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caBIG® Enterprise Support Network —
National Cancer Institute   U.S. National Institutes of Health

The caBIG program has been retired, and while this website is being maintained temporarily to prevent broken links and provide access to information on the subset of caBIG projects that were transitioned into the new NCIP program, it will be archived in the near future. For information on the NCI's biomedical informatics program, please visit

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caBIG® Enterprise Support Network

Initiated at the end of the caBIG® pilot phase, the Enterprise Support Network (ESN) was established to expand support options for establishing and extending interoperability, support the needs of individuals and institutions of the growing caBIG® community, and augment the existing capacity of the caBIG® Workspaces. Two elements make up the ESN to fill these functions: the Knowledge Centers and Support Service Providers.

Understanding the Boundaries

The following table illustrates the differences between Knowledge Centers and Service Providers:

Support Type

Knowledge Centers

Support Service Providers

Audience and Mode of Support

Support is primarily web-based and freely accessible to everyone wishing to access and utilize caBIG® community resources.  KC’s will work with users over phone/web conference if forum exchange becomes too in-depth.  KC’s serve as authoritative sources for the caBIG® tools they manage* and they areas of focus they lead (such as the Grid, Vocabularies and Data Sharing). Aims and priorities are driven by users and new and existing community members.

Level and type of support is defined by client-specific needs and private contracts between the client and the SSP.

Existing Tool Modifications

Minor enhancements and fixes for existing caBIG® tools* managed by the Knowledge Center that will benefit the broad user community.

Minor or major development based on specific clients’ needs; client-specific modifications based on local requirements and configurations.

Focus of Development Activities

Foster an open development community; serve as steward of caBIG® software code base; and maintain a demonstration instance of current release of software for community to test.

Customize applications to meet specific client’s need, based on current or previous versions of caBIG® tools and code; develop new tools that are interoperable with caBIG®; may choose to participate in open development efforts.

Tools Installation Support

Provide customers with official installation documentation that detail installing caBIG® tools in a range of tested environments. Provide Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), forums, guidance for issues relevant to broad community of users.  Rely on customers to have the technical staff and skills to translate that guidance into site-specific installation and configuration steps and local troubleshooting activities.    

Can augment client staff in a client-specific contract to provide the temporary and/or long-term skills sets needed to install and maintain caBIG® tooling in client’s specific environment; comprehensively troubleshoot installation and configuration issues in client’s site-specific setting.

Data Migration Support

Provide official data migration documentation (where applicable); publish caBIG® tool data models and information about available application programming interfaces (APIs) required to migrate data; provide basic support guidance on helping customers understand how to extend existing tool models for local deployment.  Maintain an online place for community members to share their experiences, best practices, migration scripts, and other materials the community might benefit from.

Generate scripts and programs required to execute data migration, and complete the implementation of data mapping and migration plans at the client’s site; If adapting a caBIG® tool to accommodate data to be migrated from legacy tool, generate the new data models that support the expanded tool’s use.

Documentation and Training

Maintain and update tool overview information, demos, demo sites, version-specific documentation, and training materials that will benefit the entire user community.  Collect lessons learned and feedback from the community, and integrate it as appropriate into the knowledge base.

Customize documentation and training for specific clients based on their specific needs

Identification of Emerging Requirements

Raise common or shared needs related to KC’s area of focus and existing tools* to the caBIG® stakeholder community to help prioritize the direction of future caBIG® development; troubleshoot shared problems as they are encountered by community users.

May raise common or shared needs to the stakeholder community, but may also choose to pursue troubleshooting and meeting those needs by modifying, enhancing, and/or developing new tools via independent commercial development; may identify requirements that are specific to an organization or deployment environment.  

Tool Scope

Support specific caBIG® tools as identified by and contracted with the National Cancer Institute* based on domain areas of interest and tool demand.    

Support a variety of caBIG® and caBIG®-compatible tools, including those supported by the Knowledge Centers and those that are outside the Knowledge Centers’ scope.  

last modified 11-08-2012 05:47 PM