Welcome everyone today. I will be introducing Specify 7.8
the next major updated Specify that will be
arriving in the coming weeks.
We are so excited to share with you this new release as it arrives
alongside our new schema 2.10 update introducing several
highly requested features.
Start I would like to share with a new schema update unlocks for
Specify schema, 2.10 changes most flip fields
to decimals increasing the Precision of data stored in those fields.
Decimal accuracy represents any number within the Precision of the decimal format
whereas float could not accurately represent all numbers.
Additional text Fields were added to the collection object attribute loan
loan preparation gift preparation other identifier
and geocore detail tables along with
many other fields and changes.
Locality names can now be more than 256 characters
as the limits been increased to 2,048 characters.
Tax on names can now exceed 64 characters growing to
256 characters in length. This is useful for when specimens
are hybrids of hybrids.
Query Fields can now contain over 65,000 characters
making them more powerful than ever.
Other important length increases are coming as well for the record set titles and
pick list item titles and values.
Agents can now be linked to the all new agent identifier table allowing
you to add many Associated identifiers to
an agent such as orcid ID.
This table includes many new Fields unlocking a new way to associate
identifiers with existing agents in your database.
Agent identifiers can be uploaded to Specify workbench and associated with
The Exchange in and exchange outtables also now support
We think you’re going to really love the new schema 2.10 update
and all the new features. It is reduces.
We’ll have a full change log available on the community form.
Today, I’m going to be introducing the form meta
This menu introduces a ton of new features.
Just by clicking on the gear icon in
the top right of any form.
You’ll be able to configure carry forward and that’s
enabling Auto numbering on a field by field basis
You can customize the form type.
You can make the form become auto-generated which shows a form
built by Specify on the fly with all of your unhidden schema fields, or
you can use the form that was defined in the XML.
You can query the history of edits for a record.
And for tree tables in pick lists, you can find usages from
this format menu.
Forms can now be temporarily switched to a read-only mode which is
a new and exciting way to make it so that you
have only read permissions in your database gives you
that peace of mind knowing you won’t be modifying any permanent
You can now set the subview sort order.
You could switch your subview between a grid or a subform display
You could open the form definition associated with the view you’re currently
You can copy a link to the collection object record to share with other
A field label can now be disabled temporarily and
it will display the database field names instead.
And now you can run a report or label for any given
table right from the four meta menu.
We’ve also have some new inform improvements on top of all this the longitude
and latitude data entry validation is Now supported so
you can’t enter invalid characters when entering longitude
or latitude values.
Multiple records can now be selected in the query Builder on the
Which allows you to do things like bulk associate collection object Relationships
by using the new built-in query Builder menu and Specify 7.7
The maximum field length is now checked during data entry to
make sure that you don’t have any issues with errors or anything when
trying to save a very long field value and table
icons and names can now be included in a form headers.
There’s many more form improvements and many of
these can be customized in the user preferences.
We’ve also done a lot of work in the tree viewer.
Tree actions are now more intuitive.
Trees remember the last Focus node that you selected. So if
you select a node leave the session and come back all that information
Merging or synonymizing nodes now keeps the first node in focus.
It makes it much more clear which action you’re about
to take before they happen.
Tree nodes can now be selected without expanding or collapsing its
And Tree items can be deleted from the tree viewer. So
no longer. Do you have to open up the form and click the delete button? There is
now an option in the top bar.
And forced tree ranks are now checked as well before a node is moved.
Ensuring that none of your data will be misrepresented or mishandled.
We also have a ton of workbench improvements when importing
the CSV file you can now customize the delimiter. It uses
during the upload.
It also has better automatic delimiter detection.
You can customize the delimiter when exporting a data set to CSV
That queries have had some big improvements as well.
Queries with coordinates now have a new Geo map button to plot data
on the map.
Queries also support spatial search so now if you
have a latitude longitude coordinate field on a
query you’re able to click on a new icon and
access the spatial search function, which allows you
to drag and drop pins on the map and select
an area to search.
Query results now load before the total count is even been calculated allowing
you to run queries much faster.
You can now add an aggregated or formatted table by
double clicking on the name of the table.
Queries can be renamed from the query Builder interface by clicking on the
pencil next to the query name.
And querying on Taxi usages now runs the query automatically.
The app resources viewer has been entirely reinvented.
The search and replace function has been added to our resource editor.
App resources can now be cloned.
Administrators can customize the user press for other users
and it’s great visual interface to do it and I’ll
be showing that later.
Exporting view sets now downloads them in the correct file type.
There’s now a full screen mode for doing resource editing
streamlining the experience.
Resources can now be renamed directly from the editor by clicking on the
pencil next to the name. Just like in the query Builder and filters
allow users to filter by resource type so you
can filter by whether it’s a report a label a
view definition Etc.
We’ve also added a new database customizations. You can
now could figure the table shown in the data entry dialog in
the query Builder dialog as well as configure the attachment
preview size on your forms and in the attachments viewer.
including many many other bug fixes and features
We also have a ton of other miscellaneous features. Like the routing between
Pages has been improved now, each page has unique
URL and you can use the browser back arrow not just to go back to the
previous page, but also the previous dialogue.
Error handling has been dramatically improved where error
messages now vary based on the type of error you experience. They’re friendlier
and lower scares can be dismissible.
The not found page is also a more user friendly.
Navigation menu now highlights the correct item when you
Darwin core exporting manually now has a new
interface with a visual resource picker.
The tree tiles can now be clicked on to run a query for all collection
options associated with that taxon.
The ability to sort the contents of most dialogues by clicking on
the headiness now present you can now sort things like your record sets
or queries by name modify date or user.
The homepage logo and splash screen have been remastered
with SVG versions.
Now allowing them to be infinitely scalable and higher resolution.
Security panel now has protection from accidentally losing unsafe changes.
Now inside a Specify I’m going to be giving you a walkthrough of some
of those features that I showed during that presentation.
You can see on the home screen. Now. We do have the new updated Splash
and a new higher resolution Specify 7 logo
Otherwise, you can see that it looks very much the same as Specify 77
when you’re here at this splash screen. Let’s open
up a record and take a look at the new changes.
So I’m just going to select.
This Record set here from this database, this is our KU
fish collection at KU.
See we have the record set name up here. And now
there’s the option right here to quickly rename the
In addition to that we have the all-new form
meta menu that I discussed previously. You can
see that there’s now a gear at the top.
of all of these different subviews and at the top of
the entire form
and even when it’s in a grid here, you can find that gear by
expanding the item and seeing the gear icon.
Any one of these will activate the new form at a
menu, but we’re going to start by using the formatted menu for the entire
collection object record here. So I’m going to go up
to the top and click on the gear next to the Specify Network icon.
So you can see that the four meta menu has the name of
the table at the very top and then it has three sections here
because of it’s a collection object. It also has the
ability to share the record. So we’ll start with the form configuration option first.
There is the carry forward button first in
And from here you can see it’s already been configured somewhat, but we’ll
select it all for the sake of this demo.
And you can now selectively choose which Fields you’d
like to clone when you click the Clone button.
So you can see that these fields that have
to be unique in this database cannot be selected for carry forward,
but you can see that all of these other fields are available to
So now I can reveal the hidden form Fields here
in case I’d like to change the behavior of those.
So any other ones that are unhidden that are
hidden in the schema, but visible on the form I can.
Change their carry forward Behavior here.
You can see that I can select relationships that I’d
like to carry forward alongside it and if I hit the gear I can select which
Fields within that relationship. I’d like to carry forward
For this case. I’m just going to not carry forward the
I’ll carry for the catalog date and we’ll just
be not caring forward this relationship. So you’ll see.
The accession number here is 5059.
But when I click clone.
You can see that the new record no longer has that Association.
Next I’ll show you the auto numbering functionality
here. So this is for all fields that
are configured to Auto number. You can uncheck them or check
them in this case on this form. We only have the catalog
But if I uncheck this you can see that when I
add a record.
It is now a blank field rather than being the pound
signs to indicate Auto numbering or I can check
And now you can see that we have the pound signs.
to Auto number
so that’s good figure in the Auto number in here.
For seed away from this record back to our base one.
Next we have the form definition link here. You
can check this first box to use the
auto-generated form, which is a new functionality.
Automatically it will discard the form definition temporarily
and create a form based on the fields
that are unhidden in the schema. So in
our ischemic configuration for the collection object table, all
of these fields are visible. So now they
are all going to appear in this auto-generated form.
If I just creates this on the Fly.
And this is also the functionality that we use whenever you
navigate to a table that doesn’t have a form definition.
So we’ll re-enable the form definition that
we actually established in our database and we’ll
try out another cool feature, which is unchecking the
use localized field labels.
Now you can see that every single field is the database name
for the field rather than the one that we assigned in. Ischemic
This is really helpful for when troubleshooting issues or trying
to write your form definitions. This allows you
to easily see what the actual labels are for
We’ll re-enable those localized field labels
and then I’ll show you the final component of the form definition menu.
So we can click on edit form definition.
and we will be linked to the view set that
corresponds with the form definition Network are only looking at
we’ll be coming back to this resource viewer later, but you
can see that now we’ve navigated to the view that corresponds
with what we’re seeing on this form here.
The next really interesting feature is the enable read-only mode
Now this temporary mode makes it so that everything your
database is read only and this includes
like workbench uploading and other modifications. Everything is
just going to be restricted so that everything is
Only viewable in nothing can be
You can still operate your web links modify documents generate labels,
but nothing can be changed.
So you can see you can’t even change the name of the record set there.
But at the top of every single form you’ll see the read-only next
to your meta so we can click back
up here access the form meta menu and disable read-only
So click on the gear and then there’s another cool feature, which is
the print label button. So even if your form
does not have a generate label button or something similar visible any
table can now be sent to the reports or
label Runner. It will show all of the
reports and labels that correspond with that table and have the
same base table during their creation. So all of
these are for collection objects, and they’re all visible now here,
So you’ll be able to run reports and labels straight from the
You can also configure the behavior for printing a label on Save and
these options work in addition to the ones
on the form. So this is super helpful for forms
where you haven’t made that manually on there or you want
to enable a temporary setting or create a temporary label for your situation.
The next thing we’ve got is this record information section. This
is going to be visible for all tables.
We can click on the history of edits button and you’ll
see that on the Fly specifies created a specified audit
That shows all of the modifications that
have been made.
So you can see today is November the 1st as I’m recording
this. I modified this record on 10:30 here.
You can see that Andy when he initially updated this
record. It was on April 7th 2022.
You can navigate to the parent record ID here. This is the the
current record ID that we’re looking at and you
can see the field name that was modified.
In this case, I modified a relationship. So
it’s not going to show the field name here, but it just goes
to show it’s a really cool feature to have and it’s super
helpful and you can customize this query here and Link
out to things like these specific field the new
value the old value Addle all of those extra components to
it. So it automatically put this together for us
and these are inserted by Specify on the fly to
make it easy to modify and see what edits
have been made to the records you’re looking at.
Now here you can see we’ve got the share record option.
And you can see that you have this very long record
URL that you can copy to your clipboard and it will
leverage our specified by catalog function
here. So you can see that we have our our collection code
here and we have the specific unique catalog
Along with the details that it’s part of the record set with
the ID 97. This link can be sent to anybody anywhere
in the world, assuming that your database and your Specify
7 instance is publicly available and they can go directly to
It’s a more friendly way to share collection object
record access from the meta menu
So that’s pretty much the meta menu. It’s got some other
functionality that are really cool when it comes to Tree items and things
like that. I’ll show you that special functionality now with
the taxon usages. So when I click on the taxon pencil
the query combobox pencil here. I open up
the taxon form.
I can click on the gear and I can see that there is a little
bit of different configuration options for The taxon View.
So in this taxon menu, I can do the
same carry forward form definition or print label and print label on
But I also have this fine usages button.
When I click on this it’ll create a new tab and immediately
search for any usage or this taxon has
been referenced by a determination and the
searches at the collection object level here. So you can see that these
are all the catalog numbers that correspond with determined with
determinations that reference this taxon.
The same button is available for picklists. So if you
have a pick list in the schema config menu, you can find out if
there’s any references.
Now I’ll show you some other really cool features. So you see that
we have this determinations view here. This sub view
is being formatted as a form. So it looks
just like anything else on this form. We can now change how
that displays. So when I click on this gear, you can
see that we have our type is a subform, but we can switch it
to a grid.
So now just like the preparations it’s being displayed as
a grid View.
When I click on the gear again to access the meta menu
I can then switch it back to being a subform and
you can switch any of these sub views to be one of the other
just like that.
You can also change the order based on fields that
are in the table that you’re configuring. So if I wanted the current
to be ascending I can click on that or descending and
it will reorder it.
The same kind of functionality is available in the grid just by clicking
on the headers to change how they’re ordered.
So it’s a pretty cool feature to have and really nice
quality improvement here.
The same function where I can access the history of edits.
So let’s go to the preparations View and I’ll show you again.
When I click on this gear here, I can then change
it from a grid to a subform and then
I get the same the pagenator function and everything else available to
So that’s the form meta menu.
We’ll have documentation explaining its functions and actions
on the community form and you can always let us know on the
form if you have any questions.
Ask for some other updates and Specify we now have some new character validation
for latitude and longitude values. It ensures
that only characters that should be entered in those
fields are allowed to be
You can now see the locality table name is in
the top left along with the icon.
Let’s go into the tree viewer.
We have some enhancements to the tree experience and Specify.
You can now delete tree notes right from the viewer so I can just click
on a node and click. Delete.
but you’ll notice when I try to delete a
record here that has a parent.
You can see now that this is being referenced by
this record here.
So when I click on that it will then allow me to go to
that record and see exactly where it’s being referenced and I
can go and resolve this if I’d like to to make
sure that I can remove these reference records so that
this record can be deleted.
The delete blocker linking is available for all tables. And
anytime you try to delete something Specify will now create links right
here to the record that’s being referenced. So
you’ll be able to actually delete the record you’re intending to.
This is super useful when you’re trying to delete Specify user for
instance and they have several resources associated with them.
Now moving merging and synonymizing nodes is more intuitive.
When moving a node Specify intelligently displays what actions are
happening in the action button telling you that you are selecting a
new parent for instances where you click merge?
select a new Target
and when you click on that following Target it now will
tell you exactly what the action will do if you click this button.
Another really awesome feature is that the first node
you selected is now outlined in red and the second
node is outlined in blue.
This makes it much clearer to see you when you’re making an action.
If I do something like try to synonymize.
You can see that it’s saying to select a Target to synonymize.
So this can be synonymized to whichever my
target is and then it outlines very clearly exactly what
the action is going to take.
When moving a tree node now specified checks for enforced ranks.
So if I try to move the species to the phylum
You can see.
It’s been checked and it cannot be done.
All trees also now remember the last Focus node preserving your
session between actions.
It’s super helpful when a tree is action is taken and it also
saves the user the trouble of trying to navigate back to the workspace location.
They were previously in.
As you saw before nodes can now be selected
without expanding or collapsing its children by holding down the command or
So I can select any one of these records without expanding
or collapsing just by holding down the command button or the
Now I’d like to show you some of the query improvements we’ve made.
The most prominent of which is the ability to do spatial
queries using this new PIN icon.
to the right of any coordinate field
So if we’ve got this latitude one longitude one on our form we can
easily click on.
This pin here and you’ll see that it just is by
default right there in the center.
We can now select a range of space and
find only records from that area.
So I’m going to zoom in here and select specifically.
Specimens from just this area right here.
So we’ll say we just want to get specimen from this area in
So when I save that I can run the query.
You’ll see that we have a hundred nine results returned and
when I click on the geomap button.
We’ll be able to see these 109.
You see this really awesome interface where you can now
Each of these items where it gives you the catalog number the field number
here collector’s names and all of those different options.
So it’s a really cool new way to visualize.
you can see that it automatically created these coordinate values
here and there you go.
So that’s the really cool new spatial search available in 7.8.
Some other really cool things about queries are now you can rename them
directly from the form here. Just like we could with the record set.
And it still gives you the same actions you have for any other query.
We also have the ability to run the query for really large results and
the results will be displayed before this total loads.
So that’s where I’ll leave it with query improvements today, but
you can check out the changelog to see every change we’ve made to the query system.
We’ve also got some new workbench improvements in this update when importing
a CSV you can now customize the delimiter.
So you can choose tab semicolon space
pipe or in this
case. We’ll just leave it as comma
you can change the name of the data set just as always and you can modify the
But it’s a super helpful thing so that you don’t have to do any
of that work externally. You can just choose the delimiter and
have specified you the work for you.
Another really cool thing is that when you’re exporting a data set, you can also choose
the delimiter you’d like to use.
So if I go to
This data set in our database and I’d like to export.
This one here is going to be a tsv file. But if
I go to my
user preferences here and I go to
you can see that I can choose the export files unlimiter right
Another really great feature in this update is that you can configure the
query Builder and data entry dialogues and which tables
display by default.
So if you click on the pencil here, you can then choose whether you’d like
to copy the Specify six settings for the source of tables or use your custom
Which in this case would allow you to select a new table?
Move it on over to the data entry form here.
And then now we can have the accession table here
on the data entry.
And it works just the same as it would on the interactions here.
This list allows you to put any table from
the database into your data entry tables
It’s the same story with the query Builder.
When I click new here, I can customize which query
table I want to have visible.
And add it to the form here. So if I like my tax on citation to
be searchable, I can close that.
And then now when I decide to create a new query
I will automatically have the
tax on citation in my list
So for the final part of this update, I like to show today. There is
the all new app resources viewer.
The viewset resource viewer in the app resource viewer have
now been combined to one single interface.
Which will be able to see in just a second when I expand out.
you can see there are now icons to represent the type of
app resource for all of these different app resources
in this directory. And when I click filters you
can then see which each icon represents.
So you can see the label shows that graph here
the reports I get ticket.
User preferences and other miscellaneous app resources are those gears the
leaflet layer so we’ll have the pen the RSS
and so on and so forth.
You’ll be able to filter by these things. So if I do want
to just see view sets when I’m editing the view definitions in the
database. I can uncheck app resources and then I’ll just be able
to view these view resources here.
So this filter system is really awesome and makes it super simple to be
able to find exactly which resources you’re looking for.
More importantly in this filter system. We now have an all new interface for
editing a app resource.
So you can see this icon indicates that we’re in the
editor and this pencil here allows you to change and
edit the view set objects table here.
So we can modify the name here or change any of the other fields that
are within the viewset object table.
We can also load a file from our directory or download it and
introduced in this update is the ability to download in the
correct file type. So it just attempted to
download the XML rather than the DOT txt.
It makes it so you don’t have to do that extra step when editing these
We can also use the full screen function to edit
in a full screen viewer and remove the distractions of all the other
components of Specify.
And a huge benefit in quality of life upgrade is
going to be the new find and replace
As well as just an internal editor in general you
can see that now things are going to be collapsible. It’s a
quick interface. It loads very quickly and
we can search things like catalog number and navigate directly
to it to make our changes in the forms or any
other resource that we’re choosing to edit.
I’d like to wrap up this webinar by showing off the new collection statistics
page that’s going to be introduced and Specify 7.8.
You can see that it’s got all of these calculated statistics that are based on
your individual collection.
Currently we’re collecting feedback at the community forum for in any
kind of request you have or new feature you’d like to see and this is
So please just let us know check to see as we develop this further along.
So that’s all I have time to show you today. There’s lots of other new
features functionalities and options in Specify
7.8. You can do the whole change log on
the specified Community form as well as viewing
the schema 2.10 update and all of the new Fields tables
and changes that introduces as well.
You have any questions, of course create a post on the community
Forum or you can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org