[Taxacom] Software for curating taxonomic/biological/specimen information

Francisco Borrero borrerofcoj at gmail.com
Thu Dec 1 12:44:18 CST 2016

ANSP Malacology also uses FileMakerPro.

Francisco J. Borrero  Ph.D.
USDA APHIS National Malacology Laboratory
Academy of Natural Sciences
1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1101
Ph.:  215 299-1160; cel. 215-847-3271
Fax: 215 567-7229
e-mail: Francisco.J.Borrero at aphis.usda.gov
or:  borrerofcoj at gmail.com

On 12/1/16 1:27 PM, "Taxacom on behalf of Doug Yanega"
<taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu on behalf of dyanega at ucr.edu> wrote:

>I'll offer my two cents. Back around 1994, I had a postdoc at the INHS
>to help develop a database for their aquatic insect collection. The
>database was in FileMaker. I learned how to use it, how to design fields
>and modify the interface, how to link relational files, and it was not a
>difficult thing. 22 years later, I still use FileMaker Pro, now to
>manage a collection at UCR containing some 4 million specimens, of which
>around half a million have database records. True, it is not
>pre-packaged. You have to learn how to make it do what you want it to
>do, but it can do almost anything. True, it has some "personality
>quirks" which take getting used to. But it is platform-independent,
>flexible, powerful, easy to learn and use, fairly cheap, and it is
>extremely well-supported. Over 20 years and still going strong, and I
>have no fear of ever losing our data to obsolescence. I've seen most of
>the other software that's around, and have never yet seen anything that
>I would consider a significant *overall* improvement over what FMPro
>does for me. True, I had to put a fair bit of my own time and energy
>into building the interface, but that's not really a drawback; after
>all, if I decide I need a new or modified data field (e.g., in order to
>better correspond to Darwin Core standards), or want to add new
>functionality (e.g., displaying images, linking to Google Earth), I can
>do it myself (or with a little help and/or research), sometimes
>I'll add one more thing: since it CAN be customized, FMPro offers the
>potential for different users to develop tools, tricks, and interface
>designs that can be shared with other users, to everyone's collective
>benefit. If someone else using FMPro wanted to see how my database is
>structured, I could easily send them copies of the templates for each of
>the five relational databases that comprise my system (one for
>localities, 3 for taxonomy, and one for specimen records themselves),
>and vice-versa; we could learn from one another, and maybe both come out
>ahead. I know at least a few major collections other than mine use
>FMPro-based databases (e.g., INHS, AMNH), so I'm not alone. But, when
>discussions like this crop up, they ALWAYS focus on pre-packaged
>specimen management software, so you will rarely hear from us. I'd
>encourage people to consider FMPro as another option.
>Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
>Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314     skype: dyanega
>phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
>              http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
>   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
>         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
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