December 2011 NIS Update and News

Happy Holidays and a Wonderful New Year to all! Below, please find your monthly update of NIS development activities for December 2011.

* Development has begun on the Quality Engine component of the Data Package Manager as part of the Metadata Quality development life-cycle.  The first milestone will be a prototype design of a configurable framework for data and metadata quality checks .  Quality reports will be based on an XML template that will enable specific aspects of a quality check to be controlled.  By editing the contents of the template schema file prior to deploying the Data Package Manager service, quality report content may be customized or the quality check itself may be “turned-off” during data package evaluation.  This approach will be reviewed and vetted by the Metadata Quality Tiger Team (Don Henshaw (AND), M. Gastil-Buhl (MCR), Bill McDowell (LUQ), James Conners (CCE/PAL), Mark Williams (NWT), and Margaret O’Brien (SBC)) before integration into the Data Manager Library occurs.  The design document for this Quality Engine framework is located at

* A design strategy for the NIS data portal is currently being developed and will be discussed with the NIS Data Portal Tiger Team (Ilya Gelfand (KBS), John Porter (VCR), Ken Ramsey (JRN), and Will Pockman (SEV)) during January 2012.  More immediate changes to the current LTER Data Portal are being prototyped to address some of the ‘low-hanging fruit’ issues related to LTER data discovery and access that were identified by Bob Robbins during his analysis for the 30-year review committee.

* Acceptance testing for both the Data Package Manager and Identity Manager continued through December, along with a number of patches and improvements to the Data Package Manager service and support for full SSL (i.e., HTTPS) through the Gatekeeper component of the Identity Manager.  We anticipate the conclusion of acceptance testing for both services in early January 2012 - thank you Tiger Team members!

Previous monthly updates may be found at We thank you for taking the time to learn about our progress. Feel free to contact any of our teams through the online form at or email me directly at " ".