- Towards a seamless and transparent integration of hardware platforms and applications for all users. (i.e. the situation where all users are unaware of and not concerned with the hardware and software involved with the processing and transferring of their data and can approach any terminal and concentrate on the data rather than the computing environment.)
- Self sufficiency and transparent system management and support for users, providing reasonable facilities for data entry, manipulation query and reporting.
- Communications and networking to all areas of the ANBG and th the wider community.
- Centralized software and application management (to work efficiently, this requires ethernet connections to workstations).
- A common interface/platforms for applications:
- Word Processing - eg. Microsoft Word, Island Graphics
- Database - Oracle RDBMS
- Spreadsheet - eg. 2020
- Project management - ??
- Electronic mail - Unix mail
- Network resources - Gopher, World Wide Web
The ANBG will attempt to maintain an open upgrade path in its hardware and application base. New technology will be purchased if it is appropriate for the applications required by the ANBG. Hardware will be upgraded or replaced before it becomes obsolete or unreliable. Upgrades for software and applications will be purchased as soon as they become available.
Microsoft Word/Word for Windows is data and format compatible on both MacIntosh and MSDOS platforms and is used throughout the ANBG and the Flora and Fauna Units. If (when?) it becomes available for the SUN it will be implemented there. Another option for the SUN is Word Perfect and could be used to provide word-processing on the dumb terminals; other Unix-based word-processors are available, Island Graphics is installed at the moment.
The Main area of desktop publishing in the ANBG is Visitor Services, using Pagemaker on a MacIntosh. A Pagemaker licence also exists for the MSDOS machines. Almost all the facilities of desktop publishing can be achieved through Microsoft Word. Island Write/Paint/Draw fills this function and word-processing on the SUN.
Oracle is the main database on the SUN. The ANBG also has an MSDOS licence and the package is also available for MacIntosh. The policy is to maintain all ANBG data centrally on the SUN to avoid multiple edited versions of the same data sets. All future database applications should be implemented under Oracle. The ANBG has licences for RBase on the MSDOS platform, and Microsoft file and Hypercard on the MacIntosh; the use of these isolated systems is not encouraged.
2020 has been installed the SUN. ANBG has a copy of Microsoft Excel for the MSDOS platform. Both Lotus and Excel are available for the MacIntosh. 2020 interfaces with the Oracle database. The plan is to provide spreadsheet access to a database structure, to enable monitoring and reporting.
It makes no sense at all to run project management software on multiple single-user systems, for the same reasons as maintaining multiple edited databases. A single integrated project management package is being sought to be made available over the network.
Electronic mail (email) is an option available to all terminals and workstations connected to the SUN. This enable paperless communication within the Black Mountain site and externally to ANCA, and elsewhere through AARNet, etc. ILANET allows communication between libraries for arranging inter-library loans etc.
Although email is the communications medium of choice in many circumstances, it is still requirement for paper copies of correspondence to be filed for archival purposes.
Most scientific applications used in the ANBG run on the MSDOS platform, although some are now being developed for the MacIntosh. These include:
- Botanical key and description: DELTA, MEKA
- Phenetic and Pattern analysis: UPGMA, PATN
- Cladistic analysis: PAUP, HENNIG86, CLADOS, COMPONENT
- Statistical analysis: SPSS, STATPAC, HARVARD GRAPHICS
The latest versions of these and any new scientific packages will be obtained. As they become available under UNIX, these applications will be purchased and placed on the SUN.
The cladistics programs PAUP and MacClade are available for the MacIntosh.
For Gardens design, landscape planning and facilities management. A possibly complex and expensive exercise. Future financial years.
For taxon distribution mapping. Possible use of the ERIN system over the network.
Herbarium and Research.
MSDOS environment for word-processing, scientific applications etc., and access to Oracle on SUN for database. MSDOS microcomputers will be networked to share printers and other peripherals. The network between Research cottages and Botany Building will be limited until an ethernet connection can be established across this distance. Scientific applications place heavy demand on computers and some machines in this area will be more sophisticated and powerful than those elsewhere in the ANBG; where possible applications will be placed on the SUN.
The library on of the herbarium/research network. A MSDOS machine provides word-processing and access to the SUN and to the DEST mainframe for the Library catalogue. Access to ABN is by direct dial-up via the SUN. Dial-up access is also available to other library databases such as AUSTRALIS and DIALOG (USA). Access to Australian University catalogues is via AARNet using Gopher and World Wide Web.
Administration Building (Directorate/Administration/Development).
An environment of mixed affinities. MSDOS platform for word-processing, etc., and access to Oracle on SUN for some database applications. MSDOS equipment is linked to ANCA personnel and finance records through the network.
Access to administration, management and financial information that is held by ANCA is open ended; network communications to the file server are through the SUN.
MacIntosh network, 6 workstations, network connection implemented. Further connection involves trenching to the Banksia Centre.
Nursery, Depots and Cottage.
Terminal access over dedicated telephone lines to nursery, depots and top cottages; ethernet is not necessary as bulk data transfer will not commonly take place. Overseers will be provided with access to MSDOS-based workstations. The network will be upgraded to enable graphics workstations in these work areas.
Jervis Bay Annex.
As nearly all database activity at the Annexe is read only and due to the poor quality of telephone data communication to the Annexe, the cost-effective solution is a stand-alone machine (MSDOS AT or 386) running a current copy of the database information. Updates will be by floppy disk transfer and dial up access to the SUN will be available.
Barcode identification of accession numbers has been implemented on herbarium specimens; the numbers correspond to the herbarium accession number. Barcodes will also be printed and attached to the older specimens.
Barcodes will be also implemented on living collections labels and the ANBG asset register and will be investigated for the photo collection.
Systems/strategies for fully utilizing the benefits should be implemented as quickly as possible, including the purchase of barcode readers and appropriate software; extensive trials, evaluations, and modifications to work practices will be required.
Data Sets and Data Capture.
The ANBG maintains or contributes to data sets of:
- Australian Plant taxonomic information - +/- complete
- Australian Plant literature information - +/- complete
- Herbarium specimen information - c. 60 % complete
- Living collections information - +/- complete
- Horticultural information - incomplete
- Botanical information - incomplete
- Historical and biographical information - incomplete
- Photograph information - +/- complete
- Library catalogue information - +/- complete
- Botanical literature information - incomplete
- Archival information
- Management and administration records
- Address lists (several, to be integrated)
The first two data sets represent the ANBG custodianship of the Census of Australian Plants, and the Australian Plant Name Index. These two will be integrated into a single taxonomic data set.
The ANBG must keep up with these data sets as part of its routine programs and activity. Special projects will be required to capture the backlog information in the areas of the herbarium specimen, horticultural and botanical information.
The priority of herbarium label data capture is:
- New acquisitions and registrations
- Genera and families requested on loan
- Type material
- Routine reidentifications
- Curated groups
- Rare and endangered taxa (almost complete)
- Research program groups:
- Significant families:
Planning meetings for policy advice and information exchange
- ANBG Section leaders or their representatives
- ERIN representative
- Held at least every two months
- Provide input on the overall direction of ADP in the ANBG