As the digital research landscape broadens, so more research communities are seeking to establish community or science domain specific environments for data sharing and analysis scenarios. These environments, the so called Virtual Research Environments (VREs), use a wide range of resources including European Grid Infrastructure (EGI), as well as academic and commercial resources. VREs aim to support multi-national communities on a sustainable and long term basis.
Science gateways (SGs) are key enablers of VREs: they integrate and provide a coherent view of the various software tools and services that a researcher needs for a custom analysis workflow. Authentication frameworks, visualisation tools, monitors, databases, workflow systems, job execution pilots are few examples from the rich set of services that SGs glue together and make easily consumable through a web portal or a desktop application.
Over the last decade the members of the EGI collaboration accumulated rich knowledge on developing, deploying, operating and monitoring science gateways. EGI members provide nearly 30 SGs for various scientific groups in Europe and beyond. Many of these gateways are built from 'off the shelf' frameworks or components that exist as reusable products to those who wish to build new gateways for their own specific needs.
The EGI-InSPIRE project recently started a Virtual Team titled Science Gateway Primer (SGP-VT), with participants from 15 National Grid Infrastructures and EGI.eu, to develop a primer document for gateway developers. The document will collect best practices and state of the art in relevant technological and policy areas.
The SGP-VT is steering a double-session on Science Gateways at the next EGI Technical Forum in Prague. The contributions will focus on various technical aspects of SG enabling technologies and of gateway development. This will be an opportunity to update the community about the Primer content which will facilitate the adoption of EGI gateways and gateway technologies within the European Research Area. See you all there.