Gateway Architecture Workshop

Elizabeth City State University

Gateways offer broader audiences access to large computational and data resources by using customized user interfaces. An interest in gateways has increased the number of new user science communities, but the workforce to develop gateway architectures is marginally addressed. In an effort to train the next generation of gateway developers, Elizabeth City State University hosted a 5 day gateway architecture workshop (Tuesday, January 2 - Saturday, January 6, 2018 ) with the purpose to expose under-represented groups to gateways architectures by providing an understanding of distributed computing and hands-on experiences in developing them.

The workshop focused on the following objectives:

  • Understand an ability to develop remote job submission interfaces to a virtual cluster
  • Demonstrate an understanding of micro service architectures and their underlying distributed systems foundations.
  • Demonstrate an ability to develop API services.

MentorThe workshop concluded with students having proficiency in the following:

  • Provide an understanding of distributed computing systems concepts to “Software as a Service” systems, which support scientific research.
  • Demonstrate abstract concepts and practical techniques for building gateways architectures.
  • Apply the general concepts of distributed systems and understanding to applicable areas.
  • Demonstrate an ability design, develop and deploy component based micro service architecture

Each day focused on modules composed of a lab and exercise, which incrementally allowed workshop participants to build a two micro service gateway (Figure 1). The lab consisted of a examples, so students could understand the process of gateway component while the exercise allowed them to adapt the lab and independently execute it. The exercises and labs can be viewed:


Instructor: Jerome Mitchell
Indiana University, Bloomington

Reginald Kelley
Professional Statement

Derek Morris
Elizabeth City State University
  Date   Topic

Day 1, Tuesday, January 2

Things we need to do before getting started
This module ensured all workshop participants had an introductory knowledge of programming concepts, Git, and Linux commands in order to complete subsequent modules

Day 2, Wednesday, January 3

Distributed Systems and Gateways
Discuss distributed systems topics, such as communication, fault tolerance, etc. along with specific science gateway topics/gateway types
This module focused on distributed systems concepts along with an introduction to gateway architecture topics. Workshop participants developed applications using Python Flask and Java Spring Boot APIs

Day 3, Thursday, January 4

This module focused on introducing students to RabbitMQ. Workshop participants demonstrated work queues and publish and subscribe schemes.

Day 4, Friday, January 5

This module focused on docker containers. Workshop participants built and deployed their application from Day 2 as a "service" to docker

Day 5, Saturday, January 6

Putting it all together
Workshop participants developed a web UI incorporating individual services

Conclusion and Future
The workshop help January 2 - 6, 2018 introduced participants on distributed systems and gateway topics by incrementally developing a small full stack microservice architecture. Participants have a foundation to be proficient in applying concepts to Apache Airavata in the future.


The goal of CERSER is to develop and implement innovative and relevant education and research collaborations focused on ice sheet, coastal, ocean, and marine research. CERSER is also part of the Science Gateways Community Institute (SGCI) which provides coordinating activities across the National Science Foundation, eventually providing services more broadly to projects funded by other agencies. Sharing expertise about technologies and strategies would allow developers to concentrate on the novel, the challenging, and the cutting-edge development needed by their specific user communities.


Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing
Education and Research

1704 Weeksville Road, Box 672
Elizabeth City, North Carolina 27909 
Phone (252) 335-3696 Fax (252) 335-3790