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GCP Pantheon

1: a temple dedicated to all the gods
2: a building serving as the burial place of or containing memorials to the famous dead of a nation
3: the gods of a people; especially : the officially recognized gods
4: a group of illustrious persons
[Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary]

Welcome to the GCP Platform Documentation.  An important part of the Generation Challenge Programme (GCP) is the development of a comprehensive, distributed crop information platform to capture, store, analyze and disseminate GCP research results (Subprogramme 4 (SP4)). Given the diversity of data types and the global scope of the partnership, data exchange and information system interoperability is a significant challenge. A cornerstone of this implementation is the development of common standards for GCP data.  As they have been developed to date, these GCP standards consist of the following components:

  1. Common semantic encoding of scientific information: e.g. GCP  domain model and shared ontology.
  2. Shared internet communication protocols (BioMoby)
  3. A shared software framework (GCP Pantheon)

This site documents these standards with their usage in end-user's applications that access and manipulate data using GCP platform compliant components . Pantheon is designed in a way that:

  • It is possible to add the non-GCP data sources (created by GCP partners, or by third parties) and use them by Pantheon's end-user's applications, and
  • It is possible to add the GCP data sources (contained in the Pantheon) to the non-GCP end-user's applications and to view (use, explore) them there.

This documentation shows and explains all parts of Pantheon and presents various tutorials how developers can and should use it. Sometimes it defines mandatory rules, sometimes it only suggests the best practices (recommendations) to follow. Remember:

The less freedom developers have the better interoperability they achieve

GCP Models

The domain modeling is the central part of the GCP Pantheon. Actually, it is the only but ultimate rule - any application and data source that is part of the GCP (or even just used by GCP) must follow the GCP models.

There is one central model - called the GCP Domain Model (Bruskiewich et al. 2006) - that expresses attributes, behavior and relationships between its entities in a way that is not dependent on any specific technology (such as programming language) that is used to implement these entities. This model is very useful when talking with scientists and domain experts. Also developers get obtain here an overall understanding, the big picture.

The same principles and relationships are then expressed in several (technically) different ways, using patterns and paradigms specific for concrete technologies. These technology-specific models can (from technical reasons) slightly differ from the main domain model - but not significantly. These models are primarily used by developers, implementing GCP Pantheon.

This separation of models is used by many industries, and it is known as Model Driven Architecture.

GCP Software

GCP semantics standards - GCP Domain Model and Ontologies - in conjunction with GCP Application Programming Interface (API) standards, are defining a GCP Crop Information Platform of GCP aware applications and components.

A Pantheon Component Inventory is available, to show graphically, how many of these components exist and how they are interconnected.

GCP Platform Components

There are three major types of components in Pantheon:

For more information on these components please refer to the section on GCP Platform Compliant Components


Here are several tutorials on Pantheon. We suggest you read first the tutorials on the Core Pantheon components. The remaining tutorials concentrate on specific issues which may only be of interest to those working with specific technologies or parts of Pantheon.

Core Pantheon Tutorials


Tutorials on optional Pantheon components



Last Updated ( Sunday, 16 August 2009 )