Sequencher vs Applied Biosystems

jason stewart jasons at perrier.embnet.se
Fri Nov 19 23:07:47 EST 1993

In article <93322.213551IRVK at MAINE.MAINE.EDU>, Irv Konfield

> We are about to acquire an ABI sequencer and would be greatful for
> perspectives on operating software.  Gene Codes is marketing the
> program Sequencher 2.0; is this package better than the default
> ABI SeqEd package?  Recommendations would be appreciated.

It seems like this debate goes around about once a month, but here goes

Sequencher is an excellent program. Debatably the best program of its kind
on the market. It is a full fledged sequence alignment program with a
fantastic user interface. It is well documented, easy to use, and it's
fast. GeneCodes is a company that has very good customer service and will
listen to your requests for additions and updates to their software. 

SeqEd by ABI is a poor program. It has a few (very few) features that no
other programs on the market have, but this in no way excuses it for it's
tremendous deficiencies. It is not an alignment program (although it
pretends to be) and even it's sequence editing features fall far short of
the expected norms of any other program on the market. It's user interface
is a total loss, which makes using it a nightmare. As an example, you have
to go the Sequence menu, choose import sequence, find your sequence, and
click open for every sequence you want to look at. If you have 30 sequences
then you get to do it 30 times. Sound like fun? ABI is a company infamous
for having poor customer service for their software , and rarely updates
their software (i.e we've had SeqEd for 3 years and have gotten 1 update -
which fixed a bug which made it hiccup under system 7, and rearranged a few
menu items) let alone incorporating customers suggestions into the updates.
The very thought that a company would sell you an automated DNA sequencer
without INCLUDING FREE OF CHARGE a sequence editing program with the
purchase, ought to give you some idea of what ABI's customer policy is.

I have really tried to be as informative and unemotional about this as

For a recap:

To express my satisfaction with Sequencher would take far too much space
than this letter can provide.

To express my anger and frustration for working with ABI's SeqEd for three
years would just waste a lot more of my time. 

Good Luck,


PS I have no affiliation with GeneCodes, I just love their software.

PPS If there is enough interest I could put together a FAQ discussing the
available commercial and free software packages available for DNA sequence
editing/alignment. If your interested send me a line.

jason stewart

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