A Generic data collection system through WWW forms, based on a Python OOD program.

[Abstract] [Introduction] [Methods] [Discussion] [References]
An updated version of this paper is available in postscript .


One of the problems associated with modern data management is the efficient collection and validation of data from providers of information. WWW browsers, able to support forms provide an excellent, machine independent interface for collectiong data through the network. When the information to be provided is rich and complex, a robust program on the server side should provide the user with a friendly interface that breaks the complex task into smaller, more managable tasks and on the other hand act as a powerful pre-filter, scanning errors on-line.

Albeit some limitations which are a consequence of the server-client phylosophy, object oriented programs are especially efficient for interfacing with WWW forms.

Described here is a generic, object oriented data submission system, entirely based on the Python programming language. This system can be easily accomodated to serve several data submission schemes with a relatively short development and implantation time. This system already serves successfuly in the EMBL outstation - the European Bioinformatics Iinstitute (EBI). It caters one of the world's largest biology databases - EMBL as well as a few others.

Written by Benny shomer, The EBI.