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In order to access a data object stored in EUDAT, an associated PID is needed. B2HANDLE enables EUDAT services and user communities to assign PIDs to different kinds of managed objects stored in the EUDAT CDI.
PIDs are used in EUDAT to reliably identify and cite data objects over a long period of time and it is thus a vital part of long-term data management. Moreover, data can be directly retrieved by PIDs and corresponding key-metadata can be stored together with them in the so-called PID entry.
The B2HANDLE service encompasses management of identifier namespaces (Handle prefixes), establishment of policies and business workflows, operation of Handle servers and technical services, and a user-friendly Python library for general interaction with Handle servers and EUDAT-specific extensions.
The underlying technology of B2HANDLE is based on the Handle System, which is a reliable, redundant and scalable system built on top of an open architecture. B2HANDLE is mostly transparent to the end-users, especially shielding them from the complexity of infrastructure details.
B2HANDLE is a distributed service, with the organisations hosting the service mirroring each other's Persistent Identifiers. This ensures the sustainability and reliability of PIDs in the EUDAT domain.
In the EUDAT ecosystem, EUDAT services make use of B2HANDLE to guarantee data access, long lasting references to data and to facilitate data publishing. B2SAFE and B2SHARE use the service to create and manage PIDs for their hosted data objects, whereas B2FIND and B2STAGE use the resolving mechanism of B2HANDLE to retrieve and refer to objects.