New HUBzero version has extensive research team coordination, collaboration features
August 31, 2012
The latest version of HUBzero, an open source “cyberinfrastructure in a box,” with new capability to create collaborative “project” areas within a hub, federated identity management, email integration, design improvements, and dozens of other new features will be released at HUBbub 2012, the annual HUBzero users conference.
“There are more than 40 hubs based on the HUBzero toolkit serving many areas of science and engineering and other research fields, from nanotechnology and cancer treatment to earthquake engineering and the bonds between human and companion animals,” says Michael McLennan, chief architect of HUBzero at Purdue. “They will all benefit from this.”
The two-day HUBbub 2012 conference for researchers, practitioners, educators and IT professionals engaged in building and using cyberinfrastructure is Sept. 24-25 at the IUPUI University Place Conference Center, 850 W. Michigan St., Indianapolis. For more information and to register, go to: http://hubzero.org/hubbub. HUBbub 2012 includes sessions for both people already using a hub who want to learn more, and for those curious about hubs or interested in employing the open source release of HUBzero to establish their own.
Among the highlights in the latest version of the HUBzero software:
- A new project-management, collaboration tool, a great way to manage data, workflow and communication whether the task is working on a funding proposal, a research paper or developing an application. Projects include a Git-based file repository with version history keeping; wiki space for notes and documentation; to-do lists; and a Facebook-like microblogging tool providing a stream of project updates from team members with the ability to comment on activities. Multiple projects can be kept within groups, or they can be created on a stand-alone basis.
- Federated identity allowing integration with social networking sites. Users can log into a hub using their Facebook, Google, or LinkedIn accounts, meaning one less password to remember.
- A hub email gateway that automatically processes forum posts and support tickets, making it easier for users to receive status messages and reply to them directly without having to leave email and go to the hub.
- User interface and tag improvements including cleaner, configurable administrative and starter templates; a sleeker, better integrated user profile page; and tags with new categorization options, aliases and version histories.
Originally developed for nanoHUB.org, HUBzero is an open source software platform used to build websites for scientific and other kinds of research and for education and training. Such websites are sometimes referred to as “collaboratories” supporting “team science.” HUBzero calls them “hubs” because the sites become a focal point for user communities. Today, hubs are serving virtual communities in translational health care, engineering education, microelectromechanical systems, volcanology, professional and research ethics, environmental modeling and biofuels, among other topics.
A major HUBzero feature is its ability to deploy computational research codes, and visualize and analyze results, all through a Web browser. It makes posting tools about as easy as posting a YouTube video. Moreover, the platform has a growing set of data management tools. Built-in social networking features create communities in almost any field and facilitate communication and collaboration, distribution of research results, training and education.
HUBbub 2012 also will highlight a new organization, the HUBzero Foundation, that promises to make HUBzero even more accessible and to expand the platform’s already considerable capabilities. The new HUBzero Foundation — open to any academic institution, non-profit organization, or corporation — offers a number of benefits to members, including access to the latest HUBzero features and bug fixes before they’re available in the open source releases and a role in setting the roadmap for future development. For more information visit: http://hubzero.org/about/foundation.
In 2011, HUBbub attracted more than 100 people from as far away as South Korea and South Africa, along with U.S. institutions spread from New York to Oregon and Florida to Wisconsin.