Engineering Objects (Draft)

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The objects described by the engineering viewpoint directly support research data management functionalities which are commonly shared among more than one RI (Identification and Citation, Curation, Cataloguing, Processing, and Provenance) [1], [2].

The engineering objects are grouped in the four top packages shown in the figure to the right: identification, catalogue, processing, and provenance, in line with the support needed for the four common data management functionalities. Two additional groups are defined to accommodate supporting objects which are needed for any working configuration: storage and data transfer. The objects included are defined as Basic Engineering Object (BEO) and provide functionalities described by CV Objects, this means that each BEO maps one to one to a CV Objects.

The grouping is not strict, these objects can be deployed side by side on a single physical machine or be distributed across network and institutional limits.

The engineering objects coupled with the Container Structure, are used to further define how the engineering objects can support the data management functionalities in different Object Configuration.

The definition of the basic engineering objects are given as follows. All of the definitions with the exception of pid manager and provenance service, are derived from the definitions of the corresponding computational viewpoint objects.

  • annotation service
  • catalogue service
  • coordination service
  • data exporter
  • data importer
  • data store controller
  • data transfer service
  • pid manager
  • process controller
  • provenance service
  • raw data collector


Engineering object groups

annotation service

A basic engineering object that supports the ability associate annotations (free texts and semantic) with the assets managed by a research infrastructure. An annotation service must provide three functionalites: annotate data, update catalogues and update records

Annotation service functions

Function Description Type
annotate data Function for requesting the annotation (free text or semantic) of existing assets. This may require the creation of additional records to record qualitative observations, provenance or structured metadata. server
update catalogues Function for updating of annotation metadata and the associations to existing assets. client
update records Function for updating of annotation records associated to assets. client

Annotation service correspondences

Viewpoint Correspondence
Science data annotation (behaviour)
Information metadata catalogue (instance of object)
Computational annotation service

catalogue service

A basic engineering object that supports the ability to publish and search collections of metadata (descriptive information) for assets such as data, services, and related information objects managed by a research infrastructure. A catalogue service must provide at least four functionalities: query catalogues, update catalogues, export metadata, and query resource.

Catalogue service functions

Function Description Type
export metadata function for gathering metadata to be exported with assets extracted from the data curation store objects (data stores). server
query catalogues function for querying assets held by the infrastructure, including the retrieval of assets associated with a given persistent identifier. server
update catalogues function for updating of catalogues and the associated data assets. server
invoke resource function for enabling the invocation of other services such as harvesting, exporting data, or automated update. This includes the communication with internal components such as the data store controller for retrieving data. client

Catalogue service correspondences

Viewpoint Correspondence
Science catalogue system (role)
Information metadata catalogue (object)
Computational catalogue service

coordination service

A basic engineering object that that supports the ability to coordinate data processing tasks on infrastructure execution resources. A coordination service should provide at least three functions: process request, coordinate process, create process controller, and prepare data transfer

Coordination service functions

Function Description


process request function for scheduling the execution of data processing tasks. This could require executing complex workflows involving many (parallel) sub-tasks. server
coordinate process function used to coordinate the execution of data processing tasks on execution resources presented by process controllers. server
create process controller function for creating and configuring the required process controllers required for the different processing tasks internal
prepare data transfer function used to retrieve data (and metadata) from the data stores and to return the processing results. server

Catalogue service correspondences

Viewpoint Correspondence
Science data processing subsystem (role)
coordinate service (behaviour)
Information process data (action)
Computational coordination service

data exporter

A basic engineering object for exporting assets from the data stores. A data exporter should provide five functions: retrieve asset, update records, export metadata, export asset, deliver asset.

data exporter functions

Function Description


retrieve asset function provided to enable requesting data from a designated data store (inherited from data transporter). client
update records function provided to inform downstream resources about impending asset transfers (inherited from data transporter). client
export metadata function provided for requesting any additional metadata associated with the asset being transferred. client
export asset function provided for extracting assets from a designated data store consumer
deliver asset function provided for delivery of assets to a designated data store. producer

data exporter correspondences

Viewpoint Correspondence
Science data publishing subsystem (role)
data use subsystem (role)
Computational data exporter

  1. ENVRIplus. (2016) Deliverable 5.1 A consistent characterisation of existing and planned RIs, ENVRI plus, 24/05/2016, Horizon 2020 Grant Agreement No 654182
  2. ENVRIplus. (2017) Deliverable 8.3 Interoperable cataloging and harmonization for environmental RI projects: system design. ENVRI plus, 30/01/2017, Horizon 2020 Grant Agreement No 654182