SODAR Core Overview and Example Use Case

This document presents an overview of the SODAR Core package along with an example use case.

SODAR Core is a relatively complex system and we have created a Glossary to help you with keeping track of the terminology.

SODAR Core Overview

The SODAR Core package provides a suite of Django apps to be installed on a Django-based web site. The main app in the package, projectroles, provides core project access, content management framework and default UI templates for other apps on the site. Those apps must implement or use specific parts of the projectroles app to enable desired SODAR Core functionality.

Apps in a SODAR Core based site are separated into project, site and backend apps, depending on their scope and purpose. The SODAR Core package includes optional general purpose apps of each type, which the user may enable on their site if needed. These apps all depend on projectroles. More on the general purpose apps can be found in the Getting Started document.

To build their own web based system with SODAR Core, the user will develop required functionality and UIs as one or more Django apps, using and extending functionalities offered by the projectroles app and optional backend apps. This allows integration of the app into the project access management, standardized layout and other features such as advanced logging. Furthermore, the projectroles app will call certain functions implemented in the user’s apps to dynamically include app and project content in Django views. In addition to developing new Django apps, existing apps can be easily modified to gain access to SODAR Core features.


Structure of a SODAR Core based web site

Example Use Case

In a typical scenario for SODAR Core use, a research organization wants to develop a user friendly system for accessing, browsing and/or manipulating research data. The data may belong to several different projects, with different research groups or scientists working on it. This data may be confidential in nature, so access control is required, preferably using the organization’s existing LDAP/AD servers. The organization wants to provide a web-based GUI as well as programmatic API views.

Site Setup

First the developer will set up a SODAR Core based Django site. This can be created from a SODAR Core site template or by integrating the django-sodar-core package on an existing site. The Django site must be configured according to organization requirements, e.g. setting up user access via the organization LDAP/AD server.

The initial SODAR Core integration into a Django site adds e.g. a general layout, organization of apps and content into projects as well as project-based access control.

App Development

Next the developer needs to develop the Django app(s) which contain the actual program logic and user interfaces required for the use case. The content or number of these apps are not restricted by SODAR Core. Anything which would go to a typical Django app is OK, as long as certain building blocks for SODAR Core functionality are used.

Optional applications bundled with SODAR Core can also be enabled or disabled at this point. for example, if involved projects require sharing and storage of reports and presentations, the developer may select to enable the filesfolders app. Likewise, if detailed logging or audit trails are needed, the developer can enable the timeline app.

User and Project Setup

Once the site is deployed, the developer should create initial project categories and provide access to those for high level personnel such as project owners. The owners can then go on and create relevant projects, grant access to researchers and set up initial data in the applications.

Using the Site

The researchers will log in to the site on their web browser, in most cases using the standard LDAP credentials provided by their organization. They will see the projects they have been granted access to and can use whichever applications have been enabled or developed for the site, according to their assigned user rights. SODAR Core provides common navigation, overview and search views for all enabled apps, including the one(s) developed by the organization. The same user access management features are shared for all apps, along with possible REST APIs developed by the organization.

Next Steps

See the Getting Started document for instructions on installing SODAR Core and how to proceed with developing your own SODAR Core based site.