We are pleased that we regularly receive questions about LinkAhead, IndiScale and CaosDB. Here we have collected and answered those that have been raised more frequently. If you have any other question or query, please feel free to contact us.

What is the difference between CaosDB and LinkAhead?

Let’s imagine a matryoshka doll, where you can nest the individual pieces into one another. In this image LinkAhead would be the outer doll, which includes all necessary parts at the inside. Vice versa the CaosDB source code would be the smallest internal doll, which can be dismantled no further.

The open source project CaosDB forms the basis of the whole software package, including the Java server, MySQL database configuration and the web interface. These basic components must be set up from the source code by an administrator and the result is known as “CaosDB”, a running application with working database and server. The third layer is formed by a Docker image, a container surrounding CaosDB which additionally includes all necessary system libraries and further utilities. The fourth layer in turn consists of the Docker image plus startup scripts, and tools for configuration, automation and backup.

To summarize in a few words, LinkAhead is a ready-to-use CaosDB distribution. The advantage over the plain CaosDB source code is that with LinkAhead you get an executable software package, which is ready-to-use and with smooth upgrade paths.

You can find more information about the advantages of LinkAhead here.

The matryoshka dolls illustrate the structure of LinkAhead

What programming skills do I need to use LinkAhead?

Good news: To use LinkAhead you don’t need any programming skills at all! Why don’t you give it a try and explore it for yourself with our interactive tour? And to install LinkAhead fortunately you only need very basic server administration skills, and if you have any questions, our support is there to help you.

Why do I have to pay for LinkAhead?

LinkAhead is more than just another copy of CaosDB. While it is possible for everyone to obtain the CaosDB source code and run a server, this requires compiling an executable from the source code, configuring a database, setting up system services, … In other words, a lot of specific expertise and time.

Our LinkAhead subscription is so popular because we do this work for you. LinkAhead gives you a ready-to-use data management toolkit, which can be customize to your special needs. With the LinkAhead subscription you can rely on releases that were extensively tested by IndiScale. Furthermore, the subscription makes regular updates smooth, backups easy and it works conveniently on most Linux machines.

LinkAhead is structured according to this scheme

What happens if I am no longer interested in a LinkAhead subscription?

It is very important for us to emphasize that you are not bound to us with the subscription. If you cancel the subscription, you will no longer receive ready-to-use software updates from IndiScale. Thus, without the subscription you will need to download the sources (https://gitlab.com/caosdb) of new software versions to build the executables for yourself. This process should be done by an experienced linux administrator and is described in detail in the documentation that comes with the source code.

“Is there also an open source variant of LinkAhead?”

LinkAhead is already fully open source and distributed under the terms of the AGPLv3 license.

“Can I modify LinkAhead by myself?”

If you have a version of LinkAhead you automatically get permission to modify the source code.

“What means open source?”

Free and Open-Source Software FOSS in short means that you are free to use, examine, copy and change it. The source code is openly accessible, so that everyone has the opportunity to participate in the development and design of the code. Another advantage of open source is that your security is increased and your privacy is protected. Because only a code that is freely accessible makes it possible to see whether, for example, a hidden backdoor has been installed (e.g. “Nobody-but-us-Backdoor”).

Do you offer LinkAhead as a cloud service?

LinkAhead as a cloud service would be possible, but it is not necessary. We recommend to run LinkAhead at your own location or service provider (on-premises installation). This way, you have a full control over your and your customers’ data, for a maximum of data protection and transparency.

Which paid service models does IndiScale offer?

There are five fundamental service areas:

  1. Development: We look forward to catering to your needs, when it comes to new features for LinkAhead. As specialists in professional semantic data management, we are your one-stop address for new tools, back ends, utilities or enhancements to LinkAhead’s core. This could be any imaginable feature, such as a specific interface to an instrument or extended API functionality.
  2. Subscription: As mentioned above, with the subscription you benefit from regular software updates which are extensively tested by IndiScale. LinkAhead subscriptions reduce your workload, improve your system reliability and let you focus on your core business.
  3. Training: Get started and learn how to make the most out of LinkAhead in one-day-workshops. You and your whole team will get to know all possibilities to work with LinkAhead. In hands-on lessons, one of our experts will guide you step by step through the use cases which are most relevant to you, at your choice with your own data or with sample data provided by IndiScale.
  4. Support: Of course we also offer general support and are available to answer any questions that might arise.
  5. Maintenance: With our maintenance service contract, we take care of your server and security updates, we do regular backups and we ensure that you receive the latest LinkAhead updates. And we provide fault rectification, if your LinkAhead instance does not work as desired.

Learn more about our services on our services page.

Any open questions?

Do you have any further questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact us!