Release Notes DISQOVER 6.10

Release Notes DISQOVER 6.10

4 March 2021 | version 6.10

This document contains the release notes of the DISQOVER version 6.10 and instructions to upgrade. Please make sure you have read these before updating or installing this new release.

1 Introduction

The strategic vision for DISQOVER 6.10 product development relies on six pillars: Superior UI/UX, Interactive Search, Links & Visual Analytics, Highly Customizable, High-quality Public Data Integration, Data Ingestion Pipelines and Plugin Architecture.

Superior UI/UX is key to DISQOVER. We aim to provide a general purpose tool with an expert layer that is interactive, attractive and engaging. A continuously improving user interface and more intuitive data integration contribute further to a seamless user experience and a growing number of solvable use cases.

By enabling interactive search, links & visual analytics DISQOVER facilitates interactive data journeys that rely on semantic and linked data concepts while shielding the user from complexity. Views and navigational journeys are highly customizable to the end user’s expectations and use cases. With the self-service UI customization capability, users can prepare views for their peers.

We envision DISQOVER not as a standalone tool, but as one element of a customer’s solution ecosystem. The plugin architecture offers customers the possibility to extend the product by adding custom functionalities and integrating third-party tools.

To bring users a flexible integration with proprietary data, DISQOVER offers a comprehensive integrated and linked data set for high-quality public data integration. With a data ingestion pipeline, we enable self-service data ingestion with provenance attribution, a focus on advanced QC (quality control)  and the possibility of multi-tier data architecture.

New features:

  • A dashboard containing a list of results can be designated as a watched dashboard. A watched dashboard enables an update alert to notify a user via the application, an email or another communication channel when data changes occur in the dashboard. The watched dashboard displays an overview of added or removed data.
  • An event actions module offers extensive flexibility in automating workflow processes and interacting with other applications in a software ecosystem.
  • The platform management of existing features is more user friendly and includes:
  • A plugin module that provides a centralized overview used to configure and manage plugins. Pipeline and event plugins are new plugin types.
  • Single sign-on (SSO) configuration via the user interface.
  • API token management to ease the process of accessing DISQOVER in a programmatic way.
  • The carousel widget enables the user to display multiple visualizations in one dashboard area.
  • The list of instances can be docked to the right side and to the bottom of the dashboard area.


  • The instance view can be configured to display a detailed representation of the linked data and properties of single instances. This is extended with the possibility to add a predefined discovery starting from an instance. In addition, the instance view may contain charts in a way that is similar to results dashboards.
  • Programmatic interactivity has been improved in this release with a new version of the API that adheres with JSON:API standards and generates documentation via Swagger. The API allows the use of sorting, pagination and filtering parameters. The ‘fields’ parameter allows the user to define sparse fieldsets. User and group management are currently not available via API token authentication.

2 Key features

2.1 Watched dashboards and update alerts

Dashboards are highly customizable and represent the characteristics of a list of search results. The results are the product of a specific combination of search, filtering and data linking steps. The new ‘watched dashboards’ feature allows the user to activate a monitoring process that runs when data is updated and checks if the results list is influenced by the update. In the case that results are removed or added to the watched dashboard, the user receives a notification directly in DISQOVER, via email or through another customizable channel. Following the link provided in this ‘update alert’ message directs the user to an overview of the added and removed instances.

Figure 1 shows an example of an active watched dashboard. The dashboard displays a list of recruiting clinical studies that contain the search term ‘Psoriasis’. In addition, a fixed interval is set for the start date of a study and the user will receive an email when new studies are added or removed. Additions can occur when the status of a study is changed, for example, from ‘Not recruiting yet’ to ‘Recruiting’. Clinical studies drop from the list when the recruitment phase comes to an end.

An active watched dashboard.

Figure1: An active watched dashboard.

2.2   Event actions

DISQOVER is all about the automation of data processing. A number of automation capabilities were already available in previous versions of DISQOVER. ‘Event actions’ is a new feature that unifies and standardizes the management of event-triggering actions via a specific module in the admin console. This dedicated module simplifies the configuration and management of automation tasks.

Watched dashboards and update alerts are two new features that rely on this module. Data ingestion engine workflow management is more straightforward in this release and unlocks easy-to-configure event scheduling in data processing pipelines, including:

  • starting a pipeline when a data source is updated;
  • sending a Slack message or email when a pipeline run fails;
  • running a plugin after a successful pipeline run;
  • sending a message and taking appropriate actions when system performance thresholds are reached.

2.3 Widget carousel

Adding more widgets to a dashboard can make it crowded and too large to fit on a screen. The ‘widget carousel’ feature allows the user to keep dashboards compact and to avoid extensive scrolling by grouping widgets together in a carousel (see Fig 2).

Widget carousel containing three visualizations: A world map, a time line and a pie chart.

Figure2: Widget carousel containing three visualizations: A world map, a timeline and a pie chart.

2.4    Plugin and SSO management

DISQOVER is capable of interacting with different plugin types. Two new plugin types have been added, and plugin management is now centralized via a dedicated module found in the admin console.

  • Pipeline plugins can be added to a data ingestion engine pipeline to allow the user to process data in batch, run advanced transformations or calculations via python scripts or perform natural language processing (NLP).
  • Event plugins are specialized scripts that are scheduled or triggered to run in response to an event such as a data source update.

These new plugin types complement the platform’s existing search plugin capabilities. The user can perform integrated non-text-based searching and use the instance linkout plugin feature, which enables the user to send data about DISQOVER search results to a downstream service or application such as an advanced genomics analysis platform.

The SSO management panel makes single sign-on configuration much easier and is part of our continuous effort to improve the management of DISQOVER in an enterprise environment (see Fig 3).

SSO configuration panel in the admin console

Figure3: SSO configuration panel in the admin console

3 Upgrade instructions

DISQOVER version 5.10.x or lower should be first upgraded to version 5.20.x. Upgrading version 5.20.x to version 6.10.x can be achieved by updating the disqover-installer package through yum or apt, and running the disqover-update command. DISQOVER deployments configured with an external PostgreSQL host or with custom Docker containers are required to follow additional guidelines. After upgrading from version 6.00.x, it is required to check the file custom.env, present in the home directory of the disqover user. Any line containing ‘FRONTEND_PORT_EXT’ should be removed from the file as of version 6.10.x.

More details are available in Chapter 3 of the DISQOVER 6.10 System Administrator Manual or via support at


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