The THREDDS Data Server (TDS) is a web server that provides metadata and data access for scientific datasets, using OPeNDAP, OGC WMS and WCS, HTTP, and other remote data access protocols.
The TDS serves the contents of the datasets stored on the server, in addition to providing catalogs and metadata for them. The TDS uses the Common Data Model to read datasets in various formats, and serves them through OPeNDAP, OGC Web Coverage Service, NetCDF subset, and bulk HTTP file transfer services. The first three allow the user to obtain subsets of the data, which is crucial for large datasets.
The TDS has the ability to aggregate many files into virtual datasets, which insulates users from the details of file storage and naming, and greatly simplifies user access to large collections of files. Much of the real-time data available over Unidata's Internet Data Distribution (IDD) system is available through a THREDDS Data Server hosted at the Unidata Program Center.
Using a TDS to store and serve your data is a solid choice for any project, but may be especially appropriate if you have large data volumes and large datasets that will benefit from the TDS' subsetting capabilities. Among other capabilities, the TDS allows you to use the netCDF Markup Language (NcML) to to create and modify virtual data aggregations, allowing you to treat data from multiple sources as a single dataset.
The TDS can run on any system that has:
For information about the TDS, see THREDDS Data Server.