It’s a Grand Opening to which you’re all warmly invited! Starting 20th October 2011, please visit the IBP portal at www.integratedbreeding.net. In the meantime, we are taking the liberty to set up accounts on the portal for all of you, which will also provide you access to the additional tools and services of the iPlant Collaborative cyber infrastructure for biological research. You will receive email notification when your account is set-up.
Once you log on, you can also sign up for your community or communities of interest and start sharing knowledge and materials to implement successful integrated breeding projects. Although the portal itself is open to all, at the moment, we are limiting access to the tools under development to you only as registered members of our user-case projects so that you can help us develop them in the way you would like them to be. Thereafter, more polished versions of these tools will be offered to all breeders. Meanwhile, we’re providing an advance a sketch-map to help you get started on the 20th on your tour exploring the new portal – here’s a sample of some of the great features we’ll have in store for you…
The ‘Crop Information’ tab is where you go to download your crop database. The installers, accessible from respective Crop tabs, contain public crop information curated by Crop Lead Centers of the CGIAR and will also install empty local databases for your private breeding data as well as some legacy data management tools for the integrated breeding workbench. New data management and analysis tools are being developed as part of the Configurable Workflow System (CWS) and these are added to the workbench by downloading and installing them from the ‘IB Tools’ tab of the ‘Breeding Activities’ page. These tools will gradually replace the legacy tools on the workbench and hopefully, many of the improvements will stem from comments you post on the application pages of the ‘IB Tools’ tab. This way, your feedback will be taken into account in our bid to ensure we get you the tools you want!
The Crop pages under the ‘Crop Information’ tab will also allow you to query public crop information online as we set up the databases for each crop (rice and cowpeas are already available), and to view and eventually curate trait dictionaries.
On the ‘Breeding Activities’ page you will find three tabs: ‘IB Tools’, ‘Breeding Services & Schemes’ and ‘Supplementary Toolbox’. The ‘IB Tools’ tab leads you to a menu of information on the Breeding Applications and standalone tools of the CWS. Click on this tab to see the list of applications, their state of development and where to get the latest versions. Installers for the latest version of each tool can be downloaded from the application pages and installed on your local IB Workbench which you have set up from the 'Crop Information’ tab or from the ‘Crop Databases and IB Workbench’ application page. The application pages also tell you whom to contact for help and give you a place to post your comments, report bugs and request for additional features when you have tested the tools by clicking on the ‘Add new comment’ link.
The ‘Supplementary Toolbox’ tab leads you to information on a list of third-party supplementary tools which we believe are useful for facilitating Integrated Breeding. The ‘Breeding Services & Schemes’ tab gives you access to Marker Services as well as information and guidance on various breeding schemes. We hope to add access to other breeding services as they become available.
The community spaces are just for you! We are priming the pump by asking our Communities of Practice to post news and information of greatest interest to them. The Cassava Community pages are ready to go and we hope others will follow in quick succession. We hope you will join these communities and help make the IB Portal a successful professional and social networking site for integrated breeding.
To get to the community pages, click on ‘MyCommunity’ in the main menu of the portal, which gets you to the communities homepage where you can get an overview of the latest online activities in all the communities. You can join the action right from this page, by clicking on any items that interest you. Alternatively, you can go straight into a specific crop community by clicking on the secondary menu that lists both the crop and professional communities. Remember, to participate in the community blogs and forums, you must first enroll in the specific community.
So, please mark your calendars for 20th October, when the IBP portal opens for business.
Your role: Your voice needs to be heard! As you explore and use the portal, it’s absolutely important that we receive feedback from you on the good, the bad and the ugly. What is working well and what is not? For this, you will find feedback links within the various sections for you to easily and rapidly communicate with us. You can also send an email directly to Fred Okono, especially general comments on the overall organisation and presentation of the portal. We’ll be waiting…
We will be conducting a more formal survey to inform further development after a period of testing. Please let us have your views when that comes your way.