Extensible Platforms for eResearch

Mr Samuel Bradley1, Dr Pavel Golodoniuc1, Mr John Hille1, Dr Andrew Rodger1

1CSIRO, Kensington, Australia

Abstract:

Software Engineering in a research organisation comes with many challenges. Our broader team produces a large number of prototype quality outputs to satisfy a project or help a researcher but we lack the time and resources to support, improve and reuse these solutions long term. The same engineering problems are often solved differently each time we create a new portal or piece of software and many researcher problems are unable to justify the cost of new bespoke software.

The Scidra Platform was an designed to centralise and standardise our web application engineering effort enabling us to offer a highly polished user experience, which can support a limitless number of different scientific modules, functions and workflows with a low time investment per module.

A key criteria for the platform is the ability to make it easy for researchers to contribute code in the form of self-contained modules which can then be deployed into a production system and used by others. The aim is to empower researchers to upscale their code into a shared cloud environment with minimal effort. This will be done with incentives like attribution, having their code function within the platform and potential commercialisation opportunities for modules. We will also provide tools, documentation and support to make it easy to package code as a Scidra module.

The Scidra platform will be open sourced and deployable in any Kubernetes environment.


Biography:

A Software Engineer working in the Mineral Resources Business Unit at CSIRO. Has over 10 years experience in software development but still new to the Research and Geology domains. During his 18 Months at CSIRO he lead and been involved in multiple web software projects and is now leading the technical effort on a modular eresearch workflow platform.

ABOUT AeRO

AeRO is the industry association focused on eResearch in Australasia. We play a critical coordination role for our members, who are actively transforming research via Information Technology. Organisations join AeRO to advance their own capabilities and services, to collaborate and to network with peers. AeRO believes researchers and the sector significantly benefit from greater communication, coordination and sharing among the increasingly different and evolving service providers.

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