Argonne National Laboratory

Bocca: A Development Environment for HPC Components

TitleBocca: A Development Environment for HPC Components
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsElwasif, WR, Norris, B, Allan, BA, Armstrong, R
Conference NameJoint HPC-GECO/CompFrame'07 Workshop
Conference LocationMontreal, Canada
Other NumbersANL/MCS-P1430-0607

In high-performance scientific software development, the emphasis is often on short time to first solution. Even when the development of new components mostly reuses existing components or libraries and only small amounts of new code must be created, dealing with component glue code to obtain complete applications is still tedious and error-prone. Component-based software meant to reduce complexity at the application level increases complexity with the attendant glue code. To address these needs, we introduce Bocca, the first tool to enable application developers to perform rapid component prototyping while maintaining robust software-engineering practices suitable to HPC environments. Bocca provides project management and a comprehensive build environment for creating and managing applications composed of Common Component Architecture components. Of critical importance for HPC applications, Bocca is designed to operate in a language-agnostic way, simultaneously handling components written in any of the common HPC workstation languages: C, C++, Fortran, Fortran77, Python, and Java. Bocca automates the tasks related to the component glue code, freeing the user to focus on the scientific aspects of the application. Bocca embraces the philosophy pioneered by Ruby Rails for Web applications: Start with something that works and evolve it to the user's purpose.