A Bridge To The Skies

Following on from our meeting with Team CKAN, we’ve had to make a few sweeping architectural changes. Here’s what’s happening:

  • We’re totally scrapping Orbital Core and Orbital Manager in their current form, since they mostly replicate functionality which already exists in ownCloud and CKAN.
  • We’re developing a brand new application, codenamed Orbital Bridge, which sits between various systems which make up the Orbital platform (ownCloud, CKAN, and in the future our Staff Directory and Awards Management System).
  • Orbital Bridge acts to orchestrate aspects of the various systems, and provides a high-level concept of research projects and project team members. The relevant aspects of these concepts (such as group membership, folder sharing and security permissions) are then managed in the individual systems.
  • Orbital Bridge will also include options for moving files and data (via the CKAN DataStore API) through conversion tools, for example taking a CSV and loading it directly into a datastore, converting binary files to open standards, or taking a datastore and converting it to something more useful based on given search parameters.
  • CKAN exposes a variety of data using its APIs (also delicious RDF). Orbital Bridge takes this data to boost our Nucleus institutional data store (and our upcoming institutional triple store), and through that our other integrated services.

Information which Orbital Bridge uses to determine things like projects and users will come initially from our University SSO service coupled to manual creation of projects and external users, and in the future (APIs permitting) partially from our Awards Management System for automatic population of project information. Check out our shiny graphic for a visual overview: