Contents

1 What was the EFABIS project?

Historically, two databases were developed for the purpose of the management of animal genetic resources in the European perimeter. The European Association for Animal Production (EAAP) was one of the first organizations to develop a database to monitor the large variety of European breeds, making this information available through the Internet. This comprised data describing breeds in general (textual and numeric) as well as population sizes and structures over the time. On its basis ? both in terms of data structure and content - the Animal Genetic Resources Group of FAO in Rome used this database, to set off a new development for its internet based dynamic Domestic Animal Diversity Information System (DAD-IS). Having been developed at different times and on the basis of different software systems, the two databases were incompatible, requiring data to be entered in both. Furthermore, both systems had aged and became progressively more difficult to maintain and to develop further. In the EFABIS project of the European Union under the 5th framework based on a merge of these two incompatible systems a network of farm animal biodiversity information systems (FABISnet) was created under the Open Source Model, adding new functionality and opening the road for further development.

2 Who were members in the EFABIS project?

The consortium and regular participants were:

  • European Association for Animal Production (EAAP), 00162 Rome, Italy
  • Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 00100 Rome,
  • Bureau des Ressources Genetiques (BRG), 16, rue Claude Bernard, 75231 Paris cedex, France
  • University of Veterinary Medicine, 30559 Hannover, Germany
  • National Research Institute of Animal Production (NRIAP), 31-047 Krakow, Poland
  • Uni Milano, Department VSA,Universita di Milano, 20133 Milano, Italy
  • Institute for Animal Breeding, Federal Agricultural Research Center (FAL) , 31535 Neustadt, Germany

3 What was the outcome of the EFABIS project?

As a result of the EFABIS project a new system was developed (FABISnet) which was a merge of the EAAP and FAO database in terms of data structure with a strong emphasis on extended networking and communication capabilty. These newly developed databases replaced the previous database at EAAP and FAO and further made an extended installation at the NRIAP in Poland. Thus, as a direct result of this project three new databases have been set up, first at EAAP and in Poland and with a slight delay also at FAO.

4 What is FABISnet about?

The EFABIS project treats countries as the smallest unit, supporting aggregation at a regional level like the European database with the final aggregation at the worldwide global level at FAO. To this effect, FABISnet consists of a network of countries? databases together with regional (EAAP) and global databases. Multiple databases can automatically exchange their data and thereby synchronize the contents. All databases are accessible through the Internet using a standard Web browser. This covers data updates for authorized users as well as browsing for anonymous users.

5 How can a FABISnet database be adopted to countries?

Two aspects of the web interface can be localized. First, translation of all screen texts allows countries to create their national Web based information system, where the interface is displayed in the local language and character set, e.g. Latin and Cyrillic. Second, the Web interface can also be customized by providing own graphics and color layout to underline the ownership of AnGR nformation system.

Localization of data content All descriptions can be entered in the local language. Later on they can be translated into protocol language (one of official languages established for communication with higher levels) using the tools provided by FABISnet. Breed descriptions in any of the protocol language will be automatically uploaded to the higher levels, thereby making the information globally available. This hierarchy of the network (country, regional and global level) is also reflected by a hierarchy of content: the standard set of fields that the FAO database contains is also present at the regional (EU) and at the national level. There are some fields that are relevant only for a certain region (suited there for general use) and finally some that exist only in a given country. Countries can also decide to collect data on species not recorded in higher levels of the network. Then, at the country level, which is Poland in the EFABIS project as pilot at the national level, the set of data collected is a superset (as regards data fields and species) of the contents of the higher level (EAAP). Finally the global level (FAO) collects only subset of data collected at regional level. For instance, the Polish National Database includes data on bees and other species with traits not recorded in other databases. Likewise, the EAAP database has additional fields on cryo conservation and environmental and cultural value of AnGR, that the FAO level does not have.

6 How can I get the FABISnet software?

The FABISnet software is available under the Gnu Public License (GPL) from www.tzv.fal.de . With the new design, the same software is used at the country, regional and global levels, except for the additions on the country level. The new FABISnet installation can be made without any software costs, because both the system software and also the FABISnet application software are released as Open Source software on GPL (General Public License), giving each country an own presence on the Web. Being an open source system, it can be tailored to country needs.

7 Who were the people behind the project?

The technical implementation was done at the Institute for Animal Breeding in the Department of Animal Breeding and Genetic Ressources under the technical coordination of Eildert Groeneveld. The developers funded through the work packages of the partners were concentrated here to be able to work efficiently together on this project. Thus, the group was:

  • Eildert Groeneveld (technical coordination) Institute for Animal Breeding, Federal Agricultural Research Center (FAL) , 31535 Neustadt, Germany
  • Ralf Fischer (first part) from the Institute for Animal Breeding, Federal Agricultural Research Center (FAL) , 31535 Neustadt, Germany
  • Zhivko Duchev from the University of Veterinary Medicine, 30559 Hannover, Germany
  • Mateusz Wieczorek from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 00100 Rome for the last part of the project
  • Lucjan Soltys from Bureau des Ressources Genetiques (BRG), 16, rue Claude Bernard, 75231 Paris cedex, France for 2/3 of the project
  • Marek Imialek from National Research Institute of Animal Production (NRIAP), 31-047 Krakow, Poland

Furthermore, much input has been made by the other members of the project in particular

  • Gustavo Gandini from Uni Milano, Department VSA,Universita di Milano, 20133 Milano, Italy
  • Beate Scherf from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 00100 Rome
  • Maria Jaszczynska from the National Research Institute of Animal Production (NRIAP), 31-047 Krakow, Poland
  • Ottmar Distl from the University of Veterinary Medicine, 30559 Hannover, Germany
  • Dominique Planchenault from Bureau des Ressources Genetiques (BRG), 16, rue Claude Bernard, 75231 Paris cedex, France during the first half of the project

Then we must furthermore give credit to our first official coordinator Johan van Arendonk from the University of Wageningen, Netherlands who handed over to Andrea Rosati from the European Association of Animal Production, Rome and, ofcourse, Elena Couto, who kept tabs on the budget.