NEXT-IS Project: Functional specification - Final version

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1 NEXT-IS Project: Functional specification - Final version This publication has been produced with the financial assistance of the IPA Adriatic Cross-Border Cooperation Programme. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the City of Sibenik and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the IPA Adriatic Cross-Border Cooperation Programme Authorities.

2 Table of Contents 1. Introduction Objectives Conceptual design System concept System user groups User Characteristics Usage Scenario Content Management System Data Model Modules General news Events Educative area Patent guidelines Project database Partner database Infrastructure database Matching system Search services / Newsletter Project form Help / FAQ area Forums Social media Statistics module System security Authentication Roles and Security groups Logical design Interface Layer User Interface... 28

3 API Software components Deployment Performance Data retention policies Availability timeframe User support services Maintenance... 36

4 1. Introduction This document describes the functional requirements, logical and infrastructure design of the NEXT-IS system. This is the first version (draft) of the document and contains limited info related to some of the more complex technical solutions, which will be expanded in the final version of document Objectives The aim of the Functional Specification document is to describe the function of the NEXT-IS system and the high-level system design necessary to support further development and implementation of the system. The document describes the functional and non-functional requirements for the NEXT-IS system in detail sufficient for system architects and developers to proceed with design and development activities. This document consists of two major parts. The first part contains the overview of conceptual design and user stories/requirements for the system. The second part describes the logical and infrastructure design of the system. 1

5 2. Conceptual design 2.1. System concept NEXT-IS is an online web-based platform that will allow all the stakeholders of NEXT project to interact and reach the project goals: support innovation and technology transfer in the Adriatic region. Users will be able to use multiple online services that the platform will offer, in order to find info needed for their work, both in public or private sector. The platform will be accessible via standard web-browser, without the need of any additional software installed on the client side. NEXT-IS will be available on all mobile devices and platforms (ios, Android, Windows Phone) as well, without need to install mobile application. Except of web access, communication with NEXT-IS platform will be possible via specifically developed API (Application programming interface). This interface will enable connectivity with other platforms, or specifically developed applications System user groups NEXT-IS platform is aimed at providing value to various groups of interested parties in the field of innovation and technology transfer in the Adriatic region. Among the most prominent users of the platform, we can expect research institutions, researchers, business sector partners and public institutions and companies Research institutions This user group includes general research community from Adriatic region - various research centres, technology transfer centres and universities. Their main needs would include: Easy to use matchup service for finding partners in business sector. Search for any specific equipment or laboratory needed for their research that regional partners could provide. Tracking events in their industry: finding opportunities for direct contact with business sector or other research institutions. 2

6 Researchers Individual researchers will use NEXT-IS platform mainly as informational and community hub for their research field in the region. Their main needs would include: Access to research library from their field of expertise. Active community within the platform: discussions related to their projects on the forums. Tracking news and opportunities for cooperation on various R&D projects Enterprise/Business sector This user group includes various members of the regional enterprise sector. Their main needs would include: Access to research & project library. Easy to use matchup service for finding partners in research sector. Tracking events in their industry: finding opportunities for direct contact with research sector Public institutions and companies Public institutions and companies will be the group of users looking mainly for info about partners from both research and business sector. Database of projects and partners should enable public institutions to recognize and contact partners for their projects easily. Their main needs would include: Access to project and partner database. Educative area of the website: How to enter in a partnership with business/research sector on regional projects. Tracking events in specific industry: finding opportunities for direct contact with research and business sector. 3

7 2.3. User Characteristics Main characteristics of NEXT-IS platform visitors can be generally separated for each of the main user groups: User Anonymous internet user Research institutions Research institution leader Researchers working in research institution Characteristics A person browsing the web Interested in Regional business and research news Interested in publicly available educational data and materials Person working inside of the research institution, responsible for coordination of research efforts as well as potential monetization of research data Interested in new research data from various fields of research Interested in project data Interested in partner database Interested in patenting options for their research results Interested in infrastructure database Person working inside of the research institution Primarily interested in new data and projects in his field of research Researchers Individual researcher Person working independently in various research areas; inventors, freelancers Looking for partners as well both on research and business end of spectrum Interested in research news Interested in partner database Interested in infrastructure database Interested in project database Interested in patenting options for their research results Researchers working in business/enterprise sector Part of the research teams inside privately owned companies; looking for both research and business news and cooperation Interested in research news Interested in partner database Interested in infrastructure database Interested in patenting options for their results Interested in project database 4

8 Enterprise/business sector CEO/manager in business sector CEO-s and Managers in various business entities. Looking for new and latest research breakthroughs and ways to monetize them. Interested in research news Interested in partner database, especially for some complex projects Interested in partner database Interested in project database Public institutions and companies Public institutions People working in various public institutions from agencies to consulates. CEO/manager in public business sector Interested in project database Interested in partner database Interested in infrastructure database CEO-s and Managers in various publicly owned business entities. Looking for new and latest research breakthroughs and ways to monetize them Interested in research news Interested in partner database, especially for some complex projects Interested in partner database Interested in project database 5

9 2.4. Usage Scenario Users will be able to use various services, depending on their authorization level. Typical flow of the users is shown in the Image 1. Image 1: NEXT-IS usage scenario 2.5. Content Management System The system content should be fully manageable by an NEXT-IS representative. For this purpose, the selected vendor should develop and deliver a Content Management System (CMS) or integrate an existing one (e.g. WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, ez Publish, etc.). The CMS should comply the following: Password protected; Allow for managing (add/edit/delete) section and pages of the website; Allow for draft version and live content publishing; Feature a rich-text content editor (WYSIWYG DHTML editor); 6

10 Easy to use by a non-technical personnel. If the vendor prefers to implement an existing CMS, the company should verify that it has both the resources and the expertise to integrate the module and provide its proper functioning Data Model Image 2: NEXT-IS data model (high-level) Entities description Entity Description user Central entity that holds user information. group Every user belongs in a single group. Groups are formed based on user characteristics and content modules access privileges. resource List of content modules. Needed for the dynamic access control list. group_resource Hold access control information. user_notification Holds additional user information regarding his 7

11 notification preferences: - newsletter preferences - matching notification preferences - new content notification preferences - forum communication and discussion preferences Based on the preferences user is notified (via ) when certain event happens in NEXT-IS platform. article_item News article entity. Used in General news module. article_category Provides hierarchy to the article/news system for ease of navigation and classification. event_item Event module entity that holds data/information for the upcoming or past events. Used in Event module. event_category Provides hierarchy to the events module for ease of navigation and classification. faq_item Single question and answer for the Frequently asked questions. faq_category Provides hierarchy to the FAQs for ease of navigation and classification. forum_topic Used to categorize forum threads and conversations. Each of the content module has its own topic forum_thread Holds user interaction. Either normal forum one or ones that are tied to specific content module item. For example, every article item can have its own thread where user can comment and discuss its content. page Static content hierarchical entity. Used for simple informational pages. kb_item Knowledge base (KB) entity used for Educative area module as well as Patent guidelines. kb_category Provides hierarchy to the knowledge base items for ease of navigation and classification. project Holds EU projects in Adriatic region, its information and its status. Used in project and matching module. infrastructure Available infrastructure for use by partners and organizations. partner Partner entity, holds partner personal information (such as contact detail). Used in matching and partner module. organization Holds organization data as well as its infrastructure information. Used in matching and partner module. societal_need Societal need database. Holds information about 8

12 applicant, societal need requirements as well as contact information. Searchable. patent Holds information about patents and their respected owner (organization). Patents are searchable. partner_organization Relationship between partner and organization entities. One partner can be working for many organizations, and one organization can have many partners. Used in matching and partner module. partner_expertize List of partner expertize. Used in matching and partner module. newsletter Newsletter content module holds newsletter markup with content. user_newsletter List of users for each of created newsletter, used for throttling and recording sent status. rss_source List of RSS feeds URI that are fetched and displayed on NEXT-IS platform. attachment Images, documents and media files that can be attached or embedded in different content modules. List of URIs of files located in external storage service. Above listed entities are the main one, dictionary entities and tables as well as some helper ones are not listed Modules Users will be able to use multiple online services (provided by CMS modules) which the platform will offer, in order to find info needed for their work, both in research, public or business sector. The NEXT-IS platform should be designed and developed to support asymmetric multiple language versions of the content. Initial menu languages will be English (default), Italian, Croatian, Bosnian, Serbian, Montenegrian and Albanian, with option to switch language by the user. There will be option to add more languages by the administration if necessary (in the CMS admin panel). Initially the site content will be in English, with Italian, Croatian, Bosnian, Serbian, Montenegrian and Albanian content to be translated and launched if decided so. Users will have option to enter content in those languages as well, in every module where there is possible for them to add their data. 9

13 It is important that the CMS allow publishing of asymmetric language versions of all the content, allowing a full-scale default language version and a brief presentational version for the supporting languages. Front end General news This section will display the regional business and research news. Project updates, announcements and other content related to innovation and technology transfer in Adriatic region. There should be four main categories of news articles: Research news Project news Business news General news There should also be a dedicated space on the home page of the website for latest news, where the last three to five published items of each category will be displayed. When the user opens the News section, the system should load the list with articles arranged chronologically (latest on top). After a certain item is selected, the visitor will see the full version of the text including title, publishing date, body of the article. Additionally, users should be able to filter the articles to display all news, research, project, business and general news. All news should have one complete (with all categories) and separate RSS feeds for each site category. Administration Website administrators should be able to completely manage the content of the section. They should be able to add, edit or delete news articles (via a rich-text editor), as well as to hide/show items on the front end. Every piece of content (not only news) should have editorial flow (status), it can be draft, published or hidden. Every piece of content should have version tracking (date/time of creation and/or last edit, last edited by). Since there is option to add attachments to various types of content on the NEXT-IS platform, version tracking should be enabled on all attachments as well. All this should be done in an easy and user friendly manner so it can be edited and tracked by non-technical personnel. 10

14 Front end Events This section will display the regional business and research events in Adriatic region. Just like in the news section, there should be four main categories of events: Research events Project events Business events General events There should also be a dedicated space on the home page of the website for latest events where the first three to five upcoming events of each category will be displayed. When the user opens the events section, the system should load the calendar with clearly marked events for each date. After a certain date is selected, the visitor will see the full details of the events including title, event date and time, venue of the event and description of the event with eventual links and photos. Additionally, users should be able to filter the event calendar to display all events or research, project, business or general events separately. An event management system will also inform the members of key events in the Adriatic region as well as provide push information to the users within their selected preference. Users can opt in and out from the event tracking as they wish. Administration Website administrators should be able to completely manage the event calendar. They should be able to add, edit or delete events, as well as to hide/show events on the front end. There should also be possibility for registered users to add events in calendar (filling up all required data - title, event date and time, venue of the event and description of the event with eventual links and photos). All this should be done in an easy and user friendly manner by non-technical personnel. Front end Educative area This section will be filled with content focused on practical and directly usable knowledge related to the regional transfer of technology. Main parts of this section will be: Financial instruments 11

15 Funding through EU grants Structural Funds Seventh framework program Practical information for grants Practical information for public contracts Transparency and control Private financing options Additional information can be added as needed from administrators. Administration Website administrators should be able to completely manage this section. This section of the page should be read only for the registered users, allowing users to add info here could lead to false or outdated content and guides. Front end Patent guidelines This section of the platform will be specifically focused on patenting and all related info. Publicly available documents with various useful data can be copied and offered for download in one central place. Users will have a list of the most useful web pages and links on their disposal when it comes to patenting. It is important to provide how-to guide (by administrators) for standard procedure to make this section valuable and understandable for both researchers and partners from business or public sector. Administration Website administrators should be able to completely manage this section. This section of the page should be read only for the registered users, allowing users to add info here could lead to false or outdated content and guides. Front end Project database The NEXT-IS Project database is the central storehouse of information on EU projects in the Adriatic region. Every project can be tracked from issuance to retirement in the database, allowing interested parties to learn more about projects and participants. When adding the entry to the database, at least minimum of data should be provided in the following categories: Project name Project acronym 12

16 Program / Year of the call Financing instrument Status (finished, in process ) Theme (health, agriculture...) Partners included (both people and organizations) Is this project looking for partners? (Yes/No) Country (Coordinator) Participant Country City Keywords (tags) Attached documents Links for more data Project added by user/admin, date and time Administration Initial content published by administrator, but users can add their content as well inside of the predetermined categories. Interface for adding the data should be intuitive and understandable form, so nontechnical personnel can easily add the content. Additionally, NEXT-IS platform administrators should be able to add/modify or delete every part of the Partner database. Front end Partner database The NEXT-IS Partner database is the central storehouse of professionals and entities working on R&D projects, EU projects or business/enterprise investors in the Adriatic region. Every partner is listed with detailed description and references. Every partner can work for one or more institutions/companies, and they are considered as separate entities. The database will be shaped as following: Partner personal info (visible on partner profile): o Contact info (name, surname, address, phone, mobile, , www, social media accounts) o Photo o Organizations he/she is working for o Personal expertize o Added content (Projects, publications, results, forum discussions, goals of their organization, services that organization can provide and specializes in) o Partnership requests: o Partnership requests created proposing a project o Partnership requests created offering expertise o Is this user currently offering his expertize for partnership? (Yes/No) 13

17 Partners organization details: o Basic details (Name, address, phone, official , www, social media accounts) o Partners organization sector: o Research and development institutions o Individual researchers o Business/Enterprise o Public sector institutions and companies o Business details (Total number of employees, total number of researchers, gross annual income) o Patents owned (Total number of patents, possibility to add info about the 10 most important of them with title, description, attached files, keywords) o Organizational infrastructure: available for partners o Type of the infrastructure o Location of the infrastructure o Availability (partial, full) o Additional costs (renting costs?) o Keywords (tags) related to the infrastructure Partner expertize (at least one selected with a check-box): o Medicine, Health o Earth sciences o Life sciences o Energy storage, Energy, Transport o Transport o Coordination, Cooperation o Mathematics, Statistics o Energy saving o Climate change and Carbon cycle research o Information processing, Information systems o Intellectual property rights o Economic aspects o Business aspects o Research ethics o Project management methodologies o Biotechnology o Medical biotechnology o Aerospace technology o Industrial manufacture o Materials technology o Nanotechnology and Nano sciences o Sustainable development o Agriculture o Veterinary and animal sciences o ICT Applications 14

18 o Education, Training o Food o Agricultural biotechnology o Telecommunications o Network technologies o Space and satellite research o Environmental protection o Waste management o Safety o Water resource management o Scientific research o Measurement methods o Standards o Other technology o Other energy topics o Radiation protection o Social aspects o Electronics, Microelectronics o Renewable sources of energy o Evaluation o Innovation, Technology transfer o Regional development o Employment issues o Legislation, Regulations o Forecasting o Clean coal technologies o Policies o Hydrogen and fuel cells o Construction technology o Resources of the sea, Fisheries o Information, Media o Security o Robotics o Automation o Industrial biotech o Biofuels o Radioactive waste o Fossil fuels o Healthcare delivery, Services o Reference materials o Nuclear fission o Meteorology o Nuclear fusion 15

19 On the partner profile, will be shown percentage of the profile completeness depending on the amount of data entered. Partners should be prompted to complete their profile, a least until they get over 90% data entered. Administration The partner itself enters partner content upon registration: mandatory data on registration is only username, password and contact info. Other parts of the profile can be filled in after the registration. The idea is to make basic registration easy, without overwhelming the user with too many data requests in the process of registration. Single partner can work in multiple organizations: he/she can add, modify or delete them from their personal profile. However, in order to be able to edit the data of their organization, they must add and confirm an account to their personal profile. This should contain official domain name of the organization. For example, user John Doe can edit data about Organization Y only if he has confirmed his Interface for registration should be in easily understandable form, with clearly stated obligatory data that should be provided during the process. Additionally, NEXT-IS platform administrators should be able to add/modify or delete every part of the Partner database. Front end Infrastructure database The infrastructure database contains all info about infrastructure added on organization profiles. It should list the following: o Organizational infrastructure: available for partners o Type of the infrastructure o Location of the infrastructure o Availability (partial, full) o Additional costs (renting costs?) o Owners contact (link to the profile of the organization) o Keywords (tags) related to the infrastructure Data should be presented in simple interface, with basic search interface (keywords), but also with advanced search with filters (values listed above). Administration The verified users working in organization can add infrastructure details; it is necessary to verify users account the same way as in section , before user can change any info related to the infrastructure of the organization. 16

20 Additionally, NEXT-IS platform administrators should be able to add/modify or delete every part of the Infrastructure database. Front end Matching system Using the parameters defined in the project database, partner and infrastructure database matching system will allow the participants of the NEXT initiative to meet each other s' needs in term of supply/demand of research/partnership/business development or any other activity that might involve the users. The service will also deliver information on new opportunities to the users that will request it, via newsletter service. Matching system will be available only to the registered users, so the users will be prompted to log in or register before they can use NEXT-IS matching system. After registration, user can create two types of partnership requests: o project proposal partnership request where user adds his project to the Project database (with all necessary details as specified in part of this document) and checks him as searching for partners ; o expertise offer every user upon filling in his data on personal profile in the Partner database (with all necessary details as specified in part of this document) can set his status to currently offering his expertize for partnership. Administration Back-end system will be monitoring available project proposal/expertise offer types of partnership request, and will depend on the user settings send notice to the interested parties from predefined categories. After initial match-up, all communication can be done between possible partners over the . Front end Collection of specific societal needs This module will allow collecting real needs to be solved and to construct a database that potentially will give suggestions for co-projecting customized solutions based on societal and community needs. This module will be available only to the registered users, so the users will be prompted to log in or register before they can use it. 17

21 After registration, user can enter following data in the module form: o Applicant organization o Type Subject of regional socio-economic system o Association o Country o Province / Municipality o Requirements o Domain Reference o Classification o Title o Description (expression of interest) o Contact (First Name, Last Name, Role / Position organizational, phone, , www) Administration Initial content published by administrator, but users can add their content as well inside of the predetermined categories. Interface for adding the data should be intuitive and understandable form, so nontechnical personnel can easily add the content. Additionally, NEXT-IS platform administrators should be able to add/modify or delete every part of the Societal needs database. Front end Search The NEXT-IS search system should use parameters defined in the project, partner and infrastructure database. It is important to note that search system will be able to search inside of the documents as well. Basic search function should return results related to entered search query, while advanced functions should enable filtering via following parameters: o Refine search by: o News o Results in Brief o Programs o Projects o Patents o Web Pages o Acronyms o Documents 18

22 o Events o Report Summaries o Funding Partner and infrastructure search will be done via Matching system, there should be link to it with clear description about that module on search results pages services / Newsletter Front end The NEXT-IS platform will allow the management of periodical or special info and newsletters to all users that will subscribe to it. Site users will have the opportunity to provide their name and address, and specify: That they want to receive regular s regarding NEXT-IS events; That they want to receive regular s regarding events in a specific region; That they want to receive regular s regarding events in a specific industry; That they want to receive an when new partnership request in their field of interest is posted (project proposal and/or expertize offer); That they want to receive an when new content is added to a specific site area. When someone registers for the list, the system sends them an asking that they verify that they want to receive s from NEXT-IS. If they don t want to, they can send an to NEXT-IS and ask to be removed. They can return and re-enter their address to change their settings at any time on their personal (partner) profile. Administration The newsletter interface shall be simple enough to allow non-technical users to manage it. Interface should allow administrators to enter text and graphics, as well as attachments as needed via a rich-text editor. These data will then be inserted in predetermined template, tested on all modern clients Project form Front end 19

23 The platform will feature an input forms for the basic EU project documentation. Upon entering the data, form will generate.pdf document ready for print. There will be two types of the form: a) Project form for the structural funds This project form will be focused on projects trying to get funding from various EU structural funds. The minimum data that user will have to enter in order to get the generated form will be: GENERAL DATA ABOUT THE APPLICATION Title of the project, Call for proposal code number, Call for proposal title GENERAL DATA ABOUT THE APPLICANT Identity of applicant, Name of the applicant, Registration number (OIB), Type of applicant, Postal address, Street address, Postal code, Town or city or municipality, Phone / Fax, , Website, Responsible person (head of institution or other authorized person), Name and Surname, Position, Phone/Fax, , Contact person, Name and Surname, Position, Phone, Fax, INFORMATION ABOUT PROJECT PARTNER (-S) Does the project have partner (-s) No / Yes If indicated No, further information about project partner (-s) should not be filled. If indicated Yes, identity of project partners should be entered (same as general data about the applicant) INFORMATION ABOUT LOCATION OF THE PROJECT Region, Indication, County, Indication SHORT DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT (SUMMARY) Essence and justification of the project (maximum 2000 characters) Information about implementing capacity of applicant and choice of partners (maximum 2000 characters) Short description in what way the sustainability of project results will be guaranteed after the completion of the project (maximum 1000 characters) Summary (maximum 500 characters) PROJECT RATIONALE 20

24 Objectives with indicators Objective and indicators list (max 10) Project elements and budget Project element, Total amount of eligible expenditure, Measurable targets defined for the project element, Linkage with objectives V Publicity and visibility Project management and administration Total eligible expenditure falling under the scope of cross financing (amount) Cost analysis 1. Project element Timetable of implementation Start date - End date Planned budget distribution per year (total eligible expenditure) TOTAL COST OF THE PROJECT (Amount) SOURCE OF FINANCING OF PROJECT ELIGIBLE EXPENDITURE (Amount) HORIZONTAL THEMES (where relevant) Does Project contribute to equal opportunities? No/Yes If yes, please specify how: Does Project contribute to sustainable development and environmental protection? No / Yes If yes, please specify how: Does Project contribute to promotion of principles of good governance, including the cooperation with civil society No / Yes If yes, please specify how: 21

25 EU STRUCTURAL ASSISTANCE PUBLICITY MEASURES Media type, Indication, Main target group Print Media Broadcast Media, Internet and Websites, Seminars, Conferences, Workshops etc., Promotional Material, Signage / billboard erected at project site. b) Project form for private sources of financing This project form will be focused on projects trying to get funding from private sources of financing. The minimum data that user will have to enter in order to get the generated form will be: GENERAL DATA ABOUT THE APPLICATION Title of the project GENERAL DATA ABOUT THE APPLICANT Identity of applicant, Name of the applicant, Registration number (OIB), Type of applicant, Postal address, Street address, Postal code, Town or city or municipality, Phone / Fax, , Website, Previous work experience related to this project, Previous business experience, LinkedIn profile link INFORMATION ABOUT PROJECT PARTNER (-S) Does the project have partner (-s) No / Yes If indicated No, further information about project partner (-s) should not be filled. If indicated Yes, identity of project partners should be entered (same as general data about the applicant) INFORMATION ABOUT LOCATION OF THE PROJECT Region, Indication, County, Indication SHORT DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT (SUMMARY) Essence, type and justification of the project (maximum 2000 characters) Information about implementing capacity of applicant and choice of partners and current state of the project (idea, prototype, ready for launch, already on market) (maximum 2000 characters) 22

26 Short description in what way the sustainability of project results will be guaranteed after the completion of the project (maximum 1000 characters) Summary (maximum 500 characters) PROJECT RATIONALE Objectives with indicators Objective and indicators list (max 10) Project elements and budget Project element, Total amount of eligible expenditure, Measurable targets defined for the project element, Linkage with objectives Administration Project forms will be automated, no input needed from administrator. Once the form is generated (.pdf), it is downloaded and it should be automatically deleted by the system at latest 24h after last download Help / FAQ area Front end Area of the platform related to its usage and procedures. Various FAQ documents will be prepared before final launch of the platform in order to help users in day-today usage of the NEXT-IS platform. Among the most important FAQ documents there should be those related to various services/modules. Users can be pointed to forums (on Help sub-forum) if they don t find solution for their problem where other users will be able to help them. If they don t find solution on the FAQ section or on the forums, they will be able to send an to the NEXT-IS administration. Administration Help topics and FAQ about modules will be provided by the administration. They will be categorized in a few main areas (according to modules they cover). However, it is also important to enable localized search - search form, search only in the Help/FAQ area. 23

27 Forums Front end Forum software will be deeply integrated with the platform. Every content entry will have comments option, which will be directly linked to the forums. Example: Every news entry added to the news section will automatically open a discussion on the forums, in the category News discussion with the news title. Comments added on the forums in that discussion will also be showing up under the news entry on the general news section of the portal. Each section of the platform will have their own sub forums, where community can discuss and share their experiences and information. Forums can be public or private. Their content can be shared on Social Media as well. Username entered on the registration of the every user is also their username on the forums. Users can use the following functionalities on the forums: o Unlimited Forums, Sub Forums, Posts, Groups, and Members o Public and private (for registered-only) sections of the forum o Private Messaging System o Mobile Phone & Tablet Optimized Version o Event Calendar - Announce and organize events o Forum Polls o Social Network Sharing - Facebook, Google +, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. o Rich Text Editor - WYSIWYG Post Writing Editor o RSS Feeds Administration Administrator will be able to create/delete sections of the forums, and to fully moderate forums. Administrator will be able to promote any registered user to the forum moderator, granting him moderating rights on the specific section of the forums. Main functionalities of the forum administration section should be: o Security and anti-spam tools - configurable anti-spam, bad word filters, spam cleaner, known spammer blocking o Powerful and flexible permission system (users, forum moderators, forum administrators) o Comprehensive administration control panel o Search Engine Optimization - Dynamically created meta tags with title, description, and keywords 24

28 o Search engine friendly URL's - Dynamic URL's are rewritten for ease of use and improved search engine Indexing Social media All publicly available content should be fully shareable on the social media via social share / follow buttons under every type of the content. The social media sharing / following offered by this module should include all major social sharing providers like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Reddit, Pinterest, Tumblr, Linkedin and even Statistics module NEXT-IS platform should have Google analytics tracking code integrated in every section. Google Analytics is a web analysis tool, which upon adding to a site s code, gives users a valuable and detailed insight into the ongoing performance of their website. Additionally, platform should have basic internal statistics module, measuring basic metrics: Registrations / users deleted Usage statistics (users, projects, partnerships, attachments uploaded) Search tracking (list of on-site search keywords used) Basic forum statistics (topics, posts, active users) Basic newsletter statistics (users subscribed, s delivered ) Statistics data should be accessible from the administrator interface System security Authentication Services of NEXT-IS platform will be public and private. Public services will be available without authentication and will allow the user to search public data, access public documents, read public forum discussions and read the public news. 25

29 Private services will require authentication by the user and will allow the user to interact with the services in a more active mode like publishing in the event section, add entries to project/partner database, comment public documents, post proposals in the matching system and other. In order to use private services, user will have to log in via log in form. The forms-based manual login works with all types of Web browsers provided that cookies are enabled in the browser. If an individual disables cookies in the browser, the user will have to re-authenticate on every page, so it is important to point out that enabled cookies are necessary for using site as a registered user. It is important to note that the forms-based system passes authentication information in clear text over the network. Because a sniffer could intercept this data and use it to impersonate the user, the login page should be SSL encrypted. Administrators can also use IP checking and cookie time-out to decrease the probability of an intruder using a stolen identity to access the Web site. When a session token exceeds the timeframe, the user must re-authenticate to access secure pages. The default lifetime of a token is 720 minutes or 12 hours. When IP checking is enabled, the session token generated by NEXT-IS platform when a user logs on is checked against the IP address of the header in an HTTP request. In theory, users maintain a consistent IP address while they are logged on to a Web site, so for every subsequent HTTP request, the IP address in the token should match the IP address of the user submitting the request. When it does not, access is denied. In some cases, however, users do not maintain a consistent IP address (for example, users whose requests will be passed through different proxy servers), so depending on the user population likely to access a Web site this option must have option be turned off. However, default value should be on Roles and Security groups Instead of assigning individual permissions to access, create, edit, or delete content per user, administrator will be able to use Security Groups and Roles to organize what accounts have which permissions. Roles are collections of permissions. For example, admin could add an section editor role to give a group read/write access to all content on the specific section of NEXT- IS platform. Security groups represent collections of users, and permissions they have apply to a subset of pages. Therefore, for example, the General news editors could have access to the parts of the website dealing with news, and the Help/FAQ editor could have access to the parts of the website dealing with help and FAQ content. 26

30 User types on the platform will be: Guest Registered user Section editor Forum moderator Forum administrator NEXT-IS platform administrator 27

31 3. Logical design 3.1. Interface Layer The Interface Layer consists of two main modules: the Web Page User Interface (UI) and the Application Programming Interface (API) for integration with external applications. Both are available directly from Internet User Interface All NEXT-IS services are accessible through the Web page User Interface (UI). Business, research and public service sector users may use the non-public part of the NEXT-IS platform for uploading their data and sharing their experiences with community. All services are available using TLS/SSL cryptographic methods to protect users content that is sent over the network. NEXT-IS platform must deliver a compelling visitor experience. However, it cannot sacrifice usability and accessibility NEXT-IS web site should be, first and foremost, make its rich content offering available to as diverse an audience as possible. The NEXT-IS web site look must conform to the following requirements: The site should be HTML5 and CSS3 compliant. All pages (except video or multimedia) must render and download in less than 3 seconds over a standard 1 Mbit/s connection. The site must be compatible with Internet Explorer 9 and later, Mozilla Firefox 10 and later, Opera 11 and later and latest versions of Google Chrome and Safari. The site must conform to the WCAG Accessibility Guidelines outlined at wherever possible. All publicly available site pages should be available for search engine robots. For pages that are showing multimedia content (such as video or audio) HTML player needs to be loaded if possible, Flash player needs to be used as a fallback (for browsers that doesn't support HTML5 video and/or audio element) HTML markup needs to be schema.org compatible where possible User interface will be completely designed with Responsive web design (RWD) approach in mind. Responsive web design (RWD) is a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors). This will enable NEXT-IS platform maximum accessibility on all electronic devices without the need of specific mobile (ios, Android) applications. 28

32 When it comes to design guidelines, it is important to point out that NEXT-IS is about technology transfer and connections. The design should reflect that, presenting the many different users in the most intuitive and simple way. The site should include images styled about overall theme of the different sections - from research to business. To insure broadest possible appeal, the web site should use colours that evoke a professional feel (blues, greys, black and green) without looking industrial. The interface must be welcoming, clean, and demonstrate NEXT-IS status as a meeting place for regional research, business and public sector users. Each of the major site areas should use the same interface, but a slightly different colour scheme, which is also carried over into the buttons themselves. For example, Research database might use a white background with a green interface the button linking to that section would also be green. This color-coding will reinforce the different site sections to the visitor. Flash and other motion graphics should be used sparingly (only if absolutely necessary), and only where motion graphics had better communicate the message than static ones. No motion graphic should occupy more than 1 of total page real estate API Beside accessing NEXT-IS portal through Web page User interface, all of its content will be accessible through RESTful APIs (Representational State Transfer). REST is a stateless client-server architecture that provides very little overhead on sent or received data, especially when combined with JSON. Through RESTful APIs external platforms and application will be able to create, read, update or delete data. Of course, access to APIs content and resources will be using OAuth 2.0 protocol for authorization flows and procedures. Resource access and privileges will be using the same access control system as the rest of the NEXT-IS portal. The central principle of RESTful API is the existence of resources each of which is referenced with a URI in HTTP. In order to manipulate these resources communication is done over HTTP with its headers and methods. For (almost) every entity in the NEXT-IS platform URl resource will exist through which manipulation can be done. Several special API URIs will be available as well: OAuth 2.0 authorization and token requests endpoints (depending of OAuth implementation) search module matching module 29

33 GET, POST, PUT and DELETE HTTP methods will be used to fetch a resource (single or collection of resources), create a resource, update and delete a resource. Success, failures and error information will be provided via HTTP status codes ( In case of error, additional error details will be provided in response body. RESTful API HTTP methods Resource GET POST PUT DELETE Collection URI, for example tem/ Collection of article items will be returned with other details of the collection (total count, and information like that) Creates new article item in the collection. ID and entry URI is automatically assigned and returned in response Generally not used Generally not used Element URI, for example tem/12 Single article item element representation with ID 12 (primary key) will be returned Generally not used Replaces (updates) the article item in question (with ID 12) Deletes the article item in question (with ID 12) Collection URIs can be filtered and searched upon. Let s list several examples: - fetching article items that are created by defined user - GET - fetching article items that are located in defined article category - GET - paginating, fetching defined number of article items with offset - GET Each request needs to have access token (in its HTTP headers) and needs to be verified. List of entities and available API resources and actions Entity GET POST PUT DELETE article_item

34 article_category only collection URI project page partner partner_organization organization societal_need patent partner_expertize event_item event_category only collection URI user group group_resource resource attachment faq_item faq_category only collection URI infrastructure forum_topic forum_thread kb_item kb_category only collection URI user_newsletter

35 newsletter rss_source user_notification Some of the entities have limited access or available methods and actions. Constraints on the user and group related entities are security related Software components NEXT-IS platform needs to be conceived as a hybrid multitier (tier 3) system: tier 1 presentation tier front-end web server serving static content as well as cached dynamic content tier 2 application logic tier both application and business logic; controlling application functionality and processing and generating content tier 3 data tier database layer Distributed memory object caching system (such as memcached) needs to be used (where applicable) to speed up the user experience. All the tiers needs to be deployed in different logical networks and appropriate filtering appliances (in form of physical or virtual appliances). As a minimum there will be: a firewall with layer 7 inspection capability between tier 1 and tier 2 a reverse proxy with load balancing and HTTPS offloading capabilities between tier 1 and tier 2 a transparent firewall (layer 2) between tier 2 and tier 3 32