As part of an effort to establish a community-based data sharing environment, we previously developed a HUBzero-based web component, iData. Using the open-source data management software, iRODS, iData provides hub users and tools with the ability to publish, manage, discover and consume data in a variety of file formats. The hub's user groups in turn provide a natural data sharing framework for iData. By managing user files in iRODS, iData can expose a familiar nested directory structure for organizing files and leverage the iRODS metadata catalog to enable indexed searches. In response to growing data storage demands, new storage resources can be easily integrated into the iRODS server while still providing access to them under a unified namespace. Rather than forcing the user to go through the cumbersome process of entering metadata, the iRODS support for trigger-based actions is utilized to automatically extract and capture some file (in particular geospatial) metadata on upload. This potentially avoids duplicated work when metadata has already been attached to a file during creation, for instance in simulation tool outputs.
The talk describes how iRODS was used in developing the iData component for self-managing and sharing scientific data on the hub. We will also discuss options for more seamless integration of iRODS into HUBzero. For example, use iRODS as a storage solution for other file-intensive areas of the hub such as Hub Projects, for federation of data and tools from various hubs, and for construction of non-trivial hub tool workflows leveraging the iRODS rule engine and trigger-based event handling.
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