I’ve been really pleased with the interest in HermesLite since we put it “out there”.
HermesLite wasn’t something we thought was a particularly big deal when we worked on it. The majority of the coding was done by Tim in a couple of weeks, he tidied up a few things and then I did a bunch of testing and liaison with the guys at the Western Australian Museum (WAM) to get it up and running, where it was then delivering data to the Online Zoological Collections of Australian Museums project.
The WAM implementation (and the first production version) went live on the 11th October, 2008. The data retrieval mode served over 40,000 records from the production Arachnid collection database to the external server we’re donating for the project in less than a minute. The receival and storage mode processed these records and made them available for the OZCAM project via a TAPIRLink implementation within a few minutes of receiving them. Tim and I were sending emails to each other at the time that made us sound like giddy schoolboys when I look at them now…
Tim: It’s working!!!!
Piers: I can see data in the map!!!!
Tim: 40,669 records loaded!!!
After that big event, we were ready to put the code “out there”, and so we did, coupled with a presentation at the TDWG Conference in Fremantle. This presentation is here (Powerpoint presentation at 1.9MB) and here (Shockwave file at 7.8MB). I’m still sure I don’t sound like that, by the way!
Since then, we’ve had a pretty big response. We’ve had expressions of interest from a range of institutions in Australia, including state and federal government departments, which made me feel like we were successful in what we set out to achieve. And following TDWG, we’ve had interest from consortia in South-East Asia, Europe and the United States of America. That’s completely blown my mind.
Of course, it wouldn’t have been at all possible without the original funding from the Australian Biological Resources Study and the support from the Western Australian Museum. Without the forward thinking of the ABRS and without the support of a data provider, this wouldn’t have gone anywhere.
I hope that this sort of support and interest continues with the software, because this makes me feel like I’m doing my job properly.
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