Swiss Grid Portal (phase 1)

Long Title: Swiss Grid Portal
Universita della Svizzera Italiana
ETH Zürich
Université de Genève
Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics (unfunded partner)
Domain: Grid
Status: finished
Start Date: 01.01.2009
End Date: 30.04.2010
Project Leader: C. Pautasso

This portal project builds the necessary high-level user interface and corresponding toolkit to adapt the Swiss Multi-Science Grid Infrastructure to future applications.

(see also extension)


See extension.

Initial situation

There already exist several portals for end-user access to Grid resources in many other projects. However, most of these portals are specifically customized to the given application at hand and are not easily adaptable to new applications. Very few have integrated workflow capabilities, which is the prerequisite for most high-level applications. Most existing portals provide a web version of the command-line tools provided by the Grid middleware.


The primary goal of this project is to select, enhance, deploy and test a fully functional Grid portal user interface. It will be fully integrated with the infrastructure provided through the Swiss Multi-Science Computing Grid (SMSCG) project.
The application driving the project will be the Proteomics Identification Toolbox (swissPIT) of the University of Geneva section of the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics. The swissPIT end-users require a high-level, easy-to-use interface in order to perform their research in the domain of life sciences.

We intend to make use of existing low-level portal components available in the community and of the JOpera workflow engine, developed and maintained by USI. By building the portal with the strong involvement of a user community (Life Sciences - Proteomics) we will be able to improve the usability concept of existing portals. The new swissPIT Swiss Grid Portal (an early prototype portal already exists) will be built with reusability in mind, such that the actual Proteomics specific parts are clearly separated and customizable for future applications, not only in Life Sciences but also from other scientific domains. Necessary new functionality like the integration with SWITCHaai will be identified and added by the project.

The existence of such an open portal framework is to the benefit of all of the Swiss Grid user community, who will be given an easy to use, customized access to their complex, computationally intensive applications. It will directly benefit the Grid application providers, who will be able to quickly assemble such a customized end-user portal for their user communities, without the need to deal with the intricacies of Grid user identity management, job management, monitoring as well as user data upload/download handling.


In summary, the project has three major parts where the effort is concentrated:

  1. The selection and assembly of the necessary components, building the framework for the reusable portal and performing the integration:
    • Selection of dependencies
    • Component modular design
    • Implementation of modules
    • Monitoring and component testing
    • Documentation
  2. The adaptation and extension of the JOpera workflow engine:
    • Web interface extension design
    • Web interface to JOpera engine
    • Monitoring extension
  3. The implementation of the swissPIT application and assuring the actual usability of the portal:
    • Iterative application adaptation to the modular portal structure
    • Improved gridification of the existing proteomics applications - optimizations
    • Data management – accessing the datasets needed for the proteomics analysis
    • Application-specific portal pages to be updated based on current prototype
    • Application-specific workflows
    • Full deployment of application on the SMSCG infrastructure
    • Benchmarking of the integrated solution