Grid technology has matured considerably over the past few years. Progress in both implementation and standardization is reaching a level of robustness that enables production quality deployments of grid services in the academic research community with heightened interest and early adoption in the industrial community. Despite this progress, grid applications are far from ubiquitous, and new applications require an enormous amount of programming effort just to see first light. A key impediment to accelerated deployment of grid applications is the scarcity of high-level application programming abstractions that bridge the gap between existing grid middlewareand application-level needs. The Simple API for Grid Applications (SAGA ) is a GGF standardization effort that addresses this particular gap by providing a simple, stable, and uniform programming interface that integrates the most common grid programming abstractions. These most common abstractions were identified through the analysis of several existing and emerging Grid applications. In this article, we present the SAGA effort, describe its relationship to other Grid API efforts within the GGF community, and introduce the first draft of the API using some application programming examples.