Advice on WAIS Microbial Database

Joe Hanus - Botany hanusj at
Mon Feb 3 19:26:32 EST 1992

We are in the process of developing a database that will have in
it information on many types of microbial germplasm from 
statelite nucleic acids up to nematodes. The germplasm is 
utilized in research dealing with plants and is
maintained by individual investigators in research labs at colleges,
universities and Ag experiment stations.  It will be one of the
first actual inventories of the microbial germplasm held in
individual research-oriented collections. 

The database would be distributed, and
would contain image data relevant to the individual cultures.
At time we applied for funding, we were discussing using Sybase or
another relational database manangement system on a Sun Sparc 
station and traditional database technology.

We've received our funding and are getting ready to begin prototyping.  

Since the time we submitted the grant, WAIS
technology has become a hot item and has a great deal of
appeal for us.  

	The user interface is partially developed.  

	XWAIS AND MACSTATION versions exist and an MS-DOS version is
	apparently in the works.  A text terminal implementation 
	already exists.  

	Since information on microbial and subcellular germplasm 
	will be coming from individual researchers regarding their 
	own research collections the data will likely be in as many 
	formats as there are contributors.  WAIS offers a simple way
	to get that into a searchable source with less effort than 
	deploying a traditional relational database.  Also image 
	data as well as sound appear to be suppported. 

What would be your thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of
using a WAIS type database for locating strain by strain data on
a variety of germplasm types?

How would you think it would affect a users ability to locate
information about a particular strain, or to locate and download
an image.

Would you recommend using WAIS to the exclusion of a relational
system or would you suggest developing the relational database
first and then putting it up as a WAIS source.?

We'd be very interested in any comments.

Joe Hanus

Joe Hanus                            | E-MAIL hanusj at
Microbial Germplasm Database         |
Dept. of Botany and Plant Pathology  | Phone  (503)-737-5300
Oregon State University              | FAX    (503)-737-3045
Corvallis, OR 97331-2902             |

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