardless of their hosting RLMS. The pattern is based on common profile roles supported by the predominating RLMSs, along with their underlying service calls. Afterwards, we present initial results and demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of this pattern by developing an API for two common RLMSs, Sahara and the iLab shared Architecture (ISA). As a result, users logging into a Sahara server managed to access and manipulate a radio-activity experiment hosted on an ISA server.