The morning session about Portals and Gateways was an inspiring and refreshing moment. Four speakers engaged with the audience in the main auditorium at the EGI.CF.2012 while their research workspaces were presented. From my point of view, the outcome of this session was at least four more reasons for end users to produce science in a collaborative and productive way.
The first three minutes
of the session were crucial to ‘setup the stage’. EGI is aware of an increasing number of users accessing grid resources through gateways
. The EGI User Community Support Team setup a set of web pages
providing easy references, both for users and developers, about science gateways and enabling technologies registered in the Applications Database. The fun of the session was just to begin …
The Gisela project just launched a Virtual Research Community (VRC) driven Science Gateway
. VRC related applications were made available via portals that can be accessed through Identity Federation authentication, a hot topic in EGI agenda. For the users not affiliated to an Identity Provider (IdP), Gisela has setup a catch-all IdP, says Diego Scardaci. That is to say, grid certificates do not enter into play, considerably decreasing the first barrier for users to delve into the grid world. A success story on how Gisela was able to call the attention of the industry was also highlighted.
is an environment accessible through a web browser. It was picked up by EGI-InSPIRE project because it serves well the goals of the heavy user’s community. It makes possible for researchers to combine molecular modeling applications into workflows, and execute them in the underlying infrastructure. Integration of SOMA2 with grid technology was achieved by Tapani Kinnunen team, and a pilot service was just made available for researchers interested in molecular modeling.
I was surprised to see a staggering increase on the number of users on the Polish VO (country scope) in the last year. The Polish NGI is enthusiastically raising the awareness of researchers and students about the existence of an European e-infrastructure out there. InSilicoLab
plays a crucial role with this respect, a friendly user workspace developed by Joanna Kocot. This application portal not only facilitates access to software ported to the grid, but also allows collaborative work amongst fellow scientists.
Piece of cake! This is the motto for GridCake and GridCamp
, a java grid library and a grid enabled web portal respectively. Accordingly to César Suárez-Ortega “using a web application for grid interaction renders a lot of advantages”. The motivation for this work rests in the willingness of the software developer to make the grid interaction easy for the end user. The development is being done through the collaboratively GitHub platform, and proper documentation is in place. Moreover, social network tools were incorporated in the web portal for users to collaborate with each other.
And this was just the first session out of three subordinated to the theme ‘Portals and Gateways’. To wrap up, gateways for researchers are being adopted as the preferred interface exposed to users. Accessing the grid through a science gateway is not an exception, and today that message was spoken loudly and clear by all the presenters.