Enhance BEXIS2: from pure data management to an information system
More than 10 years ago, the first version of the Biodiversity Exploratories Information System (here BExIS1) went online to act as the data management platform and information system for the SPP 1374 “Biodiversitäts-Exploratorien” (BE). With its major function as data management system it facilitates data sharing among the projects and data re-use across all phases. In addition, BExIS1 offers access to further resources and has many extra functionalities to facilitate the collaboration between people and to support the project as a whole. It provides a lot of information related to field work like interactive maps of all research plots, and a booking system for field station resources and to announce plot visits. Further functionalities include a management system for publications, a document uploading mechanism, an event registration tool, and a question-answer system as an interface to stakeholders, in particular landowners. With these functionalities, BExIS is more than a conventional data management system. It acts as an information or even better project assisting system. Since release 2.11.0 the BEXIS2 system is fully modularized. It allows to un-/install and de-/activate modules in a running instance. This was a major advance because it allows to implement features also from 3rd parties. We re-developed a couple of BExIS1 functionalities as separate modules. It involves fieldwork management related features like resource booking management, and the plot map management. Further features are related to event management, information/document sharing, land use intensity calculation, and dataset overview computation. The development followed a generic, modular and extensible approach. Therefore these modules are adaptable to project specific needs and could be of high interest for other BEXIS2 instance users.