Specify 7.0.2 Update–User Accounts, Host Taxa & Performance

 

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The Specify Software Project is pleased to announce the availability of release 7.0.2, an update to the Specify web platform for collection curation and data management.

With this release, Specify 7 handles a limited number of user account management functions. For institutions not using Specify 6 concurrently, Specify user accounts can now be created through the web interface as full access or read-only guest accounts.

Additionally, this update supports the Host Taxon data field (a plug-in) which has been integrated into the Collecting Event data form to enable the recording and management of host taxon species names in a separate taxon tree while maintaining links to the collection object record in the primary specimen database. This capability is useful for databases which keep species association information, for example for fungus/host, insect/plant, or predator/prey relationships.

We made a number of technical improvements to enhance the performance of Specify 7 taking advantage of web browser data form and other caching.

The update is available now from the Specify 7 GitHub repository https://github.com/specify/specify7.

The next release Specify 7.0.3, due later this month, will include major new capabilities such as support for collections interactions (loans, gifts, accessions, etc.) and for creating record sets from query results. Creating record sets from queries is useful for grouping collection object records for further operations such as creating specimen loan invoices and data exporting.

Specify 7 prints labels and reports through its web browser interface, using report and specimen label designs from Specify 6. It prints labels and reports to PDF files which can be sent to any printing device supported by your desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone, web browser. Specify 7 also includes tree data windows for browsing taxon, stratigraphy, geography, and storage location trees.

Specify 7’s software development process is managed and documented on our GitHub site. One can see current issues and fixed bugs at the GitHub Specify repository: https://github.com/specify/specify7/issues. We will use GitHub for increasing opportunities for community input and code development collaboration with Specify Software applications. More innovation, integration and collection support functions are coming for Specify 7. What’s on your new capability wish list?

 

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With Specify 7, any institution can run its own Specify Linux/MySQL server for hosting the organization’s databases and it can host data for partners and project collaborators. U.S. research collections can take advantage of our Specify Cloud service for hosting collection databases in Specify 7 on a fast internet hosting service.

The Specify Cloud service enables access to a Specify collection database, including image attachments, through a web browser with no local software to install or database server to maintain. With Specify Cloud, we pre-install Specify 7 on a fast, high-availability, internet server computer to create a secure, managed platform for hosting and serving your collection data.

Until the end of 2015, the Specify Cloud hosting service is offered at no charge. Our free offer includes Specify 6 database transfer and installation on a Specify Cloud server, 24/7/365 internet access and nightly backup. The Specify Software Project is committed to the same professional level of help desk support and troubleshooting we provide for Specify 6. After 2015, institutions may continue with the Specify Cloud hosting service for a cost-recovery fee at a level to be established, or we will be happy to transfer databases back to Specify 6 for local use.

Eligibility for this offer is extended to U.S. biological research collections using Specify 6 for institutional specimen data management, and to multi-institutional U.S. collaborative projects wanting to share a database for collections digitization. The Specify Software Project will also convert Specify 5 installations at U.S. institutions to Specify 6 to move to the Specify Cloud.

If you are a U.S. research collection either currently using Specify or looking to create a new institution collection database, take advantage of our responsive, widely-praised client support and let us know if you would like to evaluate Specify 7 on the Specify Cloud hosting service.