Gateway releases

The Innovation Gateway requires a significant volume of design and development work to deliver our vision and ambition. To achieve this our teams are continually working on the Gateway delivering major software releases approximately every 4 weeks.

On this page we explain what new developments we are currently working on and list the major releases made since Milestone 2 started in November 2020. Clicking on an entry provides further detail about the functionality that the particular release contained.

Active development activities

We are actively working on the following features which, once ready, will be made available across one or more releases and reported in the release notes below.

(Listed in alphabetical order)

  • Advanced dataset discovery filtering: Enabling you to filter your search results during dataset discovery using a broader set of metadata, we are completely reengineering both the look and feel of the filters and the way in which they work to create a much more compelling experience for you.
  • Cohort Discovery: An innovative and exciting new Gateway feature, Cohort Discovery will allow you to search across many datasets to find those that include groups, or cohorts, of patients with specific characteristics that you require to support your research.
  • Data custodian onboarding to 5 safes forms: We continue to work with data custodians to adopt the more advanced 5 safes data access request (DAR) forms, providing the enhanced DAR functionality and user experience that they offer across an increasing number of datasets.
  • Federated Identity Brokerage: Integrating with other trusted identify providers to provide you with an easier authentication/login experience.
  • 5 safes Data Access Request improvements (researcher): Enabling you to delete pre-submission DARs; Validating your DAR and asking you for confirmation before it is submitted; Enabling you to copy the answers to the questions in an existing DAR form into a new form to request datasets from a different custodian (cloning).
  • 5 safes Data Access Request improvements (custodian): Sending pre-submission messages from researchers to team generic inboxes.
  • Homepage and site navigation redesign: Complete overhaul of the Gateway homepage, site navigation and content in response to your feedback (researchers, data custodians and the public).
  • Metadata onboarding: Building our own metadata catalogue to provide greater flexibility and functionality and to allow data custodians to list their resources directly on the Gateway avoiding the need to use a third party.
  • Search within collections: Enabling you to search within collections in addition to the Gateway's existing search functionality.
09 March '21 release - Delete documents uploaded to a pre-submission DAR and export DAR form to email; Improvements to Gateway Collections and APIs

Our March 2021 release continued to add further functionality to the 5 Safes Data Access Request forms, greater flexibility to Gateway collections and enhancements to the Gateway APIs.

Data Access Requests: For a data access request you have yet to submit (pre-submission DAR), you can export the questions and any answers you have completed into an email to share or print. You can also now delete any documents you've uploaded to a pre-submission DAR. Finally, we have added a scan indicator to let you know when documents you've uploaded are being checked for viruses.

Collections: You can now make your own Collections public for other Gateway users to see. At the same time we have also improved the look-and-feel of the collection cards and the keyword functionality making it easier for all users to discover and explore collections on the Gateway.

Searchable collections: When you run a search this now includes the Collections published on the website ensuring any Gateway resources that are relevant to your search are returned.

Gateway APIs: We have added further functionality to the Gateway's APIs making it easier for Custodian's access management systems to interoperate with the Gateway.

Performance and stability improvements

We have made the following performance and stability improvements as part of this release. These may not be obvious to all users.

  • Notifying you at login about about new mandatory user profile fields
  • Display of linked gateway resources has been improved to ensure they are listed for both linked resources.
  • Website improvements for mobile/tablet users.
09 Feb '21 release - ISARIC onboarded to 5 Safes form; Data access request form enhancements and new question counter; Improvements to Papers and Collections.

Our February 2021 release focused on adding further functionality to the 5 Safes Data Access Request forms, onboarding a new data custodian to using the form and improvements to papers and collections.

Data Access Requests: As you complete a data access request an application question counter will now show how far you are through the questions for each section. The forms have also been extended so you can now add multiple people, organisations, and funders to a data access request. And finally, you can no longer submit a data access request for an old version of a dataset.

ISARIC now using 5 Safes forms: ISARIC are now using the enhanced 5 Safes data access forms for the data sets they have listed on the Gateway.

Papers: You are now able record multiple Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs), URLs or PDF links for each paper you add to the Gateway.

Collections: We have improved the layouts to collections and made featured collections more prominent to make them easier to identify.

Performance and stability improvements

We have made the following performance and stability improvements as part of this release. These may not be obvious to all users.

  • Where a request results in a large number of results we have now split these over multiple pages to keep page loading times to a minimum.
  • Duplicating abstract for Papers has been removed.
  • Website improvements for mobile/tablet users.
  • Accessibility improvements.
  • Ensuring IE/Safari support for user registration
27 Jan '21 release - Performance and stability improvements

We have made the following performance and stability improvements as part of this release. These may not be obvious to all users.

  • Fixing an issue with the website menu when viewed on a mobile/tablet device.
  • Fixing an issue where the same dataset appears multiple times in a collection.
  • Fixing an issue so that datasets added as a related resource are maintained if/when a dataset is updated.
11 Jan '21 release - Improved site and Collection navigation; Data Access Request validation; User feedback buttons

Following a slightly longer sprint due to Christmas and New Year, our January 2021 release focused on adding further functionality to the 5 Safes Data Access Request forms along with some additional improvements in response to your feedback.

Faster results filtering by custodian: You can now quickly filter your dataset search results for a single custodian by clicking on the custodian's name within the search results which is beneath the dataset name.

User feedback buttons: We encourage user feedback and you can now reports bugs and suggest feedback from the footer of every page within the Gateway.

Data access requests: Where you don't complete an answer to a question, these are now highlighted to you making it easier to ensure you complete your access requests correctly.

Collection navigation improvements: We have removed the All tab from collections making it easier for you to find the resources that you need within each collection.

Performance and stability improvements

We have made the following performance and stability improvements as part of this release. These may not be obvious to all users.

  • Ensuring IE/Safari support for user registration.
  • Migrating 190 Courses to support the new courses entity.
14 Jan '21 release - Performance and stability improvements

We have made the following performance and stability improvements as part of this release. These may not be obvious to all users.

  • Support for IE user registration.
  • Fixing a small number of redirect links.
17 Dec '20 release - Performance and stability improvements

We have made the following performance and stability improvements as part of this release. These may not be obvious to all users.

  • Update to metadata quality to use weighted scoring.
07 Dec '20 release - Performance and stability improvements

We have made the following performance and stability improvements as part of this release. These may not be obvious to all users.

  • Improvements to metadata catalogue caching performance and stability.
  • Fixed multiple minor issues with 5 safes data access request forms.
  • Fixed issue with National Core Studies data access request schema.
30 Nov '20 release - National Core Studies and Early adopters using 5 Safes DAR forms; Persistent dataset IDs; Dataset schema v2 upgrade

Our November 2020 release - the first of Milestone 2 - focused on adding further functionality to the 5Safes data access request forms, onboarding a number of custodians to use the new form along with a number of other improvements in response to your feedback.

National Core Studies & Early Adopters* now using 5 Safes forms: NCS's and Early Adopter organisations are now using the enhanced 5 Safes data access forms for the data sets they have listed on the Gateway.

Persistent dataset IDs: Datasets within the Gateway now have persistent IDs rather than the ID changing with each new version of the same dataset as provided by the metadata catalogue supplier. This will make it much easier for you to reference datasets in your resources helping to avoid using links that are out of date.

Dataset v2 updates: Dataset metadata has been transitioned to the new, more advanced, version 2 schema. This provides the foundation for you to undertake more advanced searches and results filtering in the future.


* National Core Studies & Early Adopters are: NHS Digital; Office for National Statistics; NHS Scotland; SAIL Databank; NI Honest Broker Service; INSIGHT HDR UK Hub.