Specimen databases

Gail E. Kampmeier gkamp at UIUC.EDU
Fri Aug 11 08:31:41 CDT 2000

We're using Mandala http://pherocera.inhs.uiuc.edu/index.htm for our
specimen, nomenclature, and literature databases.  They use FileMaker Pro
as an engine. They were initially home-grown from 5 initial datafiles to
the current 25 interrelated datafiles running on an iMac dedicated to
serving them via FMP Server and being served to the web via another
computer. They will be migrated to FMP 5 (and can be used that way now)
within a few months, but are currently compatible with versions 3.x and
4.x.  When switched to 5.x, they will no longer be backwardly compatible
with earlier FMP versions.

Mandala was developed initially as part of our NSF PEET project on therevid
flies, and has been adapted for liverworts in Southern Illinois, acrocerid
flies in California, and aplacophorans at Woods Hole.

Loan history can be tracked for specimens and features are added to
datafiles as new functionality is demanded.  Although the initial
impression of what Mandala is capable of can be overwhelming, the minimum
set of data required to input specimen information or a taxonomic name is
really not that demanding.  Please see the website above for more about
Mandala's features.

Anyone interested in Mandala may contact me for a demo version (mostly
clones with only demo data) that can be attached to an email message.
Please specify Mac or PC for the compression scheme (.sea = self extracting
archives for Macs or .zip for PCs).


P.S., as far as exporting styled text (italics, etc.), Doug, have you
looked closely at the new features of FMP 5 and its integration with MS
Office to know if this still holds true for the new version?  I agree that
this is a feature that would be highly valued!  In addition, at least in
4.x, when you have calculated fields, it is all or nothing, but maybe you
can make up a calculated field with html tags that will export/display
stuff properly.  These are all untried solutions...
Gail E. Kampmeier, Research Entomologist, Illinois Natural History Survey,
Box 5 NSRC, MC-637, 1101 W. Peabody, Urbana, IL 61801 USA
ph. 217-333-2824; fax 217-333-6784; email: gkamp at uiuc.edu

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