The diagram shows the Specify 7 web architecture using a RESTful API on top of the Django web framework for Python on the server BE, hosted behind an Apache web server. For data queries beyond the capabilities of the built-in Django ORM, we used the SQLAlchemy library. The BE file system and MySQL database engine are supported for Linux servers but in principle could be hosted on Windows, MacOS or other operating system supported by MySQL and Python. Cluster and cloud platforms are immediately available for this standard Linux environment, including Amazon’s EC2 as pre-made machine images (AMIs) as well as hosted images from a number of other vendors. We use virtual machines from Digital Ocean for our Consortium’s SpecifyCloud collection database hosting. We are also using Docker technology for Specify 7 installations, SCC members receive additional configuration information and consultation for using Docker.
With its modular architecture, extensible data model, open-source licensing, web services integrations, highly-configurable user interface, exquisitely customizable labels and reports, an option for cloud hosting, and the Specify Consortium’s support, Specify 7 is an inspired option for biological collections computing.
Specify 7 source code and installation instructions are at: Specify Collections Consortium · GitHub.
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