July 2016 Meeting Minutes (VRE, virtual folder and AAI)

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-- we have put some content on the westlife wordpress (https://westlifesite.wordpress.com/) (for now it is a free wordpress and we will soon put it under west-life.eu domain name) People who want to have access rights to the wordpress can email François (fruty@luna-technology.com)

-- wordpress is for static documentation. For services with only WestLife as funding source, every page without form (= pages with static information only) must be migrated to Wordpress. For projects with multiple funding source, it's decided on a case by case basis

-- as a first step, people can put authentication forms inside the VRE (via Github, not via Wordpress, wordpress is just for documentation). Users will go to WestLife VRE to authenticate, and then be redirected to the legacy portal pages). The procedure to add a page to the VRE is in readme file, in VRE Github repository. Then when you created a page, you can just copy/paste your HTML/js.

-- Luna will start very soon upgrading the VRE to interconnect with Instruct system, and will evolve in a few months to use the AAI team proxy idea.


  • Discussion between Chris & Radim

To deploy the virtual folder VM on the fedcloud: -- we use Vagrant to build the VM images -- for VM deployment and dispatch, it is managed by the site cloud framework, via OCCI API (or the native framework API) NOTE: Vagrant does not have an OCCI plugin so a solution will have to be found.

  • Discussion regarding integration between Scipion web tools (pilot portal) and the virtual folder

Scipion is a desktop application, web tools are a small subset of Scipion. --> virtual folder needs to work with both = integrate scipion desktop app inside the virtual folder VM + scipion web tools should be able to use the virtual folder as storage backend

Scenario 1: (Scipion Web Tools)

- there is no authentication currently for Scipion web tools. Inside the VRE, a page would be added to introduce scipion and then redirect the user to the appropriate page. Scipion team will choose what is the most appropriate break point (what is in VRE and what is beyond the redirection).

- once the user is on scipion web interface, Scipion web tool needs to receive identity from the VRE. Then scipion web tool will upgrade their upload form so that the user can choose one of his/her file. There will be a webdav server on the portal server, and one folder will be mounted for each user.

Note: identity transmission TBD --> wait for AAI

Scenario 2: (integration with Scipion desktop application)

- Scipion would be installed in the packaged virtual machine image

Note: Scipion desktop app uses GPU viz, even for the export process. Guacamole/VNC stuff will be packaged in the VM image too, so that people can remote desktop into the remote VM.

Note2: Virtualbox and host GPU do not play nice, but on the fedcloud VirtualBox hypervisor will not be used so this problem will appear only locally when people use Virtualbox.


Step 1: - Scipion web tool can start implementing a webdav server option for their file upload form, and use hardcoded credentials for now. + implement a basic users management system (only what's necessary to play nice with the VRE)

Step 2: - once AAI is OK and the VRE uses the AAI proxy, we work to connect the VRE and the portal

  • Discussion regarding help desk

- see with Alexandre whether West-Life can use BioExcel Discourse-based forum system for help desk (or choose any other reasonable option)

  • Discussion regarding terms and conditions

Various services have different terms and conditions end users have to agree to. We will need to see how we manage that. NOTE: EGI has a working group for this

  • Discussion regarding backend convergence

We agreed it is too soon to discuss that. We will restart this conversation once AAI and full data portability are done.

  • PDBe integration in virtual folder:

We need to find a first use case to find out what should be in VRE vs virtual folder scope. --> perhaps none, but rather in portal file upload form --> ask scipion

  • Discussion regarding impacts on WeNMR authentication

Implications of AAI on Wenmr - OpenID connect seems to be the right way to proceed - on infrastructure side, IDP work necessary too Intermediary step: WeNMR person will try to adap their system with publicly available OpenID Connect IDPs such as Google