In the last three years activities in Grid computing have changed; in particular
in Europe the focus moved from pure research-oriented work on concepts, architectures,
interfaces, and protocols towards activities driven by the usage of Grid technologies in day-to-day operation of e-infrastructure and in applicationdriven use cases. This change is also reected in the UNICORE activities .
The basic components and services have been established, and now the focus is
increasingly on enhancement with higher level services, integration of upcoming
standards, deployment in e-infrastructures, setup of interoperability use cases
and integration of applications.
The development of UNICORE started back more than 10 years ago, when in 1996 users, supercomputer centres and vendors were discussing "what prevents the efficient use of distributed supercomputers?". The result of this discussion was a consensus which still guides UNICORE today: seamless, secure and intuitive access to distributed resources. Since the end of 2002 continuous development of UNICORE took place in
several EU-funded projects, with the subsequent broadening of the UNICORE
community to participants from across Europe. In 2004 the UNICORE software
became open source and since then UNICORE is developed within the open source developer community. Publishing UNICORE as open source under BSD license has promoted a major uptake in the community with contributions from multiple organisations. Today the developer community includes developers
from Germany, Poland, Italy, UK, Russia and other countries.
The structure of the paper is as follows. In Section 2 the architecture of UNICORE 6 as well as implemented standards are described, while Section 3 focusses on its clients. Section 4 covers recent developments and advancements of UNICORE 6, while in section 5 an outlook on future planned developments
is given. The paper closes with a conclusion.