Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives




Vision on! CESSDA’s Expert Seminar shows the way

CESSDA’s technical vision is to be recognised as a leading European Research Area (ERA) technical infrastructure, and the CESSDA Expert Seminar 2016 (CES2016) was a major milestone on that journey.

CES2016 was presented by the CESSDA Technical Group and hosted by the Czech Social Science Data Archive (ČSDA) in Prague on 13 and 14 September 2016. Titled ‘Technical Work Plan - Developing components for the Research Infrastructure’, it was aimed at technical managers and software developers.

In order to realise its technical vision, CESSDA will lay solid foundations for its Research Infrastructure, and the Technical Workplan does that by introducing a number of building blocks (in the form of guidance documents and software environments). These can then be used by CESSDA’s Service Providers and others to help them develop and deliver high quality components into the technical Research Infrastructure.

One of the key objectives of the Technical Workplan is to ensure CESSDA has access to its software assets (namely the source code, configuration files and technical documentation that underpin its software-based products and services) and also develops and retains the capability to maintain, enhance, quality assure and run them. To this end, the programme of the Expert Seminar was a combination of theoretical and hands-on sessions, giving both a broad introduction to how CESSDA will manage the production of software components for its Research Infrastructure, and an in-depth look at some of the tools that have been adopted to support the development of components. Micro-service architectures, cloud computing, software maturity modelling and Continuous Delivery were amongst the topics discussed, as these are important enablers for achieving the technical vision.

As John Shepherdson, leader of CESSDA’s Technical Group told the participants during the wrap up session “success depends on us all working together to embrace and improve the guidance documents and development environments”.

There were twenty five participants, representing twelve different Service Providers and CESSDA Main Office, plus one member in waiting and two observers from EU projects with a shared interest in technical infrastructure.

Feedback from attendees was positive, with the majority of respondents rating the event overall as ‘excellent’.

In the next few months, the Technical Workplan will deliver improvements to our infrastructure for Continuous Deployment, continue the conversation with Service Providers and others via meetings and conference presentations (including one on extending CESSDA’s Software Maturity Matrix to the DDI Domain at EDDI16) and revise and reissue the Technical Architecture document.

Consult the presentations from the seminar here.

Spread the word on Twitter. #CES16