| www.eudat.eu | B2DROP is a secure and trusted data exchange service for researchers and scientists to keep their research data synchronised and up-to-date and to exchange with other researchers (January 2017).
B2DROP is a secure and trusted data exchange service for researchers and scientists to keep their research data synchronized and up-to-date. You can store and share up to 20 GB of data for free. The basic functionality of B2DROP is explained in this presentation.
B2DROP is the EUDAT tool to use when you want to share informal data and documents with your colleagues. It is not recommended for digital artefacts that are finalised and ready for publication and it does not issue Persistent Identifiers which you would ideally need if you were sharing finalised objects. B2DROP offers fine-grained controls to share and to stop sharing the data with your intended collaborators and it also includes a suite of tools that allow versioning of data and offline synchronisation across Windows, Mac and Linux devices. Every EUDAT user has a free allocation of 20 GB of storage. The data are stored in Europe, in a trusted repository at Juelich; I will talk more about security later. The data are backed up offline on a daily basis for disaster recovery. B2DROP is based on the mature ownCloud technology.
B2DROP is popular with EUDAT users. In December 2016 we had 900 registered users, who have uploaded 700,000 files, taking up around 900GB. We get about 4 requests per second, in daily cycles as you see here. This graph tells us two things: that the service is being used; and that the service is being monitored, which is very important.
In this talk I will first introduce what you are allowed and what you are not allowed to upload to B2DROP and I will then discuss how you can access the service and what we do with your personal and uploaded data. B2DROP has a web interface and a desktop client, which I will cover, and I will take the opportunity to discuss versioning in a bit more detail. In case you have questions after this session, we have User Documentation for you and the B2DROP will be happy to answer your questions. I will provide pointers to these two at the end of this talk.
So, what data are allowed, or even encouraged, on B2DROP? You can store any kind of temporary research data, as they come from your original sources or processed, or both. You can upload empirical or theoretical data. The expectation is that you are sharing these data as a basis for collaboration, or publication, but that you are still working on them, or validating them, or they are still in flux; we do not recommend that you reference B2DROP-hosted research data in a publication, as B2DROP will not give you Persistent Identifiers. B2SHARE is the correct EUDAT service for this, or B2SAFE, and there is nothing to stop you from uploading finalised data from B2DROP to any of these two services when you are ready to publish them. B2DROP welcomes any file format, including papers in Word or TeX format, spreadsheets, movies and audio files. As an example, this presentations, and all our training material, has been iterated over B2DROP. The simple rule of thumb is that you can upload any kind of data that has emanated or will be used for you to deliver science.
So, B2DROP is for researchers and communities to share and store research data. There are few terms and conditions of which you should be aware before using B2DROP. It is probably implied in what I said before, but you are not allowed to use B2DROP for personal, recreational, political or commercial use. Similarly, we expect that no unlawful or inappropriate content will find its way to B2DROP, and the best way to ensure this is for us, the B2DROP users, to not upload such content to the service. The terms and conditions which you will need to accept so as to get access to B2DROP discuss potential sanctions, which include account suspension, termination, deletion of content or criminal proceedings. I am not aware of such instances and I am sure they won’t be needed in the lifetime of EUDAT. I should also say that, while EUDAT offers the service with the expectation that is useful and used by its users, We provide no guaranteed availability at any specific instant. The service has historically been reliable, but the SLA does not support claims against the service hosts if you are late in submitting a deliverable or paper. You can and must read the complete text on the B2DROP website.
You can access B2DROP via the EUDAT website https://eudat.eu/services-support . Click the small button ‘use’ in the blue B2DROP box.
Or you can go to B2DROP directly via https://b2drop.eudat.eu/, which is where the EUDAT webpage leads you.
To use B2DROP you need to register yourself first. This is quite easy. Please fill in your details and use your institutional e-mail address. After confirmation you can use B2DROP immediately!
In case you would have forgotten your password, you could retrieve it via the Password Self Service. This service is available under the button CLICK HERE, which you use for creating a new account too. Simply follow the steps and you’ll use B2DROP very soon again indeed.
I think this is a good point to talk about security on B2DROP. The files that you upload are only available to you, until you decide to share them. I will talk about sharing in a minute. In case of emergency, an administrator could access your data, but we hope it will never be necessary. The data are stored at Juelich Supercomputing Centre, they don’t leave Europe. Juelich takes daily back-ups on off-site tape, for disaster recovery. You personal, user data, are also stored at Juelich, but note that it is not encrypted. Your data will be moved to another supplier only if they join B2DROP as hosts, or if they take over from Juelich. We expect such 3rd parties to be EUDAT partners.
Let’s go back to the B2DROP website. The obvious functionality is to upload a file. Each file can be up to 10 GB. At the top you see the plus sign; click on that and select “Upload”. This pops up your desktop file browser where you can select which file to upload by clicking “Open”. As is expected on modern browser-based tools, you can also drag-and-drop a file. If you try to upload a file with the same filename as a file already on B2DROP, the “File conflict” pop-up will give you information about the namesake artefacts and allow you yo make a decision if you want to upload and supersede as the current version or not.
This is a good time to discuss versioning. Files uploaded are automatically versioned and it is pretty straightforward to check the previous versions. On the web interface click on the three dots, select “Details” and check out Versions on the right. When you upload a file, it overwrites previous versions, as we saw on the previous slide, with old versions retained. B2DROP uses an algorithm to reduce the number of versions progressively as time goes by; the older a version, the more likely to be removed. B2DROP starts deleting or stops maintaining versions after you exceed 50% of your quota.
B2DROP lets you group your files in folders. On the Plus-sign menu, click “Folder” and give it a name. You can deposit files in the folder now. B2DROP also lets you create and edit a text file, again from the Plus-sign menu. As soon as you exit the file, it is saved. You can rename files and folders. Select the object to rename, click on the three dots on its row and select the Rename option. You can see “Delete” and “Download” are available there too.
B2DROP allows you to create contacts; these will come in handy when you start sharing artefacts. Click the arrow-down next to “Files” and select “Contacts”. You can then click on ““+ New contact”. You can import contacts in batch from Variant Call Format file; Click on “Settings” at the bottom, then “Import”. You can also group the contacts you have added. Select a contact and add a Group name, in the “Groups” field; this also creates the group.
As I said before, B2DROP is all about sharing the objects with your collaborators. Having populated the repository, we can share the data. Click on the down arrow on “Contacts” and select “File”. Select an object to share and click the Share icon. You can use contacts or email addresses and you can share with users of other ownClouds that you are collaborating with. If you tick “Share link” then you can notify these users using your mail client, skype, whatever works for you. You can control if the people you share with can edit the object, you can password-protect the object and you can set B2DROP to expire the sharing at a date of your choice. Or you can stop sharing by unticking “Share link”. This is a very powerful feature of B2DROP.
As I mentioned before, you can also use B2DROP from a desktop client. The client is developed by ownCloud and the B2DROP webpage can take you to their website to download it. Click on your username on the right and select Personal. On the left “Sync Clients” appears and you can then select the appropriate app, in this case desktop, but you can see that if you have an Android or Apple phone you can use these clients too. We won’t cover these today, but if you click on “Desktop app” you are redirected to the ownCloud website and can select the relevant operating system for you. You can then follow the instructions and, when the program starts, you use the B2DROP address on https://b2drop.eudat.eu/ and log in with your B2DROP-registered email and your password. The client is very useful when on the go, as, if you have it running, it will synchronise files when you reconnect.
Another method we have found useful is to mount the folder on your desktop, using the WebDAV protocol, which then allows the B2DROP folder to appear in your file browser. Again, similarly to using the client, saving a file will synchronise with B2DROP, but note that this only work when connected to the network. This method is supported for Macs, Linux and Windows computers, and I will describe these now.
EUDAT runs a specific help desk system to support B2DROP users and it can be accessed via http://www.eudat.eu/support-request
B2DROP User Training | www.eudat.eu |
EUDAT receives funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 programme - DG CONNECT e-Infrastructures. Contract No. 654065 www.eudat.eu
B2DROP User Training
How to use EUDAT’s B2DROP?
This work is licensed under the Creative
Commons CC-BY 4.0 licence
Store and exchange data with
colleagues and team members,
including research data not
finalized for publishing
share data with fine-grained
synchronize multiple versions of
data across different platforms
An ideal solution for researchers and scientists to:
20GB storage per user
Trusted storage: data stays in Europe
Daily tape backups of all files
B2DROP is popular
900 registered users (Dec 2016)
more then 700,000 files (870 GB)
313,000 requests per day (~4 per second)
What will be covered?
Terms and Conditions
Accessing the Service
Using the web interface
Installing and using the desktop client
What type of data can I store?
Any kind of temporary research data, uploaded from
your local or departmental storage device as digital
Primary data or processed data
Both empirical and theoretical data
Data as the basis for a publication
Any kind of format and file: papers, spreadsheets,
audiovisual media, provided the data source or purpose
of the data has a scientific background.
Terms and Conditions
For researchers and communities to share and store research
Not for personal, recreational, political or commercial use
No unlawful or inappropriate content
Potential sanctions: account suspension, termination,
deletion of content or criminal proceedings
Availability defined by SLA – no guaranteed availability at
any specific instance
Complete text: https://b2drop.eudat.eu/themes/b2drop/terms-
Getting started via EUDAT website:
Accessing B2DROP 1/2
Limited to institutional e-mail addresses
Time limited process
Accessing B2DROP 2/2
Forgotten password: CLICK HERE
You’ll be forwarded to the Password Self Service.
Click ‘Forgotten Password’
Fill in your details and you’ll receive a security code by e-
Fill in the code at the Password Self Service website and you
can change your password
Your privacy is important to us. Only you and those you
share your files with can see your data. In urgent matters an
administrator could access your files
Data are stored at Juelich Supercomputing Centre
Daily backups of all files in B2DROP are taken and kept on
tape in a different location at Juelich
User Information security
Also stored at Juelich
User info is not encrypted
Transfer to 3rd party (e.g. in case of moving the service to
another partner): b2drop.eudat.eu would be moved to a
Using the web interface 1/4
Upload of a file (max. 10 GB)
Click the “+” button
Click the “Upload” menu
Browse your computer, select a
file and click “Open”.
…or simply drag and drop onto
the B2DROP window
Files with similar names will be
noticed by B2DROP: “One file
conflict”. You can choose what
version(s) you’d like to keep.
On B2DROP Versioning
Automatic file versioning
Access to the previous versions is straightforward on
the web GUI and the desktop client
The latest file gets overwritten by the selected
version, with other versions retained.
To preserve disk space, B2DROP preserves a subset
of the versions, progressively reducing the number
of retained versions as time goes by.
Note that B2DROP removes older saved versions
and/or stops maintaining versions when the user
exceeds 50% of their quota.
Using the web interface 2/4
Create a folder
Click “+”, then “Folder”
Name folder + enter
Create a new text file
Click “+”, then “Text file”
Name file + enter
Use the pop-up editor to edit the file
Exiting the editor saves the file
Rename, delete and download files and folders
Select the object to operate on
Click the “…” button
Select the desired option
Using the web interface 3/4
Create new contacts
Click dropdown menu next to “Files”
Click “+ New contact”
Or import from Variant Call Format file
Click on “Settings”, then “Import”
Create new groups
Select a contact
Add a Group name in the “Groups” field
Using the web interface 4/4
Sharing files and folders
Click “Files” from “Contacts”
Select object to share and click the
Via contact or e-mail address
Add password protection, allow
upload access, set an expiration
time on the sharing
Unsharing: by clicking the ticked box
Installing the B2DROP client
To install the desktop app:
Click on your username on the right
Click “Sync clients” on the left
Click on the appropriate app. You will be directed
to the ownCloud website.
Select Windows, Mac or Linux as needed and
follow the instructions
After installing you need to configure the program by
entering the address https://b2drop.eudat.eu/
Please log in using your B2DROP username (e-mail
address) and password
ownCloud will now appear on your file browser
Note that using this client allows you to work on your files
while offline, and synchronise when you reconnect to the
Mount your folder
You can mount B2DROP as a drive to your desktop machines
Your B2DROP folder then appears in your file browser
You can work on files, which will synchronise automatically
with the B2DROP server on save
Note that mounting your folder through WebDAV only works while
you are connected to the network.
Mount your folder - MacOS
Mount B2DROP in your “Finder”:
1. Click on “Go” on the drop-down menu and then
“Connect to server”
2. Enter https://b2drop.eudat.eu/remote.php/webdav/
3. Log in with your username (e-mail address) and
You can also mount B2DROP with Cyberduck by providing
the above-mentioned information to the client.
Mount your folder - Linux
You can mount B2DROP with NAUTILUS:
1. Select “Go to File Connect to server”
2. Type in: davs://b2drop.eudat.eu/remote.php/webdav
3. Log in with your username (e-mail address) and
Mounting via davfs is also possible, but it requires sudo
Log in with your username (e-mail address) and password
To unmount use the following command:
The instructions above have been tested on Ubuntu but they should work for
every Linux distribution supporting the NAUTILUS or GNOME file system.
Mount your folder - Windows
Map B2DROP as a network drive:
1. Enter https://b2drop.eudat.eu/remote.php/webdav/ as
2. Log in with your username (e-mail address) and
Note that you may need to set your computer to allow
Basic Authentication; please follow the Microsoft
instructions for this. Because B2DROP is available under
https, Option "1 - Basic authentication enabled for Secure
Sockets Layer (SSL) shares only" should suffice for
Windows Vista and later.
For more info: https://eudat.eu/services/b2drop
B2DROP User Documentation:
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 licence
EUDAT receives funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 programme - DG CONNECT e-Infrastructures.
Contract No. 654065
Rene van Horik, DANS
Marieke Polhout, DANS
Kostas Kavoussanakis, EPCC, The
University of Edinburgh
Christine Staiger, SURFSara
Benedikt von St. Vieth,