What is an XSEDE Science Gateway?

An Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) Science Gateway is a community-developed set of tools, applications, and data collections that are integrated via a portal or a suite of applications. Gateways provide access to a variety of capabilities including workflows, visualization, resource discovery, and job execution services.

Science Gateways enable entire communities of users associated with a common scientific goal to use national resources through a common interface. Science Gateways are enabled by a community allocation whose goal is to delegate account management, accounting, certificates management, and user support to the gateway developers.

Science Gateways commonly take one of these three forms:

  • A gateway packaged as a web portal, with users in front and XSEDE services in back
  • A grid-bridging gateway, with communities running their own grids devoted to their areas of science (in these cases, a Science Gateway is a mechanism for extending the reach of the community's grid by coupling it with XSEDE digital services)
  • A gateway that lets users run a desktop application to access XSEDE services

Science Gateways can have varying goals and implementations. Some expose specific sets of community codes so that anonymous scientists can run them. Others may serve as a "metaportal", a community portal that brings a broad range of new services and applications to the community. A common trait of all three types is their interaction with XSEDE through the various service interfaces that XSEDE provides. Although the gateways may be instantiated on XSEDE services, it is expected that many will be instantiated on community resources and be administered by the community itself.

For more about Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) Science Gateways, see the Science Gateways Overview and the list of current Science Gateways in the XSEDE User Portal. For information about registering and managing an XSEDE Science Gateway, see Gateways for principal investigators (PIs). For information about planning and designing an XSEDE Science Gateway, see The Role of the Developer.

This document was developed with support from National Science Foundation (NSF) grants 1053575 and 1548562. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF.