New release of ISYS

Adam C. Siepel acs at ncgr.org
Thu Apr 19 04:05:59 EST 2001

The National Center for Genome Resources (NCGR) is pleased to announce that
a "Users' Release" is now available of ISYS, our integration platform for
bioinformatics resources.  An evaluation copy of the software can be
downloaded for free at http://www.ncgr.org/research/isys.  While the system
is free for evaluation and for non-commercial use, those interested in
commercial applications should contact us for licensing information
(isys at ncgr.org).

In addition to the components provided in our Developers' Release of last
January (see below), the ISYS platform now includes extensions that allow
integration of web-based resources with client-side software tools.  We are
excited to say that widely-used resources such as 
Entrez/PubMed (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi), SGD
Flybase (http://flybase.bio.indiana.edu), 
Genscan (http://genes.mit.edu/GENSCAN.html), and even Google
(http://www.google.com) can now be made to exchange data with ISYS
components using a few clicks of the mouse.  We think the system is
considerably strengthened by the capacity to integrate customizable,
client-side tools with powerful, Internet services for data and analysis.

Components that have been available for use with ISYS since the last
release include NCGR's Sequence Viewer, Similarity Searcher, and Table
Viewer, and "wrapped" versions of the maxdView gene expression viewer
(http://bioinf.man.ac.uk/microarray) and BDGP Gene Ontology Browser
(http://www.fruitfly.org).  See
http://www.ncgr.org/research/isys/components.html for a description of
these components.

ISYS provides an intuitive, graphical environment for bioinformatics
discovery, by integrating heterogeneous and separately-developed software
components.  Using the Broker and Event Channel software architectural
patterns, it allows components to exchange "services" and to synchronize
their behavior without being so tightly coupled that one component
constrains the evolution of the others.  The user of the system can
"plug-and-play" among available components, to establish a configuration
appropriate for his or her needs.  Java programmers can relatively easily
add new components by designing them from scratch, or by "wrapping"
existing software.  The specifications for the ISYS API and other resources
for software developers are available at

For an illustration of the new version of ISYS in action, see the
"Click-By-Click Tour" at http://www.ncgr.org/research/isys/scenario.html.

Adam Siepel
co-leader, ISYS Project


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