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MMM: A WWW-Based Method Management

System for Using Software Modules Remotely?

Oliver G?unthery Rudolf M?ullery Peter Schmidty Hemant Bhargavaz

Ramayya Krishnanx

Abstract

The World Wide Web has been highly successful as a tool for the distributed publishing and sharing of online documents among large dispersed groups. This raises the question whether the distributed authoring and execution of software modules can be supported in a similar manner. We study this problem by first developing the requirements of a group of developers and users of statistical software at a German national research laboratory. We then propose an information system design that meets these requirements and report on MMM, a prototype implementation.

1 Introduction

The World Wide Web (WWW) [BCL+94], a distributed hypermedia information system on the Internet, demonstrates successfully how current technology can support the sharing of information among large dispersed groups. It not only brought millions of new users to the Internet, but also made it easy and desirable to publish online documents for dissemination to this worldwide audience. This success of the Web, combined with the fact that it is mostly limited to the dissemination of static information, raises the question whether the distributed authoring and execution of computational software modules can be supported in a similar manner. This paper studies this problem

ffl by examining the requirements of a group of researchers who need to collaborate in the implementation and use of software modules and packages for statistical data analysis at the German National Research Center on the Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes (SFB 373),

?This research has been supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 373.
yInstitut f?ur Wirtschaftsinformatik, Humboldt-Universit?at zu Berlin, Spandauer Str. 1, 10178 Berlin, Germany, fguenther,rmueller,pschmidtg@wiwi.hu-berlin.de
zNaval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA 93943, USA, bhargava@cs.nps.navy.mil
xThe Heinz School of Public Policy and Management, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15215, USA, rk2x@cmu.edu