Towards a canonical software architecture for multi-device WebLabs


Traditionally the focus on WebLab design has been placed on the hardware side, i.e. enabling data and program transfer between a PC remotely accessible through TCP/IP and its attached controllable/programmable device. Little attention has been paid to the other communication segment going from the controlling PC (WebLab server) and the remote users' PCs, since this has been regarded as a "solved software problem". Consequently, aspects such as security, scalability, accessibility, user friendliness, or the possibility of collaborative work in WebLabs have often been disregarded. This situation may be resolved if a serious effort is placed on the definition of a proper distributed software architecture for WebLabs. In this paper, we describe such ideal software architecture, resulted from an iterative process seeking a Web-based, secure, scalable, multiuser, multi-device WebLab.