New Generation of Specify for the Web


Specify for the Web!

The Specify Project is enthused to announce a new generation of Specify — for the web. Three new products: Specify Web Portal, Specify Web Client, and the Specify Web Server are being completed thanks to collaborators from Sweden, Canada and at Harvard University.

Of the three new software packages, the Specify Web Portal will be available in July 2013. Specify Portal software is designed to create a standard, public, web site for anonymous internet access to your data. It will allow web users to search and retrieve your collection's data records in an HTML web page display. Two types of searches will be supported, "Simple Search" for rapid discovery of specimen records with matching words, and "Advanced Search" for more structured field-by-field queries on your database. The Specify Web Portal will provide all of the full-text and structured search, data and image display, data download, configuration and customization capabilities required in a public web interface. We will post views of the Specify Web Portal interface here soon.

The Specify Web "thin" Client is our next generation Specify application. Instead of installing and running Specify on your workstation (like our current 'thick' clients), the Specify Web Client will be installed on a server computer and be designed to accessed through a web browser window. The Web Client, which we have tagged 'Specify Svelte', will include the navigation features and extensive form customization capabilities of the current Specify 6 Windows, Mac OS X and Linux clients, but will operate within a browser window. Specify Svelte will connect to the Specify Web Server built with MySQL. The Specify Web Server package is currently being developed by the Natural History Museum of Sweden.

Specify for the Web will support projects with remote data entry, annotation and data management workflows through any wired or wireless internet device with a web browser. Collaborative data acquisition projects which extend across collections or institutions will be able to use a single Specify database to share taxa, collecting events, localities, agents, and other types of specimen information.

Additionally, the Specify Project will offer a cloud-based hosting solution for biological collections and collaborative computerization groups which prefer to avoid the overhead associated with hardware installation, systems support, backups and software updates. Simply log in to your Specify cloud database from anywhere - and go!

We look forward to applying Specify's web applications to database collaborations and welcome inquiries from new specimen data digitization efforts. Let us know if you have an interest in considering Specify's web platforms for specimen cataloging. We are happy to provide more information about our plans or to just toss around thoughts and ideas. We are always here at: specify@ku.edu, or at +1 785 864-4400.