EMI's flexible collaboration environment provides several modalities for interacting with the project, depending on the type of relationship its current or potential partners wish to establish:
- Service Level Agreement (SLA)
More than a collaborative tool, this is a comprehensive written agreement between EMI and its ‘customer' containing mutual goals and objectives for service provision. The implementation of these agreements follows established best practices and goals, such as the ITIL Service Level Management Process objective to establish an agreement on the delivery of IT services and to make sure the agreed level of IT service provision is attained. In this context EMI will oversee the full lifecycle SLA implementation with projects, i.e. planning, coordinating, supplying, agreeing, monitoring and reporting.
The EMI SLA Template is being used to negotiate agreements with EGI, PRACE and other infrastructure providers. The document includes unambiguous categories of EMI services, e.g. support, software releases, consultancy, training, and how these services are evaluated from a customer's perspective with respect to utility (whether the service is ‘fit for purpose') and warranty (whether the service is ‘fit for use').
Please click here to find the EMI Service Level Agreement template.
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
To formalise the relationship with strategic active projects, EMI can establish a written agreement in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU provides a collaboration framework with projects and initiatives through the establishment of common and joint objectives. The MoU identifies synergies in the programmes of work, translates these synergies into joint activities, roles and responsibilities. Milestones are included in the MoU to monitor and highlight significant points in the execution of the joint activities. Collaborative activities range from technical work on middleware development and deployment to community activities such as organising joint outreach events and dissemination material. Depending on the issue at hand, different forms of cooperation might be appropriate. EMI is open to work with any project that has a stake in the further development and consolidation of European middleware(s).
The EMI MoU Template is available here:
- Conferences, Workshops and Special Meetings
As part of its networking activities, EMI organizes one large conference each year. For the first project year, the EMI Technical Conference took place in connection with the EGI User Forum in April of 2011. This provided an opportunity for users and application developers to meet the middleware providers in a structured context of presentations of core services and new features.
EMI also organizes smaller informal events dedicated to inreach, training and outreach between developers and users of the middleware (Meet-the-Developers days). These events, as well as other activities, may result in further plans to set up specific meetings with other parties to discuss new collaborations structured around the (other) available mechanisms described in this section. The project has dedicated resources to invite third parties to meetings of this kind.
- Ad-hoc Usability Studies / Case Studies
Depending on the outcome of special meetings or other actvivities, and on what effort is available in the project, EMI is willing to conduct particular case studies or usability studies with another party. This kind of work may be formalized with an MoU, and could serve to identify a (set of) previously unnoticed user need(s), which could in turn either directly affect some aspects of the EMI development plan or create the basis for a project proposal that EMI or its partners could support.
- Support for Related Project Proposals
For projects seeking funding, be it at a European level or national level, the first step towards working with EMI is receiving an EMI Letter of Support (LoS) to accompany their funding proposal. At this stage of collaboration, it is essential to highlight what is the relevance to EMI in supporting the proposal and the foreseen use of EMI results within the project's activities. This may be a natural step if the project proposal has been discussed as part of other collaboration activities such as work on usability as described in 4.
- Technology Previews
EMI has scheduled three major middleware releases during the lifetime of the project. For collaborating software providers and other parties that rely heavily on EMI services, a key aspect of the relationship with EMI is to be able to anticipate how the new release works for them. For this reason, EMI will provide access to a major release two months ahead of the official release date.
The Works with EMI program is a managed collaboration program dedicated to software providers that develop applications making use of the EMI middleware services, or that produce additional middleware or distributed computing services extending or complementing the functionality of the EMI services. Please see the relevant section for additional information on this program.