Here you will find up-to-date information on the latest Ozone and Synapse releases,
as well as the ability to download the Synapse Application Framework. Please use the
Register link above to register for access to these resources. If you already
have an account, use the Login link to access the download area.
In the context of the World Wide Web, the term widget usually refers to a
portable, lightweight, single-purpose application that can be installed and
executed within an HTML-based Web page. Technically, a widget is any Web page
or application that can be contained in an iframe. Widgets are often used to
provide summary views of dynamic information content as components of
Ozone is a combination layout manager and messaging mechanism for hosting widgets within
a Web browser. It resembles iGoogle, and uses
Shindig, an open source Google gadget
Ozone supports a number of different widget layouts, including desktop, tabbed, portal,
and accordion layouts. The desktop layout pattern enables users to load and arrange widgets
at any position within the browser window, similar to a standard operating system desktop.
The tabbed, portal, and accordion layouts host widgets at fixed positions within the browser
window. Widgets can be flexibly assigned to the various locations by the user to create custom
iframes loaded from different domains, Ozone also provides a cross-domain-compatible publish-subscribe
mechanism. The Ozone pub/sub mechanism enables the development of Web applications composed of multiple
The Ozone Widget Framework (OWF) is normally distributed as a bundle containing everything needed to
run the framework and develop widgets. This bundle includes four main components:
- A Jetty web server to run the supplied war files
- A war file that provides a Preference Server backend, which handles persistence of user preferences, widgets and dashboards
- A Security implementation, which can use X.509 certificates or Central AuthenticationService (CAS)
interoperability by implementing four key features:
- a standardized widget event model;
- a standardized Common Data Model(CDM);
- Ozone framework extensions; and
- a data sharing mechanism
Together, these capabilities enable the rapid assembly and configuration of rich Web applications
composed of multiple, special-purpose widgets. While the Synapse architecture provides a generically
useful software framework, the specific widget suite we have implemented is geared towards visual
analytics applications. Consequently, PFI's Synapse widgets are organized into several functionally
distinct classes, as follows.
Data Retrieval - Data Retrieval widgets implement custom interfaces to external data resources,
typically a relational database of some type. These widgets present resource-specific query interfaces
to the user, submit query specifications to the server, map the search results to the Synapse CDM, and
generate a Working Set containing records returned by the query.
Data Management - This class of widgets provides functionality for organizing and managing
the results of data retrieval operations. The most important of these is the Working Set Browser, a
widget for browsing and manipulating the contents of Synapse Working Sets.
Data Visualization - Visualization widgets present the contents of Synapse Working Sets
(i.e. the results of external data retrieval operations) in graphical form. Synapse visualization
widgets depict relationships of various types present in the data, and are designed to be used together
to enable understanding of highly complex patterns.
Data Filtering - Filtering widgets provide faceted filtering controls for rapidly winnowing
query results sets based on arbitrary combinations of filtering criteria. This enables analyst users
to quickly and easily remove data from consideration in order to more easily identify patterns of significance.
Data Encoding - Data Encoding widgets enable users to manually or automatically assign colors and/or
symbols to graphical data features in order to extend the amount of information conveyed to users of Synapse
Workspace Search - Synapse provides ad hoc "search within search" functionality that enables the
contents of local workspaces to be further sifted using more specific search criteria. When combined with
Synapse filtering functionality, this enables efficient and powerful workflows that improve analyst
effectiveness and productivity.
PFI's Ozone Synapse Core distribution includes a rich palette of widgets that can be easily reconfigured
to provide a variety of visual analytics solutions out-of-the-box. More importantly, however, Synapse's
basic capabilities can be easily extended through the modification of existing widgets, or the development
of entirely new ones. Any widget developed with the Synapse SDK will work with any other Synapse widget,
enabling end users to rapidly assemble custom software solutions on-the-fly.
Synapse currently supports Mozilla Firefox 3.6+ and Internet Explorer 7, 8, & 9.
API for integrated and efficient widget interaction
Extends the Ozone Widget Framework with a standardized data and eventing model
Ozone and Synapse widgets can be employed seamlessly within the same Ozone dashboard or desktop
Visual Analytics-oriented example widgets can be used out-of-the box to assemble custom analysis
Synapse eventing model enables interactions in one widget to be quickly reflected in other widgets
Generic channel naming convention simplifies widget developer tasks by eliminating the need to know
channel names in advance
- Synapse Common Data Model (CDM) allows data sharing between widgets
- Data is shared using a common shared memory data space partitioned into independent record sets
Newly launched (initialized) widgets automatically synchronize with existing data; no need for
additional server interactions (vis-à-vis Ozone)
- Synapse data structures and messaging system highly scalable and optimized for performance
Common data display states enable multiple simultaneous views of different characteristics of a given
Local search function enables rapid searching of previously retrieved search results ("search within
Workflow features include external resource query, record set and value list management capabilities,
workspace save/restore, export data to local disk
Synapse is available for official U.S. Government use under the terms of the DoD Community Source Usage
Agreement Version 1.1, available at http://www.forge.mil/Community.html.
To obtain a copy of Synapse, please request a download portal account
from us. To register you must provide a valid U.S. Government or business email address.
PFI provides a range of consulting and software engineering services, including Synapse/Ozone
widget development and customization services. If you have specific data analysis or situation
awareness requirements that may be a good fit for the Synapse Framework, please contact us at
firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to request a quote.