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OpenClinica Participate

ccollinsccollins Posts: 383 admin
edited August 2015 in Announcements & Updates
Hi Folks,

Check out the blog for a preview of OpenClinica Participate:

I look forward to your feedback!


Post edited by rpetrusevschi on


  • lindsay.stevenslindsay.stevens Posts: 404 ✭✭✭
    via Email
    Great to see you guys are getting there with this project.

    What is the general process for setup going to be like? E.g. is it as
    simple as

    1. Install / configure enketo-express
    2. Make an OpenClinica CRF
    2. Start collecting data into the OC CRF from enketo / odk collect?

    Once setup is done, is everything encapsulated on the OpenClinica /
    enketo-express install, or is there any communication with other services?

    In the past year we've been using odk collect for offline data capture, so
    I can see this fitting in well and making the data import process mostly
  • ccollinsccollins Posts: 383 admin
    via Email
    Hi Lindsay,

    Yes, that's pretty close. Participate will interface with an OpenClinica
    instance via a web service API and be activated through a configuration
    workflow on the 'Edit Study' screen [1].

    If you want to run your own version of enketo-express [2], you'll be able
    to connect an instance of OpenClinica using the OpenRosa API [3,4], which
    should also work with other OpenRosa clients like ODK Collect as well. I'll
    be publishing another blog post with more technical/architectural detail


    [1] - https://jira.openclinica.com/browse/OC-5741
    [2] - https://github.com/OpenClinica/enketo-express-oc
    [3] - https://jira.openclinica.com/browse/OC-6091
    [4] - https://bitbucket.org/javarosa/javarosa/wiki/OpenRosaAPI
  • GerbenRienkGerbenRienk Posts: 838 ✭✭✭
    Very exciting stuff! I can't wait to see the next blog-post.
  • ccollinsccollins Posts: 383 admin
    Hi All,

    We've put up another blog post describing the OpenClinica / Enketo integration:

    and a very basic 'getting started' guide as well:

  • toskriptoskrip Posts: 279 ✭✭✭

    so I finally got some more time to play with new version of OpenClinica (as we are planning to upgrade our production servers to 3.6). And I am experimenting OpenClinica/ Enketo integration. Not sure if somebody form community was already testing it. I just want to describe where I got so far. Following Cals post (above) :
    [Environment: JDK7, Tomcat7]
    - clone the enketo-express-oc, and follow the install documentation to deploy the web app
    - clone the most recent OC from github and build the war deployable and deploy the web app
    - in openclinica.config/datainfo.properties add new property portalURL pointing to URI of deployed enketo-express-oc
    - now in build study module I see "Modules" table where it is possible to add participate study URL

    and there I hit a wall right now... (log from enketo)

    GET //app/permit/studys/name?hostName=default-study 404 826 - 30.190 ms
    OC contact enketo to register the new study (404 - looks like page not found)

    GET //app/rest/oc/authorizations?studyoid=S_DEFAULTS1&instanceurl=http://myserver:8080/OpenClinica/rest2/openrosa/S_DEFAULTS1 404 826 - 25.394 ms
    OC try to authorise the request (404 - again looks like page not found)

    I am missing a little bit more tech info about the authentication between OC and enketo. E.g. Enketo uses api keys to authorise its web services. It is necessary to setup this keys in OC? Do you use authentication managed by enketo or external login url? Any feedback which can point me to good direction is welcome.


  • ccollinsccollins Posts: 383 admin
    Hi @toskrip

    Check out this thread: http://forums.openclinica.com/discussion/comment/17130 and the ticket https://jira.openclinica.com/browse/OC-6091.

    Good question about the API key. Steve or Krikor will reply shortly. We'll keep the conversation on the other thread so follow that one.

  • kristiakkristiak Posts: 1,338 ✭✭✭
    Hi Cal,
    As you know, I'm not an expert in the IT field, just an old lazy Clinical Pharmacologist who hates to do things myself that a computer can do better. If you could explain to me in very simple common terms why we could test Participate successfully back in April and now it seems to very complicated :) Was it because we used TEXTNOW or have I missed something in this lengthy technical conversation?
  • toskriptoskrip Posts: 279 ✭✭✭
    Thanks Cal... I have somehow missed the discussion in the other thread, this is exactly what I was looking for. I will continue there.
  • ccollinsccollins Posts: 383 admin
    Hi Krister,

    It's because we're talking about two different things. OC Participate is a SaaS-based product; this conversation is about getting the open source parts of it (mostly, the enketo form engine) working with the stand-alone OpenClinica code base.

    1) OC Participate is a SaaS (software-as-a-service) based product so it's built, designed, and tested to run in a purpose-built hosted environment. Krister you and I tested OpenClinica Participate back in April and it's even easier now than it was then to activate it and set up a study within the OpenClinica Optimized Cloud. This SaaS model offers big advantages, simplifying how a team like ours does development (thus speeding up delivery of improvements), increasing reliability and security, and as a user, you just go to a URL and everything you need is there. There's plenty of literature on the web describing why this is true (and, admittedly, some hype too :neutral: ). I recognize it's not a panacea for all - scenarios like yours where funders or country-specific regulations require specific types of on-premise IT architectures are a challenge.

    (BTW, OC Participate now has support for SMS in Scandinavian countries, as well as email-based messaging, so you don't need Textnow to 'fake' a US mobile number anymore)

    2) This conversation and other recent ones have been about getting the enketo form engine working with the main OpenClinica code base - for those of you who want to develop, extend, use, or just try it in a local install. There seems to be a high level of interest in doing that, which is great. We want to work with other developers the community to a) get it working, and b) eventually make it super easy & turnkey to set up. Doing this is technically a very different task than getting the modules connected in a SaaS environment that we've designed specifically to that purpose. We're not there yet but this thread is certainly helping it progress.

    Open source is about multiple parties with shared interests collaborating to build great software. That's why the OpenClinica project was born and why OpenClinica LLC does it - because we're convinced it offers the means to build great software that solves important problems. Sure, we get some name recognition and product distribution benefit from people using Community Edition on their own, but that alone doesn't compensate for the revenue we lose by giving our core technology away for free. We need you working alongside us to make the platform better, and hopefully enough people have the motivation and incentives to do so for it to lead to something worthwhile.

    By nature, this means sometimes having lengthy, opaque, & messy technical discussions out in the open. It's part of how the sausage gets made. At some point we should think about separating these 'developer' discussions from more general talk, like they used to be on the old mailing list, to minimize confusion.

    We've had a great community for a long time now; we're working now to revamp the existing code and functionality to make it more friendly and inviting to developers (as well as better and more powerful for users :smile: ). Hopefully as the code becomes more modular and customizable we'll have more contributors; and that we can get to a point where we have many groups writing modules (both open source and proprietary) on top of a powerful, 100% open source 'toolkit', have a variety of hosting and deployment options (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenSaaS), and be inviting the top contributors to participate in a shared governance model for the core code.

    Every release the number/impact/quality of pull requests [https://github.com/OpenClinica/OpenClinica/pulls?utf8=✓&q=is:pr+] from community members is going up. I think we're headed in the right direction.


  • kristiakkristiak Posts: 1,338 ✭✭✭
    via Email
    Thanks Cal for the detailed explanation. It is certainly good news to here that t now works with our SMS and mailsystems.

    I completely agree that the OpenClinica is a great venture and I have certainly learnt a lot from participating in the user forum and being part of the enthusiasm shown by the participants. I enjoy it immensely and learn something new every day. The social value of yours and your team should not be underestimated, It feels that you personally know the various users around the world.

    Again, congratulations to you and your team to a fantastic product helping researchers around the world in their continuous struggle against disease. You should be very proud!


This discussion has been closed.