The ELIXIR Beacon Roadmap delineates short-, mid- and long-term objectives, to expand functional scope and reach of Beacon as a protocol and genomic data ecosystem.

[R<~>M] Wildcard Range Matches (proposed)

Instead of querying for a specific genomic variant (e.g. an A instead of a G at position 7577121 on chromosome 17), Beacons could also employ a “range match” concept, in which all or type specific variants mapping to a genomic interval are being identified.

mbaudis, 2018-11-16: more ...

Beacon Flavours

Beacons may be able to increase their functionality through the development of distinct flavours, which can extend the core Beacon concept for specific use cases.

mbaudis, 2018-10-24: more ...

[H—>O] Beacon Handover for Data Delivery

While the Beacon response should be restricted to aggregate data (yes/no, counts, frequencies …), the usage of the protocol could be greatly expanded by providing an access method to data elements matched by a Beacon query.

As part of the mid-term product strategy, the ELIXIR Beacon team is evaluating the use of a “handover” protocol, in which rich data content (e.g. variant data, phenotypic information, low-level sequencing results) can be provided from linked services, initiated through a Beacon query (and possibly additional steps like protocol selection, authentication…). A discussion of the topic can e.g. be found in the Beacon developer area on Github (issue #114).

As of 2018-11-13, the handover concept has become part of the ongoing code development.

Possible scenario for a Beacon-initiated "handover" data delivery, involving pre- or post- query authentication steps. Importantly, the identification of matching "rich" data elements (e.g. information about biosamples or individuals) happens internally, and only a data access handle is exposed to the Beacon ecosystem.

mbaudis, 2018-10-18: more ...

Bio-metadata Query Support

Future Beacon API versions will support querying for additional, non-sequence related data types.

mbaudis, 2018-10-18: more ...