International Mammalian Genome Society

The 15th International Mouse Genome Conference (2001)


POSTER 134 - SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT OF A LABORATORY INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM AT THE MARY LYON CENTRE, HARWELL, UK

Mr Philip Jones
Medical Research Council
Mammalian Genetics Unit, MRC, Harwell, Oxfordshire
OX11 0RD
UK

Co-Authors: Arkell R, Bates P, Glenister P, Greenaway S, Jones J, Oxspring R, Vizor L, Strivens M, Selley R
Institutions: Mammalian Genetics Unit

Reporting work in progress.  The Mary Lyon Centre is a proposed, state-of-the-art, centralised facility for mouse genetic studies on the MRC Harwell campus.

The development of a paperless system for the collection, collation and dissemination of the large variety of data generated from such a facility presents a significant development task. A comprehensive process analysis of the existing paper systems needs to be completed before software design can begin.  The software development team is committed to developing a software system that mirrors and improves upon existing paper systems. A large amount of the development effort involves talking to the end users and observing their working practices to gain a sound understanding of their needs.  Various software life-cycles can be applied, the choice of which largely depends on the expected overall structure of the system. Developing in an incremental manner allows the system, and therefore the development project, to be compartmentalised. Prototyping allows the end users to provide constructive criticism of system design. The problems involved with specifying such as system and translating this into a user friendly, robust, maintainable system are explored.

The importance of thorough software testing, both by the developers and the end users of the system is considered, together with strategies that can be employed to make testing efficient and effect.


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