As construction continues on the CloudTurbine web portal, it may be useful to step back and describe some of the design approach being employed.  So far, the landing page has received the most attention.  This main page is intended to quickly and effectively introduce new users to CloudTurbine through carefully worded blurbs and graphics.  It can be challenging to describe the use and benefits of middleware such as CloudTurbine, so we hope the landing page effectively conveys this exciting new technology.

The body of the landing page is broken up into four sections:

  • Three quick blurbs near the top of the page are intended to convey the highest level description of what CloudTurbine is (users can stream any type of data stored in files and view it anywhere) and a couple of its major benefits (it is free and open source!).
  • A broader definition of CloudTurbine is provided by the next section, describing the CloudTurbine technology’s breadth (it will accept data from numerous sources and supports data viewing and manipulation using various utilities) as well as its depth (the core of the technology’s folder structure and ability to be shared using third-party services such as Dropbox).  Each of the four blurb boxes can be clicked to provide more detailed information on the selected topic.
  • A WebScan demo image provides information on one of the coolest viewer utilities.  Clicking this image brings up an embedded WebScan panel loaded with sample video and accelerometer data.
  • Finally, two panels near the bottom of the landing page invite new users to explore CloudTurbine technology further and to join us in discussing and participating in CloudTurbine development.

Throughout the CloudTurbine web portal, we have tried to be consistent in our use of the terms “Apps”, “Sources”, “Utilities” and “Viewers”.  “Apps” refers to all CloudTurbine applications.  “Sources” are applications which produce data in the folder/file format required by CloudTurbine.  These could either be applications which utilize the CloudTurbine Java API or ones which use a “home brew” method to write data files in the needed file structure.  “Utilities” are applications which retrieve CloudTurbine data for any purpose, for example to present data to the user, store the data in a different format, or to perform some analysis on the data.  “Viewers” are applications (such as WebScan) which present data to the user, and as such they are a subset of the CloudTurbine “Utilities”.

While the body of the landing page is intended to introduce new users to CloudTurbine and invite them to learn more about the technology or collaborate with us in its development, the menus at the top of the page lead users to more dynamic “post”-oriented content.  A CloudTurbine user or collaborator generally won’t need to reference the introductory information contained in the body of the landing page.  Rather, they will use the menus to view updates on what is new in the CloudTurbine world, to download the latest release or to ask a question on the forum.  A hierarchy of news, application and documentation posts will be available via these menus.

The CloudTurbine web portal is a work in progress.  Using the philosophy described above, we hope to educate and engage users and developers at all stages in their familiarity with CloudTurbine technology.  By presenting clear information in an attractive and inviting manner, we hope to encourage further adoption and development of this exciting technology.