[Pipet Devel] ISYS and OpenBSA

J.W. Bizzaro jeff at bioinformatics.org
Mon Aug 28 00:16:00 EDT 2000

When Brad and I were at ISMB 2000 last week, we came upon 2 posters about
applications very similar to Piper.  I spoke with both authors.

ISYS uses Java for its GUI and most of its framework, but the clients need not
be in Java.  ISYS is more developed than Piper in that it can already connect
clients together.  However, they do not have a way to pre-design a network,
and especially have not considered a "connect-the-dots" GUI like Pied.  The
license is "free for non-commercial use" and the source is not available. 
They do have a nicely developed API (not in XML though) for wrapping
applications that we should take a look at.

  (Adam Siepel, coordinator)

OpenBSA also uses Java and has more in common with ISYS than with Piper. 
OpenBSA is however Open Source.  It is partly based on Applab, which we (Loci
developers) have considered before as a way to wrap applications.  The author
did tell me that they are working on a GUI for pre-designing a network. 
OpenBSA can work with generic clients, but they are pushing it as a
bioinformatics tool.  Both applications, as you can tell from the URL's, are
in fact hosted by bioinformatics organizations.

  (Juha Muilu, coordinator)

I asked the authors of both applications if we can all work on a common API
for wrapping applications.  This would allow a client wrapped for one system
to work in another system.  They said yes, but considering that ISYS does not
use XML and OpenBSA already uses Applab, I don't know if we could reach a
consensus.  Can I get the opinions of people on this list before I consider
contacting them again?

J.W. Bizzaro                                           jeff at bioinformatics.org
Director, Bioinformatics.org: The Open Lab     http://bioinformatics.org/~jeff
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
               -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

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