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Modularization and Scalability of the BExIS Experiment Data Management Platform for Environmental Research - Phase 2 (BExIS++)

Project Goals

BExIS is the central data management platform of the large-scale collaborative project "Exploratories for Functional Biodiversity Research" with a large number of individual projects, which started in 2006. BExIS stands for Biodiversity Exploratories Information System. Since its introduction in 2007, the BExIS platform has been continually developed. The BExIS ++ project aims to develop concepts and methods for long-term archiving for the data of biodiversity and ecosystem research as well as tools that facilitate collaborative research. In addition, BExIS ++ supports the development and institutionalization of consulting and teaching services on research data management at the University of Jena and the participating University of Göttingen and TU Munich.

Technical Goals

The core of the BExIS software is to extend the functionality of the current BEXIS-Software by decoupling different software components and adding modules, which enables an easy integration of new software components. This should improve the usability and flexibility of possible applications.

Organizational Goals

The project is an important element to establish a Centre of Excellence (CoE) at Friedrich Schiller University Jena. This will be done by developing basis for long-term data preservation of biodiversity research as an example.

Scientific Objectives

The project builds a solid basic for a central Knowledge Management for research and education at Friedrich Schiller University Jena.

GWDG’s Role in the Project

The GWDG is involved in two fields of the project:



Authentication and Authorization

A frequently mentioned requirement is the support of cross-system authentication and authorization by open standards like LDAP/AD and SAML. The goal of the work packages the GWDG working on is to extend the current security system and link it to existing AAI federations for example DFN AAI or edugain. This involves the evaluation of established Single-Sign-On technologies like Shibboleth and CAS, the preparation of a concept and finally implementation and testing the components.


BExIS is a part of the virtual research environment for many researchers. Those research environments are often grown through aggregation of scientific data step by step over time as BExIS currently supports for. But there is also great interest in generating such virtual research environments out of collections of data or digital objects. May be to reconstruct the results of other researches or to generate a new or an old research environment from a given collection. The GWDG takes part in the development of methods to upload such data in a high-performance way with a defined protocol in batch mode.

Project Funding

German Research Foundation (DFG), Grant Agreement No SCHW 1608/1-2

Project Partner

BExIS++ is a joint project of seven partners led by Friedrich Schiller University Jena. Beside departments of the Jena University and the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry located in Jena are involved Georg-August-Universität Göttingen’s Research Department (Data Management and Archiving) and TU Munich’s Department of Ecology and Ecosystemmanagement.

The project's coordination is hold by the Heinz-Nixdorf Chair for Distributed Information Systems at University of Jena.

Additional Information

  • Hindermann, Thoersten, Being a Third-Party Developer in the DFG Project „BExIS ++“, in: GWDG-Nachrichten 8-9/2016, pages 5-7. Available in German only.
  • Schwardmann, Ulrich, DFG-Projekt "BExIS++" – Biodiversity Exploratories Information System, in: GWDG-Nachrichten 4/2015, page 22. Available in German only.
  • Project Biodiversity Exploration - Funktional Biodiversity Research, Short film about the central questions, research topics, the people behind the project and the special nature of the major project.






Dr. Ulrich Schwardmann



01.01.2015 - 31.12.2017