Service Description



The document introduces the general concepts of the EUDAT B2HANDLE service.

Modified: 07 November 2016


B2HANDLE is distributed service that manages Persistent Identifiers for data hosted on EUDAT. This document discusses the general principles of the service.

What is B2HANDLE?

B2HANDLE is EUDAT's main Persistent Identifier (PID) service. B2HANDLE is a distributed service, designed to contribute to data persistency by maintaining opaque, globally unique PIDs. PIDs are used in EUDAT to reliably identify and cite data objects over a long period of time and it is thus a  vital part of long-term data management. Moreover, data can be directly retrieved by PIDs and corresponding key-metadata can be stored together with them in the so-called PID entry. The B2HANDLE service encompasses management of identifier namespaces (Handle prefixes), establishment of policies and business workflows, operation of Handle servers and technical services, and a user-friendly Python library for general interaction with Handle servers and EUDAT-specific extensions.

In order to access a data object stored in EUDAT, an associated PID is needed. B2HANDLE enables EUDAT services and user communities to assign PIDs to different kinds of managed objects stored in the EUDAT CDI. The underlying technology is based on the Handle System, which is a reliable, redundant and scalable system built on top of an open architecture. B2HANDLE is mostly transparent to the end-users, especially shielding them from the complexity of infrastructure details.

B2HANDLE service resolution is based on the Handle System which offers a very reliable resolution service. B2HANDLE is responsible for forwarding the user to the current location of the object. B2HANDLE is a distributed service, with the organisations hosting the service mirroring each other's Persistent Identifiers. This ensures the sustainability and reliability of PIDs in the EUDAT domain.

The B2HANDLE Python library is a client library for interaction with a Handle System server, using the native REST interface introduced in Handle System 8. The library offers methods to create, update and delete Handles as well as advanced functionality such as searching over Handles using an additional search servlet and managing multiple location entries per Handle.

In the EUDAT ecosystem, EUDAT services make use of B2HANDLE to guarantee data access, long lasting references to data and to facilitate data publishing. B2SAFE and B2SHARE use the service to create and manage PIDs for their hosted data objects, whereas B2FIND and B2STAGE use the resolving mechanism of B2HANDLE to retrieve and refer to objects.

Figure 1. Mapping of EUDAT services to the B2HANDLE functionalities that they each use.

Who benefits from B2HANDLE?

What does B2HANDLE offer?

How can I use B2HANDLE?


Support for B2HANDLE is available via the EUDAT ticketing system through the webform.

If you have comments on this page, please submit them though the EUDAT ticketing system.



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