This page would be created with a new "Guides: Portal Users Guide" template the creation of which is pending FP-752: CEP User Guide Page. It's a large task.

Portal Users Guide

Welcome to the Core Experience Portal (CEP) Users Guide!

This page details all aspects of accessing and using TACC CEP-based portals. If you are new to the portal, we recommend reading over this entire document to familiarize yourself with the features and capabilities available within the portal. If you are looking for information about a specific topic, you can use the navigation links on the left to quickly jump to that section of the page. If you are unable to find the information you need in the Help Pages available, please submit a ticket with your query.

Help Pages

return to top

This section of the portal provides documentation on portal usage and TACC resources.

Getting Started

return to top

There are several steps that need to be completed in order to fully utilize the TACC CEP portal.


There are few steps that both users and developers are required to take before they can start their work: getting accounts, setting up PIs, and requesting allocations on appropriate resources. Instructions for these processes can be found at:

Request an Account

To create a TACC user Account to access the HPCs, APIs and data-intensive resources at TACC. This can be done through TUP (the TACC User Portal) which can be accessed at:

Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)

Once the user's request for a TACC account is approved, the user must next set up MFA via the TACC User Portal using the TACC Token app. Instructions for MFA pairing can be found at:

Request allocations

Users can request allocation(s) on the system(s) most applicable to their work.

Each HPC system at TACC has unique characteristics, queue structures, and a customized technology stack. Detailed instructions describing how to use TACC systems and resources can be found in the TACC User Guides for each of the TACC systems. These guides can be found at:

User Login

return to top

Users require permission to access each individual portal. To request access users can navigate to the Getting Started section of TACC portal and follow the steps detailed here: .

On the right side of the screen there is a Log in button for the portal. Some portals enable the users to see information and/or features without the need to log in such as Public Data, Publications, Tutorials, Help, Announcements, etc. Many portals, including CEP, require users to log in with their TACC user account before using the portal.

The Log in takes the user through the Agave authentication dialogue.

Once a user is logged in, a drop-down menu topped with the user's name will be displayed on the right side of the navigation menu. When toggled, this menu exposes links to the user's dashboard, to manage the user's account, to submit a ticket for support, for portal administrators to manage user onboarding status and to log the user out.

My Account

return to top

Under this section of the portal users can manage their profile, update their personal information, change their password, request activation of licensed applications, manage tickets and integrate third-party applications.

My Tickets

return to top

This section of the portal displays a list of summary information for all the tickets a user has submitted.

In this section users can submit a new ticket from the portal.

When a user creates a new ticket, the portal makes an API call to RT on behalf of the user (using their credentials) that submits a ticket into the RT system, which then appears in the RT ticket queues under WMA Portals (with a unique identifying tag for the specific portal the ticket was submitted from). The RT system will then send the user an email notifying them of the tickets creation and the ticket will appear in the tickets area of the portal for the user to track.

My Dashboard

return to top

The dashboard provides an overview of the storage systems the user has access to. It monitors the status of data storage, the applications available, and user jobs executed. The storage system is mapped to a folder on Corral that the Portal manages on behalf of the user.

The keys tracked in the portal are the user's keys that the portal uses to interact with TACC resources the have access to.

The first time that the user logs in, the portal pushes new keys on their behalf that are then tracked. Anytime the user's key gets corrupted or compromised, they will need to be able to regenerate keys. For example - if the portal can not list the files in a user's storage system, it will notify the user there is a problem with their keys. If that occurs, the user can try the Test button to see if they are ok or if you need to regenerate them.

The current key options:

  • Test - tests the user's current keys in agave to see if they are valid.
  • Public Key - displays the user's public portal key.
  • Reset & Push Public Key - generates new portal keys (prompting the user for their password and MFA code/tacc token) then moves the newly generated keys into Agave for portal use.

Data Files

return to top

The Data Files section is a multi-purpose data repository for experiment, simulation, and analysis data. The portal uses a flexible data model applicable to diverse and large data sets that enables users to organize and personalize their data files and share them with others. Included capabilities are file uploads and downloads, searching files, and file manipulation operations (Rename, Move, Copy, Preview, Compress, Extract, Download, Move to Trash).

Data is organized into several categories:

  • My Data
    • This is the user's private data workspace, only accessible to the current authenticated user.
    • The use has ownership and read/write permissions over these files and folders.
  • My Projects
    • These are private project folders that define a restricted group of user’s within a shared workspace.
    • Any user added to a specific project can access data uploaded into that specifc project folder.
    • Projects require a PI to be assigned when they are created (the PI will administer the project folder).
    • Projects can also have Co-PIs and Collaborators added to them.
      • Co-PIs and collaborators all have the same rights within the project folder.
  • Community Data
    • This area contains data shared within the portal to all authenticated portal users.
    • All users have read-only access.
    • The portal PI will have administrative control over what data gets moved into the Community Data project.
  • Public Data
    • This area containes data that is accessible to users who are not authenticated against the portal.
    • All users have read-only access.
    • The portal PI will have administrative control over what data gets moved into the Public Data project.
  • Google Drive
    • This area contains any files stored in teh users Google Drive if they have added support for Google Drive under their user account.
    • Additional third-party technologies can be integrated into portals upon request (once deemed compatible with the portal).

The portal uses the Agave API for all TACC resource related activities, including tracking data movement and data processing and allowing specific steps to be repeated on new datasets. All operations in the Data Files interface are accomplished using Agave. The portal displays the files and folders in whatever order they are returned by Agave from the file listing query. If you want to search through files and sort/filter them, use the search view instead.

The project PI is also responsible for the portal project’s storage allocation usage.

Data Actions & UI

A variety of data operations and actions can be executed against files exposed through the portal.


This action allows a user to create or upload:

  • New Folder
  • New Project
  • File Upload
  • Folder Upload


This action enables the user to use ElasticSearch to search for a certain file or group of files and folders within the Data Files. 

For example: in My Data, search for ‘test’ and you get a list of all the files and folders that contain the text string ‘test’ somewhere in the file name or  metadata. The data stored in TACC resources is indexed periodically by the portal and the list is sorted alphabetically by default, but can be resorted by clicking on the column headers in the search view results table.


This action allows a user to select a folder or file and rename it.


This action allows a user to select a file, folder or selection of files and folders and move them to a new location within the storage locations they have access to within the portal.


This action allows a user to duplicate an existing file or folder.


This action allows a user to preview a selected file from the data listings. If the file is too big or not one of the MIME types supported by the portal preview, it will download the file for the user to view locally.


This action allows a user to download selected files from the data listings to the download folder in their local computer.

Move to Trash

This action allows a user to delete selected files from the data listings, assuming they have with the user permissions to do so.


return to top

In the Applications workspace the users can access applications and utilities to accomplish their work. In this workspace users can launch applications or workflows on the HPC (High Performance Computing) resources, using data from their storage systems found in the Data Files workspace.

Users can perform simulations and data analysis using popular tools and commercially licensed applications such as OpenSees and, MATLAB. These applications will need to be installed and configure for each portal based on their requirements and the resources allocated for use by the portal. Users can also publish their own private applications and manage them under the My Apps tab fo the workspace.

Some example applications deployed in various CEP-based portals:


  • ADCIRC (Ocean Circulation Modeling)
  • OpenFOAM (Open-source Field Operation And Manipulation)
  • OpenSees (Open System for Earthquake Engineering Simulation)
  • FastQC
  • Kallisto
  • RNA-Seq
  • Blender


  • QGIS (Quantum Geographic Information System)
  • Paraview

Data Processing

  • Jupyter Notebook
  • MATLAB 2018 (Matrix Laboratory)
  • Fiji

The CEP Portal comes with several default applications installed:

  • Jupyter Notebook
  • Compress Folder
  • Extract Compressed Folder

Compress folder and Extract compressed files (zipped files) are file utilities.

Jupyter Notebook

The Jupyter Notebook is an open-source web application that allows users to create and share documents that contain live code, equations, visualizations and narrative text. Uses include: data cleaning and transformation, numerical simulation, statistical modeling, data visualization, machine learning etc.

Additional Applications

Additional applications can be added to the portal as requested by the project. These apps have to be vetted for compatability with TACC resources, tested, then published into the Agave ecosystem before they can be expoosed in the portal UI. The TACC portals team can assist users in identifying and validating apps for use in the portal based on their requirements. To request a custom portal app, please submit a .


return to top

In this workspace users can launch an application to run a job. WHen an application is selected, an input form is displayed and the user is required to provide detailed information about the job. The information requested depends on the application being run. The user can provide data input locations, name the job, limit the job runtime, and specify the job output/archive location.

Example: Running a Compress folder job.

1. Populate the application submission form inputs.

2. Once submitted, the user will begin to recieve a series of notification detailing the current status of the job in its lifecycle.

3. The user can see detailed information about the job status, history and results under the Jobs workspace.

It is the Project PI responsibility to provide resources or links to documentation about portal specific applications for their users and guidance on how to use the project's allocated resources properly on the HPC.


return to top

Notifications Bell

On the right-hand side of the navigation menu there is a Notifications Bell that updates the user in real-time of any new job status messages.  The user can see how many unread messages they have and can click on messages listed in the modal to navigate to the details page for that job.

The user can monitor and track the status of the jobs they launched under the main Notifications workspace.

Notifications can also be filtered by their status.


return to top

This workspace enables the user to search for text anywhere in the portal as well as for a specific file or folder name in the user's accessible Data Files.

The search results are returned as a paginated table that displays the number of results found and can be sorted by clicking the column headers.

CMS Content

return to top

The first page of every portal has a static web content page that has some information about the specific portal. This page is handled by the CMS system and populated by the CMD team in conjunction with the portal PI. The content is the property of the stakeholder of each project and they get to decide what content they want to have on that page.


return to top