Previewing Content

Most Globus Connect Server Collections support HTTPS as a way to access files on a Globus Collection. For portals in Django Globus Portal Framework, this prodives a way to display content directly in overview pages or search results. For example, if each search result in a science portal embeds an image that conveys the quality of the dataset, it can significantly improve the search experience for users. In addition, static resources can be used to improve the look of any static info pages, like in the example below:

Django Globus Portal Framework with an image showing the APS

Displaying Public Images

For public images, the process is only a matter of constructing a valid link to the Globus Collection, and the image will be displayed when the page loads. Most GCSv5.4 collections support an HTTPS URL for this exact purpose. The domain name for a collection can be found by searching collections on the Globus Webapp or via the Globus CLI:

$ globus collection show my-collection-uuid
Display Name:                my-collection
HTTPS URL:         

Links to files on a collection contain the HTTPS URL as a domain name in addition to path to the desired file. Note the path must be correct, and the directory on the collection must be shared with Public. The URL can be used on HTML img tags like the example below:

<img src="" width="50%">

Non-Image Content

Files on a Globus Collection can be accessed via GET requests. Typically this involves some javascript code to make the GET request, then dynamically attaching it to an HTML tag. Numerous examples exist online for making the request and attaching response text to elements.

Private Content Over HTTPS

Accessing non-public data from a collection over HTTPS is a much more involved process, and requires making the request to the file using an authorized access token for the GCS Collection. More info on making authorized requests to a Globus Collection can be found here.

Django Globus Portal Framework can be configured to request the data_access scope above by adding the scope to the SOCIAL_AUTH_GLOBUS_SCOPE variable in The token can be loaded for each user using the following Django view below (Remember to login again to populate the token for your user):

from django.http import JsonResponse
from globus_portal_framework.gclients import load_globus_access_token

def https_access(request):
    # The resource server for collections is typicaly the collection uuid
    token = load_globus_access_token(request.user, 'globus_collection_uuid')
    return JsonResponse({'http_access_token': token})


Special care should be taken when exposing user tokens to the browser. With added flexibilty comes increased risk. Don’t expose tokens which are not needed by front-end applications.

HTTP GET requests using javascript can request private documents from the GCS server by first requesting the data_access token from the server backend (view above), then making a second request to the GCS collection with the access token set as the Authorization header as described in the Accessing Data section of the GCS Docs.

Note that for binary content like images, the HTML <img> tag cannot provide the authorization header, meaning the content must be fetched first using javascript and attached manually.

Better support for accessing private documents on Globus Collections is planned at some point in the future.