Pedro is a tool that gives you a data entry tool for XML Schema data models

Kevin Garwood garwood at
Wed Mar 5 19:20:57 EST 2003


I'm Kevin Garwood, a software developer at the University of
Manchester.  We've just finished making Pedro, a data modelling tool
that renders XML data entry forms for a model expressed in a
particular style of XMLSchema.

You can get it by registering at:

The tool is featured in this month's Nature Biotech Issue: "A
systematic approach to modeling, capturing, and disseminating
proteomics experimental data".

The application was originally developed for the proteomics community,
but it is actually domain independent.  In the download, you'll see a
proteomics data model and a crude model on botany.

Imagine for a moment that you want a tool that lets you do rapid data
modelling, so that your group can come to a consensus about what kind
of data to record in your experiment files.  With Pedro, once you've
developed your own data model, you immediately have a data entry tool
that lets you produce XML files that conform to that model.

Now suppose you want to put in field-based validation that picks up
simple errors such as leaving required fields blank, typing a number
that lies outside of an acceptable domain, or having a date field that
doesn't conform to a particular format.  In addition, you can cause
Pedro to validate a field against a regular expression.

Pedro has some neat features:
*it's free, open-source, and we're going to support it on reserved
bug-fix/software development time blocks
*allows your users to tag text fields with terms taken from controlled
vocabulary services.
*context sensitive help that links to HTML document pages made and
maintained by the model developer
*field-based validation, including the ability to have fields
validated against regular expressions
*genomics and proteomics communities are already expressing interests
in the tool

When you first use Pedro, you'll probably incrementally tune a data
model with the fields and validation you want.  Then you'll have a
data entry tool others can use to make XML data files.

We're curious about whether some of you might want to use Pedro to
design data models for a variety of scientific fields such as
immunology, chemistry, physics...

Please let us know what you think!

Kevin Garwood


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