Create a Portal

If someone else has already created a Portal for you, you can skip Portal creation. Just point your browser at the new Portal and perform the initial login as user:, password: realtimedata. You will be prompted to change the password during this first login. You can then proceed to Portal configuration.

The Portal runs as a standalone web server on Amazon Web Services (AWS). The interface to AWS can seem a bit overwhelming (currently offering 52 services!).

We use the AWS CloudFormation service to create a new portal. The steps are simple.

Log onto your AWS account to begin.

1. Run CloudFormation

  • First click on “Services” and then click on “Cloud Formation”


Cloud Formation

2. Start stack creation and Specify template

Create Stack

  • Click Create new stack

  • Click on Specify Amazon S3 template URL and Copy and Paste the following link in the box:

Cloud Formation Template

  • Click Next

3. Specify the portal name and Key Pair

  • Give the stack a name. The convention is CHORDS- suffixed with your project or organization name, e.g. CHORDS-CSURadar.
  • You will need to create a key pair for your Amazon account if you have not already done so. You can see instructions about how to do this on Step 4 of Setting up your Amazon Account. Then select an EC2 KeyPair that you created for KeyName. This will allow you to ssh into the instance, if ever needed.

For demonstrations and simple, low-bandwidth streaming feeds, select a t2.micro instance type which are free of charge for the first year. Otherwise, use the default.


  • Hit Next

4. Options (if needed)

  • Hit Next.


5. Review

  • Verify that everything looks good and then click Create


6. Wait for the portal to be created

  • After the creation has started, you will be taken to the stack summary page. Go to the Events tab to watch the progress of the stack creation. It usually takes about 6 minutes to complete, but it can take much longer (even 30 minutes), depending upon AWS performance.


7. Accessing the new portal

Once your portal is created click on the “Outputs” tab. Below it will show a URL for the new portal, click on the URL to access your new portal.


8. Log Into to Your Brand-New CHORDS Portal!

  • Click on the “Sign in”

Portal URL

Once the Portal is running, you will want to immediately change the admin acount and password to your own email and password.

  • Log into your new portal, as user:, and password: realtimedata.
  • Go to the Users link, and change the user name from to your email address.
  • Logout of the Portal.
  • Select Forgot your password?
  • Enter your email and punch send me reset password instructions.
  • An email will be sent, containing a link that you can use to change the password on your account. It’s very likely that this email will go into your spam folder. Use the link to change your password to something secure.

If something breaks

  • If the provisioning fails, the instance will be stopped, and you won't know why. You can redo the process, and disable the rollback, so that the instance is left running. To do this, when on the Options page, open the Advanced section, and change Rollback on Failure to No. This will keep the instance running when the provisioning fails, so that you can ssh in and diagnose the problem.