Make a New ACCESS Integration Roadmap

If you want to integrate a cyberinfrastructure resource into the ACCESS ecosystem and no existing integration roadmap seems appropriate for your resources, you may want to propose a new ACCESS integration roadmap. This page explains the benefits of an integration roadmap and how to create a new one. At the end of this page, you’ll find a link to begin the process of creating a new integration roadmap, but please review the information here first.

What does it mean to integrate a cyberinfrastructure resource with ACCESS? For most resources, integration with ACCESS means participating in one or more of ACCESS’s coordination services. These coordination services (listed below) make the ACCESS ecosystem—including the individual resources within it—easier for researchers to understand and use.

An ACCESS integration roadmap details the ACCESS coordination services most appropriate for a specific kind of cyberinfastructure resource and the steps a resource provider must take to participate in them.

Steps for Creating a New ACCESS Integration Roadmap

The rest of this guide will fill in the details, but here’s an overview of the steps for creating a new ACCESS Integration Roadmap.

  1. Inform the ACCESS Infrastructure Integration Steering Committee (IISC) that you are beginning to work on an integration roadmap for a new kind of ACCESS-integrated cyberinfrastucture resource.

  2. Form a working group to help you identify the necessary pieces of the integration roadmap.

  3. Draft the integration roadmap, by copying tasks from other roadmaps and defining tasks specific to the new type of resource.

  4. Publish the new integration roadmap in ACCESS’s integration roadmap library.

  5. Announce the new integration roadmap.

Why Create a New ACCESS Integration Roadmap?

If you’re adding the first resource of a type that has never been integrated with ACCESS before, there won’t be an existing integration roadmap for you to follow. Creating a new roadmap offers the following benefits.

  1. It will help you take advantage of the coordination services ACCESS has to offer. Once you decide which services will add value to your resource, the roadmap can help you keep track of your progress as you work with each coordination service.

  2. It will give other resource providers a sensible roadmap for adding their resources to ACCESS.

  3. As more resources like yours are added to ACCESS, researchers using these resources will benefit from appropriate commonalities provided by the integration roadmap. ACCESS-integrated resources will work in similar ways when it’s helpful.

If it isn’t likely there will ever be other resources like yours in ACCESS, you can use the information below to plan your integration without actually creating an integration roadmap.

ACCESS’s Coordination Services

The major coordination services ACCESS currently offers are listed below. Each service provides benefits to both researchers and resource providers. You should review this list and decide which of these services would help you achieve your goals for ACCESS integration.

  • ACCESS Resource Discovery: An ACCESS-wide searchable/browseable directory of resources. Having a resource listed in ACCESS’s resource directory provides greater visibility for the resource, helping resource providers recruit new users. Researchers have a convenient place to look for resources they can use to carry out their research projects.

  • ACCESS Allocations: A system for requesting permission to use resources in support of research projects. Resource providers can use this to recruit new and returning users for their resources. Researchers use this to gain access to additional resources for their research projects.

  • CONECTnet: Wide area network for efficient and resilient data transfer and novel network applications across the ACCESS ecosystem. Resource providers benefit from a high-performance, resilient network connection for their resources. Researchers benefit from advanced network connectivity between ACCESS resources.

  • ACCESS Coordinated User Support: ACCESS-wide services for providing technical support to researchers. Researchers benefit from a single place to request help when using any ACCESS resource. Resource providers benefit from being able to collaborate with other ACCESS personnel on user support when issues involve ACCESS services or another ACCESS resource.

  • ACCESS Metrics and Monitoring: An ACCESS-wide service for gathering and presenting resource usage metrics. Researchers have a single place to go to find out how much they’ve used of ACCESS resources and compare it to overall use. Resource providers get a standardized way to report use of their resources to sponsors and other stakeholders.

  • ACCESS Single Sign-On: ACCESS-wide user identities and authentication service. Reseachers have a single ID to use with all ACCESS resources and single sign-on across ACCESS websites and resources. Resource providers can use ACCESS IDs and authentication rather than maintaining local accounts and user credentials (passwords, keys).

Inform the ACCESS Infrastructure Integration Steering Committee (IISC)

After you’ve reviewed this guide and decided that you want to propose a new integration roadmap, the first step is to inform the Infrastructure Integration Steering Committee (IISC). The last section of this guide provides the link you can follow to formally notify the IISC.

The IISC includes representatives of ACCESS’s operations team and project management. Their main purpose is to make sure you have the resources you need to accomplish your objective. These resources include: ACCESS project contacts and introductions, documentation, and access to our shared Google Drive. A liaison from the IISC will contact you to review your plans and offer assistance. After meeting with you, the liaison will inform the ACCESS Executive Council (EC) about your plan so they can prepare their project areas to provide the resources you’ll need.

Form a Working Group

When creating a new ACCESS integration roadmap, it’s important to get input from ACCESS service providers and—if possible—from other resource providers who are likely to follow the roadmap. A good way to get that input is to form a working group. ACCESS working groups allow stakeholders from the ACCESS projects and resources provider organizations to meet regularly to work together on a common goal. For example, you can launch a working group to create a new integration roadmap, invite stakeholders from the relevant areas in ACCESS, and when the roadmap is completed, the working group ends.

Creating a working group is easy. The first step is to draft a charter. The charter defines the working group and has the following elements.

  • A name for the working group

  • An initial chairperson (two chairpersons is also fine)

  • A one-paragraph statement of the working group’s purpose

  • A list of specific goals

  • A list of stakeholders

  • A tentative timeline for deliverables

Stakeholders are people who have or may have an interest in the outcome of the working group or who have expertise that the working group needs. For example, you will likely need representatives from the major ACCESS project areas and new or prospective ACCESS resource providers. Deliverables are concrete things the working group will produce, such as a new integration roadmap.

When you have your charter document, review it with your project leadership and make certain they approve of you working on it. Then, send a note to your IISC liaison (see previous section) so he or she can inform the ACCESS Executive Committee of the new working group. (The Executive Committee needs to know because you’ll likely need representatives from their projects to participate as stakeholders in the working group.)

Once your charter is approved, create a new folder for the working group within the ACCESS Working Groups Google Drive folder. Add the charter document. Review the ACCESS cross-track technical coordination schedule to find a good time for the first meeting and ask on the ACCESS-CI slack’s #access-wide channel if anyone is using the two most-likely options, just in case. Create a new document in the working group Google Drive folder for meeting agendas and notes and include the date, time, and coordinates for the first meeting. (It’s helpful to keep all meeting notes in a single document so they can be referenced during meetings.)

Finally, draft an announcement for the working group that references the charter, key stakeholders who you’d like to have participate, agenda for the first meeting, and meeting coordinates. Post the announcement on the ACCESS-CI slack’s #access-wide channel and the ACCESS-RP Communications slack’s #general channel. If you need participation by current resource providers, ask the ACCESS Operations team to email your announcement to all current resource provider contacts. Now you’re ready for your first working group meeting!

What to Put In an Integration Roadmap

The audience of an ACCESS integration roadmap is a resource provider who needs to integrate a new resource into the ACCESS ecosystem. Roadmaps consist of a series of tasks that the resource provider must accomplish in order to set things up with the appropriate ACCESS coordination services. For the technical details on how to construct the files needed for an integration roadmap and its tasks in GitHub, please see the Contributing guide.

Most integration roadmaps have two types of tasks:

  1. Establishing personnel contacts

  2. Configuring and documenting software/services

In both cases, you’ll need the ACCESS project representatives in your working group to tell you what they need resource providers to do. This should be the main topic in your working group meetings. Once you’ve described your resource and what makes it different from the current resource types, the ACCESS area representatives should be able to pinpoint tasks from other integration roadmaps that will be the same in this new roadmap (and can be copied), tasks from other roadmaps that don’t seem applicable (and can be left out), and any new tasks that are needed for this type of resource that haven’t been necessary in other roadmaps.

In regard to personnel contacts, ACCESS areas typically need the resource provider to provide a list of contacts for specific functions. It’ll usually be a combination of management personnel (PIs, project managers) and technical personnel (HPC system adminstrators, network administrators, storage/data specialists, security personnel). Once all of the ACCESS representatives in your working group have given you the contacts they need, consolidate them into a single list and create a task at the beginning of the roadmap so the resource provider can just fill out a single form with all of the necessary contact information.

For configuring and documenting software and services, each ACCESS project area will have its own list of ways resource providers can engage with their area. It’s very likely these will be similar to (or even the same as) tasks in existing integration roadmaps, so the working group representatives may only have to point to existing tasks in other roadmaps and ask to have them included in your new roadmap. If the tasks don’t need to be customized, you can include them in your roadmap by reference instead of making new copies. (Just be aware that if the task is edited for another roadmap, those edits will also appear in your roadmap.) If a task needs to be customized for this type of resource, or if you don’t want to take the chance that edits to the task in other roadmaps also change the task in your roadmap, make a copy. But if you make a copy, be aware that any improvements to the task’s text in other roadmaps won’t be reflected in yours.

Get an Integration Roadmap Reviewed and Approved

Assuming you have the right stakeholders represented in your working group, you shouldn’t need additional reviews or approvals once the tasks have been finalized because everyone who is involved in the roadmap will have been engaged already. Feedback from new resource providers won’t likely appear until your roadmap has been published and announced. You can proceed directly to publishing and announcing your roadmap!

Publish and Maintain an Integration Roadmap

As outlined in the Contributing guide, your new roadmap will consist of a pull request against the ACCESS Integration Roadmaps GitHub repository. When you submit the pull request, it will be reviewed by the ACCESS Operations team’s Resource Integration specialists. The goal of this review will be to ensure that the ACCESS Operation team can support resource providers in carrying out the tasks in your roadmap. If they have any questions or concerns, they will respond to the pull request with a list of suggestions or requests. Once the pull request is approved and merged, your roadmap will be available to the ACCESS community!

As new resource providers use your integration roadmap, the ACCESS Operations team will collect feedback in support tickets and other channels. If changes are needed, they can be made through the process outlined in the Contributing guide.

Announce a New Integration Roadmap

Your new ACCESS integration roadmap will only be useful if people know about it! We recommend the following ways to let relevant people know about your roadmap.

  1. Post a link to it, including a brief blurb about what types of resources it’s for, on the ACCESS-CI slack server’s #access-wide channel.

  2. Post the same announcement on the RP-ACCESS Communications slack server’s #general channel.

  3. Post a news item on the ACCESS Infrastructure News publishing service. This will result in a news story in ACCESS’s staff newsletter and one or more news channels for resource providers and other community members.

Get Started

If you’re ready to get started on a new ACCESS integration roadmap, the first step is to alert the ACCESS Infrastructure Integration Steering Committee that you’re ready to get started. We use GitHub to coordinate this work, so please follow this link and then press the green “Get started” button next to “New ACCESS integration roadmap.” Enter the requested information and then press “Submit new issue.” The steering committee members will be alerted and you’ll be contacted soon to discuss your plans.