SMIS Web Client - General Help Page

This help page gives you a general overview of the ESRF User Portal's (SMIS) functionality. The web client has a main menu bar on top of the window. Selecting one menu item will pop-up all sub-menus in the left hand side of the window. On the same side but on the bottom of the screen you will find some permanent links which give you access to general functionality (e.g. this help page).

Some general hints:

For more specific help select your area of interest below:


Creation and Management of User Accounts

Creation of your ESRF User Portal (SMIS) Account

From the main menu Accounts, select the sub menu Create.
You can also select the Create my ESRF User Portal (SMIS) account task in the login window.

When filling your data, please be sure you have filled all red bordered boxes in both Personal and Professional data parts

Once your data filled, do not forget to Click on the "Validate" button

Modification of your ESRF User Portal (SMIS) Account

From the main menu Accounts, select the sub menu Manage.

Once your changes have been made, do not forget to Click on the "Validate" button


Submitting AForms

From the main menu Experiments, select the sub menu A Forms.

This new interface of the electronic A Form enables the main proposer of an experiment to provide the administrative and scientific ESRF Staff with the information necessary to prepare efficiently the visit of the experimental team, as well as the experimental session. The information provided concerns not only the users and their requirements, but also the sample(s) to be studied and the sample(s) environment.

THIS PROCEDURE OF COMPLETION / SUBMISSION TAKES INTO ACCOUNT ADMINISTRATIVE AND NEW SECURITY REQUIREMENTS.....

From now on, information such as "Personal Data", "Personal Address" and "Bank Details" MUST be registered ELECTRONICALLY BY EACH USER, by UPDATING his/her "USER ACCOUNT", using the user account facility of this ESRF User Portal (SMIS) interface : "Account" tab.

Thanks to this electronic registration, THE USERS MUST REGISTER THEIR  PERSONAL DATA, PERSONAL ADDRESS and BANK DETAILS ONLY ONCE, and update it when necessary, instead of having to complete and fax the previous "User Form" and "Personal Data Form" for each session.

Please have a look at the User Guide pages on our web site :


Submitting Experiment reports

Note that only PDF files are accepted.

(a "BAG" report has to do with "BAG" proposals. It is a specific form to fill, not a file to upload)


Scheduling of Experiments

IMPORTANT: The scheduling through the ESRF User Portal (SMIS) should NOT be used for MX beamlines!
The MX beamlines currently use a sophisticated excel sheet to set-up their schedule. Since this sheet is still more convenient and powerfull than the ESRF User Portal (SMIS), it is not helpful to use the client. However, it can be used and will work correctly. The excel sheet functionality will be integrated step-by-step into the ESRF User Portal (SMIS) so that it will replace the sheet in future.

Demos and Tutorials

Please have a look at the following flash demos to get an overview of the scheduling functionality and workflow:

Important Remark for the User and CRG Office

The following lists (ESPAS) are important for the scheduling:

Accessing a schedule

From the main menu Experiments, select the sub menu Manage Schedule. You will have access to different features depending on your role:

Scheduling Workflow

The following workflow is recommended to you, if you are responsible for the schedule of experiments on your beamline:

  1. Select the beamline and the run for your schedule
  2. Navigate to the week you are interested in.
  3. Select the start shift in the schedule to add an experiment or placeholder.
  4. Select the experiment or placeholder.
  5. Enter the details for the session (shifts, local contacts...) and save.
  6. If needed add comments to the experiment session you entered.
  7. Repeat steps 2 to 6 for all your experiments / placeholders.
  8. Add operation shift comments to your schedule (of course you can do this first or alternating with the experiment sessions if more appropriate).
  9. Once you finished the schedule for the run, generate the run's schedule as pdf document and send it to all people involved so they can approve it.
  10. Finalize your schedule.
    IMPORTANT: If a run is not finalized some days before the run start (currently 4 days), it will be finalized automatically by the software.
  11. If necessary later on, modify a session (change dates, cancel it or modify the local contacts). This will create notification e-mail to the user office and local contact.

User / CRG / BDO Office Workflow

The following workflow is recommended to you, if you belong to the administrative staff (user / CRG / BDO office):

  1. Enable schedulers to access their beamlines in the scheduling applications (either by putting them in the beamline responsible list or in the scheduling list for the beamline).
  2. Once you get the finalization mail for a run and a beamline, generate the pdf document for the run's schedule.
    IMPORTANT: If a run is not finalized some days before the run start (currently 4 days), it will be finalized automatically by the software and you will be notified by e-mail.
  3. Use the pdf schedule to iterate over all experiments in ESPAS to send out the invitation letters.
  4. If necessary modify a finalized schedule (change dates, cancel it or modify the local contacts). You can do this either in the scheduling application or in ESPAS. But please note that only the scheduling application will send out the automatic notification mails to the schedulers and local contacts.
  5. If you are in doubt about a run being finalized use the Show Finalized Runs sub-menu to see the runs' states.

Understanding a schedule

The following image shows the main scheduling screen. Its elements are explained below.

  1. The week is displayed and next to it two arrows to move to the next or the previous week. The small pdf icon allows you to generate the week's schedule in pdf form (e.g. for printing).
    Beneath you will find links to select the year, the run and the week in the run.
  2. The selected run is displayed. Next to it you find another pdf icon which generates the run's schedule in pdf form (e.g. for printing).
    Beneath you can cutomize you schedule to display also cancelled experiments and inhouse research or beamline commissioning.
    IHR and BLC safety approval forms will only be displayed you can neither create or modify them. You still need to pass by the beamline scientist application to submit them.
  3. You can select the beamline to be displayed here. All beamlines that are titled others can only be accessed in readonly mode. I.e. you cannot modify the schedule on these beamlines.
  4. The beamline name is displayed. On the left hand side you find a small red cross which removes the beamline from the schedule (e.g. if you display several beamlines at the same time). On the right hand side the run's status is displayed. A run can be NOT finalized (red link) or finalized (green link). A run needs to be finalized to inform the user office so they can send out the invitation letters to the users for the run. Every modification of the schedule of a finalized run will trigger automatic e-mail messages to the user (or crg, or icu) office and the local contact .
  5. The schedule contains the seven days of a week and three shifts per day. Each cell with a white background represents one of the shifts. On top of each cell you will find the machine operation mode. Each mode has a different color (which can be quite horrible ;-). On the left hand side of the machine operation mode a small plus can be used to add experiment sessions starting at this shift or to add placeholders.
    The experiment sessions shown in the cell can be selected by clicking on the experiment reference.
  6. The small arrow below each experiment session can be used to add comments to the session. These comments move with the experiment session if you change the start date of the experiment session.
    Please use this feature to specify the name of the local contacts when different scientists will be local contact on different days. This will enable the user / CRG /BDO office to inform properly the users.
  7. The small below each shift can be used to add comments to a shift. These comments are fixed to the date and the shift. So they don't move with the experiment sessions. They are useful if you want to mark an import event like beamline not available due to construction work.
  8. All shifts which have an operation mode that does not deliver beam to the users (e.g. MDT days, radiation test, pss test, machine startup ...) are marked by the No Beam watermark and the experiment shifts will be grayed out. The shifts will be counted as lost shifts (think of them as unavailable shifts) for the experiment. Additionally the machine operation mode's colors on top of the cell will be inversed.
  9. Beamline commissioning and inhouse research experiments are shown in the schedule once they have been submitted by the beamline scientists application. But they can neither be modified nor removed. You have to use the beamline scientist application to modify them.
    In general while setting up your schedule you will add placeholders for IHR and BLC. Those are just a marker that you plan to submit the IHR / BLC later on.
  10. Once invitation letters have been sent out by the user office the experiment session will change its color:
    turquoise means that the invitation letter has been sent; magenta means that the invitation letter must be re-sent since the session has been modified
  11. On the bottom of the schedule you can add another beamline to the screen to show two or more schedules in parallel.
    And you can directly jump to a week in the schedule by selecting a day (either through the calendar widget or by typing in the date in the following format: dd/mm/yyyy).

Displaying and Modifying Experiment Sessions

When selecting an existing experiment session for viewing, modification or removal or when adding a new experiment session you will see the following screen:

The different elements are explained below:

  1. The proposal reference is displayed In the upper left corner. A pdf icon next to it gives access to the proposals pdf document. The small event icongives access to the A form for the experiment session (if it already exists).
  2. You can enter the start date and time of the experiment session. In general the start date and time will be automatically filled when you add an experiment session based on the selected shifts in the schedule. Please use the calendar widget to enter the date or type it manually using the following format: dd/mm/yyyy. If you want to re-calculate the start date and time depending on the end date and the shifts (e.g. after having made a modification to the number of shifts) please click on the refresh icon .
  3. You can enter the end date and time of the experiment session. In general this will not be necessary since you will specify the start date and time and the number of shifts, so the end date and time will be calculated automatically. But if you need to change the end date, please use the calendar widget or type it manually using the following format: dd/mm/yyyy. If you want to re-calculate the end date and time depending on the start date and the shifts (e.g. after having made a modification to the number of shifts) please click on the refresh icon .
  4. The shifts and lost shifts will in general be automatically filled in if you select an experiment from the list of experiments for the round to schedule (see next image). You can always change them manually. If you would like to re-calculate the shifts and / or lost shifts use the refresh icon . All machine operation modes that do not deliver beam (MDT, radiation test, pss test, machine startup, shutdown) are considered as lost shifts. The allocated shifts are the shifts that have been allocated to the proposal when it has been accepted. They are entered by the user office and can only be modified by the user office. The last field shows you all the shifts that you have already scheduled for this experiment in the current round. This can be useful if you need to split up an experiment into several sessions.
  5. One or several local contacts can be selected for an experiment session. You can either select the local contact by his/her name from the complete ESRF User Portal (SMIS) database or you can select him/her from the beamline staff list (defined by the beamline responsible in the beamline scientist application). The small red cross after each local contact enables you to remove him/her.
    You cannot assign different local contacts to different days of the experiment session. Just specify all of them for the whole session and choose the correct local contact days later on after the experiment session during the local contact reporting.
    But you should specify the local contact names per day as session comments to the schedule. This will enable the the user / CRG / BDO office to inform correctly the users..
  6. The user office compiles your comments to an experiment session (see further down) to one single comment that is included in the invitation letters. You can see this comment here but it can only be modified by the user office.
  7. If the run's schedule is not yet finalized you can either remove the experiment session, save the modifications, complete all empty fields (start/end date and shifts) or just close the dialog without saving anything. Neither action will trigger a notification.
    BUT if the run's schedule is finalized (as on the picture) and you cancel the experiment session (removal is not possible anymore) or save its modifications and automatic e-mail message will be sent to the user office (or CRG, or ICU) and local contact . Additionally all changes are traced and can be displayed under a history link in the experiment session screen.

Adding Experiment Sessions and Placeholders

When adding an experiment session or a placeholder to the schedule you will see the following dialog:

The different elements are explained below:

  1. In general the round selected on top of the dialog corresponds to the current. The accepted proposals that have to be scheduled in the current round on the chosen beamline are shown in the experiment with beamtime list below. Each experiment is shown with the proposal reference and the main proposer's name followed by two numbers: the first one indicates the shifts already scheduled for the proposal and the round, and the second one shows the allocated shifts, i.e. the shifts that have been given to the proposal when it has been accepted (which should in general be the shifts that have to be scheduled). The session dialog which pops-up once you select an experiment will be automatically filled with the number of shifts that are still missing in the schedule.
    In most cases you will select your experiments from this list. If you need to select an experiment that has been accepted for an older round, just change the round in the first select box, which will change the contents of the experiments list.
  2. You can choose placeholders instead of experiments for inhouse research, beamline commissioning, industrial experiments or training sessions. In general inhouse research, beamline commissioning and industrial experiments are submitted just before the experiment which is after the finalization of your schedule. By setting a placeholder you will not forget that you have reserved these shifts.
  3. You can also search for an experiment by the main proposer's name. If the name is not unique you will be able to choose from a list.
  4. If you know the reference of a proposal for your experiment (category and number) you can directly search for it.

Adding Comments to Experiment Sessions

You can add as many comments as you want to an experiment session and each comment can belong to one or several shifts of the session. When the start date of the experiment session changes the comments will move together with the dates of the session. When adding comments you will see the following dialog:

The different elements are explained below:

  1. Specify the comment text. A comment that might appear quite often is Set-up
  2. Select all shifts of the experiment session which should show the comment. For Set-up you will probably select the first shifts of your experiment.

Adding Comments to Operation Shifts

You can also add comments directly to shifts. Those comments stick to the date and time they have been selected for. When you add such a comment the following dialog will pop-up:

The different elements are explained below:

  1. Specify the comment text. A comment that might appear is Hutch unavailable due to ...
  2. Select all shifts of the current month which should show the comment.

Finalize a Run's Schedule

Once a schedule is complete for a run on a beamline you need to finalize it. Once a schedule is finalized you can always re-finalize it to send a new notification message (including your comment) to the user office. While finalizing the schedule the following dialog will pop-up:

The different elements are explained below:

  1. You can specify a comment if necessary (e.g. if parts of the scheduled could not be finished yet).
  2. You select finalize which will send a notification message to the user / CRG / BDO office including your comment.

Displaying Schedule Status for Runs

Under the main menu Experiments and the sub-menu Show Finalized Runs you are able to see all runs on your beamlines for a chosen year and their status (if they have been finalized or not). You will see the following screen:

The different elements are explained below:

  1. You can select the year.
  2. Each run for each of your beamlines is either finalized (FINAL) or not finalized (INVALID) .