EOSC Portal - A gateway to information and resources in EOSC

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08 Nov 2021

Dev Diary 8 - An evolving EOSC ecosystem

Welcome to the last issue of the Dev Diary created by the EOSC Enhance project, as we approach the end of these exciting two years, over which we have brought together the previously existing and scattered EOSC Portal into one environment.

We have quite a few updates for you, such as our two final webinars in November, one of which in collaboration with EOSC Future, the project that is going to handle all official EOSC Portal communications and activities from next month.

The seven EOSC Enhance Key Exploitable Results remain as core building blocks for the upcoming evolution of the EOSC Portal, a tangible part of our legacy for upcoming initiatives.

In this issue of the Dev Diary, we will look at the latest updates for users of the Marketplace, at how to register as a provider and onboard resources, and more!

Reaching out to end-users

Over the past few months, EOSC Enhance and EOSC Future have collaborated on improving the user experience on the EOSC Marketplace, reaching out to the wider community via dedicated surveys in order to assess the specific needs and challenges encountered by researchers when looking for useful resources and information.

This process involved end-users from thematic, regional and national communities, building on the increasing network around the EOSC Portal and other Open Science projects.

These combined efforts have brought to the definition of clearer user personas, which are helping the EOSC Portal team to produce more content specifically targeted at end-users. An improved virtual tour of the Marketplace was launched in October.

There are many ways to browse the catalogue, and this online demo provides a step-by-step breakdown of new functionalities and search options. For unfiltered searches, the “Browse all resources” button directs users to the entire database of available resources. For more specific requests, the search bar, filters and autocomplete functions allow the user to refine their search.

Take the Virtual Tour now

The two projects are also holding a joint webinar on 18 November at 14:00 CET to talk about this process and the role of research communities, inviting existing and potential end-users of the EOSC Marketplace to take part in the discussion and provide their feedback.

Register for the webinar

A growing community of resource providers

The EOSC Portal provider network is constantly growing, and many organisations have registered their profile and resources in recent months. The EOSC Portal Onboarding Team remains the main contact point for any questions related to this process, offering support throughout the onboarding funnel.

The EOSC Enhance team gave demonstrations of this process at the Open Science FAIR and EGI Conference, resulting in a clear step-by-step guide for providers who want to become part of the EOSC Portal community.

One of the latest achievements of the EOSC Enhance team was the coordinated effort with NI4OS-Europe, the EOSC regional project covering Southeastern Europe, on a pilot to test the long-awaited functionality allowing entire project catalogues to be integrated with the EOSC Portal. 

The first tangible results of this experiment were discussed at the joint webinar held in October, while the next pilot use case will be carried out with the INFRAEOSC-07 project DICE.

Become an EOSC Portal provider

After EOSC Portal Profiles v3.00 were adopted as a de facto standard in the ESOC ecosystem and deployed successfully at the EOSC Portal and by other EOSC stakeholders, EOSC Enhance received a number of Requests for Changes (RfCs) for the EOSC Portal Profiles. Those requirements, as well as the need: a) to facilitate the onboarding and interoperability of the EOSC Portal to Multi-Provider Catalogues of Thematic and Regional Portals and, b) to describe additional resource types like Data Sources and Research Products, led to the update of the EOSC Portal Profiles and the issue of version v4.00. The EOSC Profile updates to v4.00 can be grouped as:

  • Updates on the EOSC Provider and Resource Profiles v3.00:

    • Few additions of new Attributes
    •  Few changes of Attribute Requirement (mandatory/optional)
    • Some re-organisation of Attributes in Information Blocks
    • Few updates on Lists of Code Lists, Taxonomies, Classifications
    • Some changes of types of Attributes
  •  An additional Profile introduced:

    • Multi-Provider Catalogue Profile
  • Additional extensions introduced:
    • Data Sources and Research Products

The changes introduced fall into two groups:

  1. The ones that have to be applied immediately, they are addressing operational issues or provide additional needed functionality and are backwards compatible (they do not impact the existing implementations and interoperability), and
  2. Those that are necessary enhancements but are not backwards compatible and as such, they must be announced before their implementation allowing a minimum period of six months for the providers and other EOSC stakeholders to adjust their implementations and/or prepare to comply with the new specification requirement.

EOSC Enhance is currently preparing the handing over of all developments to EOSC Future including the EOSC Portal Profiles specification. Other specifications that have been updated or formulated and will be handed over are: the EOSC Portal Change Management process (v4.00); the EOSC Portal Functional and Non-Functional Requirements and Roadmapping (v4.00); the EOSC Portal Code Lists, Taxonomies, Classifications (v4.00); the EOSC Portal Onboarding Process (v4.00); and the EOSC Portal Profiles Review and Feedback Report (v4.00).

Enhancing the Future

We are approaching the end of EOSC Enhance, two exciting years of activity unfortunately hampered by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which did not allow us to hold many physical meetings.

Nevertheless, our team stayed strong and we managed to successfully complete our remit. Thanks to the precious feedback gathered across the research community, we are thrilled to announce our final release of the EOSC Portal, before the official handover to EOSC Future taking place at the end of November. 

This marks another key step in the long-term journey towards the further development and enhancement of useful and dynamic tools for the evolving EOSC ecosystem. 

EOSC Enhance holds its final webinar on 25 November 2021 at 15:00 CET, where project representatives will introduce all the main upgrades and new functionalities available to resource providers and end-users.

Register now