Use Case 8 – Remote, collaborative access to beamline optics simulations
X-ray optics simulations are regularly performed both in the design of the beamlines and during experiments for alignment and/or experimental results validation. These simulations are usually performed by dedicated optics groups within synchrotrons and the beamline scientists are usually not the ones performing whole simulations, but only collaborate on the results. This process proves to be time consuming and cumbersome. The process can be simplified significantly if the simulation tool is placed into the cloud and a collaborative access is enabled. The software (in this case Oasys) can be accessed through any web browser and the files (Oasys workspaces) accessible to a given user are determined from their user permissions in the user portal (VUO – Virtual unified office). This way the scientist and the users can always access the updated version of the beamline Oasys workspace without installing the software. By the use of RAFEC remote application framework, all the remote computing resources are always available and the scientist can collaborate with the users in a particular workspace in real-time.
Description of needs
- Development of RAFEC – remote application framework;
- Adaption of Oasys for RAFEC;
- Setting up of machines providing cloud resources to the application.
Use case action flow
- Creation and upload of workspace: The workspace is created by the optics expert either locally or remotely in traditional way. If it was prepared locally, then the file is uploaded to the cloud.
- Remote access to the workspace: Users (beamline scientist or scientific users) login into the user portal (VUO) and spawn the remote application.
- Collaborative and updated work: Through the web browser all the users with permission can work in the same instance and collaborate on the same file.
Impacts from the implementation
Non-expert users can easily access X-ray optics simulations for a specific beamline. Before, these simulations were hard to access and only consulted by advanced users (due to long response time, as multiple people have to be involved).
Generalisation of Use Case
The use case can be generalised to any synchrotron beamline and through the use of other software as a remote application also to other pipelines.