Periodic Reporting for period 2 - eInfraCentral (European E-Infrastructure Services Gateway)
Reporting period: 2018-02-01 to 2019-06-30
Objective 1: Structure an open and guided discussion between e-Infrastructures to consensually define a common catalogue for their services
Objective 2: Develop a single entry point (one-stop shop) for end users to browse the service catalogue, and enhance the monitoring of key performance indicators that focus on availability and quality of services and user satisfaction
Objective 3: Draw policy and sustainability lessons for the future development of a European einfrastructure ‘market place’ as an extension of the common service catalogue and portal so that it includes a much broader range of e-infrastructures and services
eInfraCentral was, along with EOSC Pilot, the first of a portfolio of EOSC related projects. As the EOSC scene evolved so did the project, the European Commission described eInfraCentral in the 2018 EOSC Implementation Roadmap as one of the key building blocks of the EOSC Portal. Instead of focusing on developing a gateway for a single entry point, the Consortium integrated eInfraCentral’s all-inclusive catalogue of e-services and resources in the EOSC Portal. The eInfraCentral catalogue and the EOSC Portal catalogue provide the same list of services. The focus of the other three major outcomes of eInfraCentral, a harmonised service description template, a catalogue of services and a set of APIs, stayed unchanged.
e-Infrastructure Collaboration Activities (WP2) focused on engaging and collaborating with the e-Infrastructure community as well as ESFRI projects and other research communities to involve these key stakeholders in an open dialogue. A survey of stakeholders identified as a ‘wider circle’ of e-Infrastructures, VREs and other RIs was conducted to get an idea about their preferences and requirements; and bilateral and collective communications and workshops took place with the five major European e-Infrastructures (GÉANT, EGI.eu PRACE, EUDAT and OpenAIRE) in order to develop the common service catalogue. Later these were further expanded to the stakeholders of EOSCpilot and EOSC-hub (the latter having emerged half-way through the eInfraCentral timeframe). A Global Initiatives Working Group was set up and gave feedback on how the project’s impact and benefit from lessons learned.
The main effort in reaching a consensus on a common catalogue of services took place under WP3. A pilot Service Description Template (SDT) was introduced in Spring 2017 detailing the aligned service catalogue together with a first attempt to an offline common service catalogue. Throughout the project lifetime the service descriptions were put into use by the flagship European e-Infrastructures, while other e-Infrastructures engaged and helped in the collection of additional service descriptions, requirements organisation blocks and classifications. Following the successful adoption of the SDT, Service Classification, and the launch of the eInfraCentral and EOSC Portal, the project consortium entered a Collaboration Agreement with OpenAIRE and EOSC-hub with the aim to reach a wider consensus on a Service classification and taxonomy, between a larger group of EOSC-related initiatives. This led to the SDT and Service Classification EOSC version 2.00.
WP4 activities revolved around the implementation and operation of the eInfraCentral & EOSC Catalogue, the underlying database and the corresponding APIs. It consisted: the implementation of the service catalogue and the development of monitoring mechanisms that enable the automatic population of service-related information in the portal from e-Infrastructures through RestFul APIs. These effectively provided aggregated and comparative views of the spectrum of European e-Infrastructures. WP4 was based on an agile and user-driver development process, with user assessment activities which provided feedback to each next release.
The results achieved by the eInfraCentral project are:
Key result 1: The widely adopted Service/Resource Description Template (SDT) and Service Classification
Key result 2: The First Catalogue for the European Open Science Cloud
Key result 3: The Application Programming Interfaces (API) for EOSC interoperability
Key result 4: Development of the EOSC Portal in cooperation with other EOSC-linked project EOSCpilot, EOSC-hub and OpenAIRE-Advance
Key result 5: “Build-your-own” EOSC-compatible catalogue of services using eInfraCentral’s open-source software
Key result 6: Development of the Rules of Participation for EOSC-compliant services and resources and in onboarding new service providers
Key result 7: Development of a set of user functional and non-functional requirements
Key result 8: Performance Monitoring Framework (KPIs)
Key result 9: A methodology for labelling Catalogue Maturity
Key result 10: EOSC portal logo and other dissemination activities