Sesame is a versatile Web-based laboratory information management system developed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that is in use in multiple laboratories around the world both for small-scale and large- scale applications. Sesame supports the gathering, organization, processing, and analysis of information from a variety of sources, including databases, bench scientists, laboratory instrumentation, and software packages. Sesame has proved its value in structural and functional proteomics investigations, in the management of shared instrumentation centers such as NMR spectroscopy resources and molecular interaction facilities. The Sesame system enables collaborators to participate in a research project, with equivalent access to information and the ability to enter results and process data irrespective of location (given Web access). The Sesame software is written in Java, uses CORBA as a middleware and is interfaced to a relational database management system. The requested funds will be used to support the continued development, evaluation, and testing of the Sesame software package. The software development will be aimed at (1) improving the efficiency and flexibility of the Sesame framework, (2) making it easier for users to customize the software for their own needs, (3) improving existing applications, and (4) developing additional applications. The goals are to make the software available to a larger clientele of structural biologists, molecular biologists, and biochemists. As part of this effort, we will create universal objects for developers so that they can develop Sesame modules to solve problems specific to their laboratory. We will ensure that the software runs on a variety of platforms, supports a variety of relational database management systems, and is firewall friendly. We will improve the documentation of the software, continue development of web-accessible user help pages, and create Sesame interfaces to a wider range of laboratory instrumentation. The schema and controlled vocabularies developed for various Sesame applications will be made available on the web to interested users. All software will be open-source. We will extend protocols for importing data from and exporting data to external data repositories. We present milestones for progress assessment.
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