The purpose of the service modularization guidelines is to enable facility operators to modularize their services. A module is by definition a well-defined entity with fixed inputs and outputs. By having predefined modules as bulding blocks, IBISBA can offer clients sets or sequences of services that meet the needs of the clients without spending exorbant amounts of time negotiating among the service providers.

The current goal is for each facility to define a small number of modules to provide a good starting point that can later be improved. It has already been identified in several subtopics that this current minimum requirement will not be good enough in the future (e.g. within 3-5 years). Stricter requirements are expected in the future because the ultimate goal is to offer seamless multi-facility services via the EU-IBISBA legal entity.

IBISBA aims to achieve seamless multi-facility services, which requires each participating institution to modularize their services, harmonize the interactions between service modules, and provide the future central office with adequate and sufficient information to plan, negotiate, and execute projects efficiently.

The modularization of services implies splitting up the service capabilities of a facility or institution into a set of modules where each module has a clear and unchanging functionality (see terminology definition of service module). Each service module has a defined minimum set of inputs and a defined minimum set of outputs. All outputs must have undergone a quality check.

For the time being, the level of granularity/modularization can be decided by each facility. In the future, this will be limited to services only offered by that facility. Several facilities can offer modules with similar or comparable content independently from one another, but one facility cannot offer any subpart of a module. Hence, a single service module can be offered as a whole by different facilities, but cannot be partially executed by several facilities. In the latter case, further modularization is needed to determine unequivocal handoff points between the facilities.

Service modularization consists of:

  • 1) identifying the core functionality
  • 2) selecting the boundaries
  • 3) identifying the inputs and outputs
  • 4) specifying the inputs and outputs
  • 5) defining the metadata

Beyond this first level of modularization, all modules can be described by a series of different grain-size workflows, each layer more detailed than the last, all the way down to lab protocols.

The general guidelines available here are instructions for how to select the core modules, choose the boundaries, and identify the inputs and outputs. The guidelines have been written for the specific case of modularizing the service offering of a single facility. However, the guidelines can also be applied to other service offerings.

Presently, the service modularization guidelines are available only to IBISBA 1.0 consortium members under the access provisions specified in the IBISBA 1.0 Consortium Agreement.

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