Specify 7.0.1 Update–Trees and Printing on the Web



The Specify Software Project is pleased to announce Specify 7.0.1, an update to our web platform for biological collection curation and data management.

With this release, Specify 7 now prints labels and reports through its web browser interface. Using report and specimen label designs made in Specify 6 or by the Specify Project, Specify 7 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 formats print output through the web as precisely as it does for Specify 6.

Specify 7.0.1 includes new tree data windows for browsing taxon, stratigraphy, geography, and storage location trees. Data in tree displays link to associated collection objects, a right mouse click on a taxon name for example, opens a menu and then a data form containing the collection objects determined to that taxon. Specify 7’s tree-structured data displays are currently read-only, but any new additions or changes needed to tree values can be made using the related Specify data form on the web. Search is also supported in Specify 7’s tree-structured data windows; one can quickly find data values hidden deep down in the hierarchical structure.

We enhanced the query builder in Specify 7 to search on a list of data values. One simply enters several values within the selected data field, which makes it easy to search for things like multiple catalog numbers, Loan IDs, taxon names, or geographical terms. The Specify 7 query builder, like that of Specify 6, enables custom, structured queries on any data field in the collection database, and query templates can be saved and re-utilized to make it easy to re-execute useful searches. Finally, we made a number of enhancements to the behavior and functions of Specify 7’s browser windows.

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 September 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 helpdesk support and troubleshooting we provide for Specify 6. After September, 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.