Seattle (WA), United States, Thursday, 30 June 2016 – The Integrated Breeding Platform (IBP) is holding an Architecture Summit this week, in the offices of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, WA. A first for the IBP initiative, the Architecture Summit is reuniting thirteen technological experts from varied backgrounds to assess the performance and scalability of the IBP’s software suite and core product, the Breeding Management System (BMS). The concrete output of these sessions will be to gather recommendations as to the orientations to be taken in future development efforts of the BMS.
”We are really committed to making the BMS a solution that aligns with our users’ needs and is as scalable as possible,” says Jan Erik Backlund, IBP Development Director, “but now we’ve found ourselves at a turning point in development. Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we thought we would open up the hood, get expert eyes to take an honest look at the engine, and see how we can adjust to continue on our path and purpose in a way that backs up our long-term objectives.”
Indeed, this Summit comes at a pivotal time of the initiative’s progression. Now half-way into its Phase II (2014-2019), the IBP is putting development efforts into providing network and cloud solutions, to meet users needs for a common platform where information can effectively be centralised and shared across partners, countries and agro-ecological zones.
Dr Jean-Marcel Ribaut, IBP Director, confirms: “Nobody works in silos anymore. Since our goal is truly to help breeding teams to step into the digital era and gain in efficiency, we need to provide institutions a multi-user version of the BMS with a proper permissions scheme… a pretty ambitious plan”.
In this endeavour, the IBP has set in place a strong development team, in tight collaboration with Leafnode and VSN International, renowned software design companies and longstanding partners of the IBP. It also works closely with a dedicated group of breeders and IT staff from key stakeholders transitioning to implement the BMS institutionally.
A selected group of software engineers and architects from among these partners meet this week at the BMS Architecture Summit to make an expert and transparent assessment of the tools: “We’ve come a long way since version 1.0 came out, but now is a good time to improve our practices to ensure we remain adaptive and purposeful. Technology is only as good as the problems it readily solves for users, and these needs keep evolving. Now the multiuser version of the BMS is a different beast altogether, and so we’re hoping to get a solid grasp of it”, explains Matthew Berrigan, Technical Lead for BMS development at Leafnode.
The Architecture Summit will provide invaluable insight as to the current status and potentiality of the product, so that incremental improvements can be built-in quickly and regularly. A Technical Advisory Group will then be instituted in the coming months to ensure follow-up and direction to the orientations collected during the meeting.
Interested parties can follow up on BMS progress and other IBP initiatives by registering on the IBP Portal.