Biotics Upgrade: Roadmap Under Construction
The focus of the critical-path release will be to develop and deploy the local application for member program use. We will not develop a central web application for NatureServe in this release; instead, NatureServe will continue to use the current version of Biotics and make it available to remote users through Citrix. It is likely that we will need to make at least some changes, but we hope to keep these changes to a minimum.
The local application will be a web application. Much like the current version of Biotics, individual programs will be able to extend the core data model to better suit their needs. (However, like the current version of Biotics, these customizations will not be included during data exchange.) It will be more workflow-driven than the current version of Biotics—one that strives to make EO creation and management as efficient as possible. We anticipate that it will support the updated spatial methodology.
We are exploring the possibility of using a third-party solution for managing references. It is possible (but far from certain) that the critical-path release may provide a separate, central application for managing references, which could allow both NatureServe staff and member programs to use a single repository for all reference data in an effort to prevent duplication.
After the critical-path release, we will shift our development focus to creating the centralized web application, at which point we may consider making more substantial changes.
Next Steps in the Design Process
The focus of the critical-path release will be to develop the local application and to make changes needed for the central version of Biotics to support the new architecture. The next steps will require the development of more detailed requirements for the local application as well as workflow diagrams for important scenarios and mockups of key screens. We will also have to evaluate and select the frameworks to use for the web application itself, its mapping interface, and the central application's web services.
As noted in the Network Involvement section, we will recruit network representatives to join the Biotics development team or a network advisory team to actively support this process. We will also leverage the new Members’ SharePoint site to maintain an open and active dialogue throughout the design and development process.