ICAT Project


ICAT Collaboration Meeting - 27th July 2023


  • Patrick
  • Louise
  • Gabriel
  • Rolf
  • Allan
  • Alexander
  • Alex dM
  • Marjolaine
  • Rodrigo


  • Chris Prosser
  • Alejandra
  • Kevin

Site Updates

ESRF (Alex):

Working quite a lot on MX

  • especially UI
  • Some beamlines/techniques want to view by sample - how can differnt views be achieved generically

Changing how the folders work

  • More special folders for Datasets
    • like the /gallery folder for thumbnails
  • /online: not archived, always available
  • /novacap (? - might have misheard): files aren't achived - like temp files
    • ingestor doesn't create Datasets
  • Rolf: callback in the IDS can control what is archived (or not)
    • Can define criteria in plugin
    • Alex: 90 days after experiment, everything is lost
    • Achieving always online by moving files to different location - issue is how to tell ICAT the files have moved
      • Rolf: I can help with this - will catch-up offline

HZB (Rolf):

ICAT server still down following incident Cannot develop on ICAT servers More time for developing ICAT components

ALBA (Rodrigo)

Deployed infrastructure using K8s in production Finsished testing the ingestor with a new beamline - still a work in progress

Sirius (Allan)

No updates ICAT still in dev mode Working on k8s infrastructure Hope to have it ready end of August Starting to deploy ICAT and other systems Studying source code, trying to understand the project In about a week, will be ready to discuss sample tracking

  • Rolf: we can discuss in AOB

ISIS (Louise)

No changes (Will Taylor hasn't had enough time due to other commitments)

DLS (Louise)

Recently updated two major versions (4.11.2 -> 6)

  • Skipped ICAT 5
  • Went fine (on the day)

Noticed performance issues with the DB (Oracle)

  • Possibly due to changes in the EcpliseLink driver, using different indices
  • More difficult to diagnose as Kevin is currently on leave

Component Updates


miredot documentation is missing

  • Rolf has created an issue
  • probably an issue with the plugin

With ICAT 5 had schema upgrade - only cared about easy changes

  • Still have pending proposals
    • Might want to create new proposal for a hidden field on Datafiles/Datasets for Diamond's DOI use case
  • In particular, relationship between sample and investigation


Had a look at long time pending issues/pull requests this week Ready for a 1.12.1 release

  • changes are relatively minor
  • Only thing of interest to others is some dependencies updated
  • Rolf needs his mvn credentials reset - Louise will mention this to Matt Richards who manages the relevant machine

Rolf asked Alan to review a PR with a fix to the tests Rolf: Payara 6 release is pretty much ready (in his opinion), Alan to create a PR and this can be ids.server v2 Rolf: is anybody using fileChecker or getLink call? Want to deprecate in 2.0.0 release

  • Louise: we'd have to check with ISIS
  • Rolf: important to know if ids.r2dfoo is using it
  • Functionality is important, but don't think it belongs in IDS
    • Should just be a CRON job

Still plan to refactor major parts of the code aiming for a 3.0.0 release

  • Allows deprecation of old features in 2.0.0

authn.oidc & icat.oaipmh

Small changes pending to release for Payara5 Also a branch for Payara6

  • Release as version 2.0.0

Create PRs for both of these

DataGateway / icat-doi-api

Demo-ed DOI minting for user defined DataPublications

  • Generally positive
  • Raised additional requirements


No news


ICAT schema changes

ICAT 5 had schema upgrades

  • only added "easy" schema changes

Still have "harder" schema change proposals

  • e.g. sample-investigation link
  • Rolf: need to organise more meetings to discuss these
  • Maybe in fall/autumn

Other meetings

Sample tracking

Allan wants to have discussions with users/beamlines before this meeting

  • Information from beamlines might be too different from each other for general solution?
    • 4 different beamlines
    • Doubts over whether different info could be accomodated
  • Current ICAT sample tracking is very generic
    • Presumably this is DataHub
    • Users want more specialised ones
    • Is it possible to have a interface that could accomodate this? Or should Sirius implement their own, or if others are interested then it could be a community effort
      • Rolf plans to setup a facility sample DB next year - alongside rather than integrated into ICAT (at least initially)
      • Open to dedicated meeting on this

ESRF have system close to ICAT but not in ICAT

  • Sample tracking is a wide term:
    • What is the sample
    • Experiment plan
      • Temperature
      • Vibration %
      • Unit cell
      • PBD
    • Also want plan for processing - downloaded and run automatically
    • Don't care where it is on site, but on the synchrotron

Have dedicated meeting

  • Allan to organise/set up a doodle poll


  • Rolf is going to organise
    • hasn't been done yet as Markus, who in HZB is responsible for this, is on leave
  • In the next couple of weeks, Rolf will send doodle poll
  • What kind of format do we want? e.g. how long?
    • Alex: if people are presenting things: half a day, if just discussion, 1-1.5hr?
    • Rolf: interested in the extraction of logbook from DataHub to it's own microservice/microfrontend
  • Rolf: will plan for 3 hours
  • Target a meeting in September

Next Collaboration Meeting

Potential for availability issues in late August (e.g. Rolf, STFC has bank holidays that week) Organise changes by email if needed