Specify 7.2 Update–Tree Ops, Embedded Subforms


The Specify Software Project is pleased to announce Specify 7.2 an update to our web platform for biological collections data. The new release, obtainable from the Specify GitHub repository (https://github.com/specify/specify7), has been in development for several months; it includes numerous enhancements and engineering fixes.

This update adds capabilities to mirror those found in Specify 6 (MacOS, Windows and Linux), although Specify 7 operates exclusively through a web browser with no software installation. Its user interface and report customizations work identically to those in Specify 6. Also, Specify 6 and 7 use the same database design and in some deployment configurations they can be used simultaneously with a Specify database.

Specify 7 will be our software platform for future innovation and integration. We encourage Specify 6 sites to consider adopting Specify 7.

Institutions may install their own Specify 7 server or U.S. research collections can avail themselves of SpecifyCloud hosting which completely eliminates the need for local server hardware, network and database systems management.

Some of the visible changes in this Specify 7 update include:

  • Hierarchical data displays for Taxon, Storage Location, Geography and Paleontology have been upgraded with adjustable columns and by the addition of Merge, Move and Synonymize functions. These capabilities match Specify 6’s tree handling capabilities with small differences in the style of screen interaction.
  • Data subforms such as Determination, Collecting Event and Preparation are now embedded within the base forms and open inline instead of opening new windows. This streamlines data entry and makes editing more fluid.
  • Subform views can now be easily flipped between form and grid views, facilitating access to multiple related data records.
  • We added popup warning windows if a user attempts to exit a browser window with a partially-finished data entry form or task. This will help avoid accidental abandonment of incomplete data records and tasks.
  • Collection login options are now filtered so that users at institutions with multiple Specify 7 databases see only those for which they have an account.
  • Compatibility with Internet Explorer has been improved.
  • Images are now embeddable in reports.
  • We styled the look and feel of Specify 7’s web interface. Orange is the new orange!

Those are some of the visible improvements in release 7.2 in addition to internal upgrades to software components.

Interested in evaluating Specify 7? Take a peek at our demonstration server:

Username: sp7demofish
Password: sp7demofish

We thank Specify Technical Liaisons for their ongoing feedback and advice. Contact us with suggestions and comments at: support@specifysoftware.org, or call +1 785 864-4400. For technical installation or software engineering matters, consider posting an issue on the Specify 7 GitHub code repository (https://github.com/specify/specify7) which will come to the attention of our developers.