Big Bench Mouse: the complete colony-management software solution for transgenic mice
Designed just for transgenic mouse colonies, BBMouse makes it easy to:
Big Bench Mouse is loaded with features that make it easy to learn and use, while providing the power and flexibility you need. This page will introduce you to just a few of the highlights, giving you an idea of how the application works. For more information, you may download the tutorials or even the entire Users' Guide. In addition, you may download the demo version of BBMouse and use it free for 30 days.
Built upon the flexible and ultra-fast Panorama database engine, BBMouse has been designed to grow with your needs. We have already incorporated many new features requested by our customers, and will continue to expand and refine the application based on your experiences and requests.
Some of the features and characteristics of BBMouse include:
MENU-BASED DATA ENTRY
Big Bench Mouse was designed from the ground up to be intuitive and user-friendly. Data entry is menu-driven, so you can be confident you are entering the right type of data in each form.
As you use BBMouse, you will discover many "shortcuts", making data entry fast and easy. For example, you can record the sex of all pups in a litter with ONE click of the mouse. The normally tedious process of entering genotypes has likewise been streamlined. In addition, many forms use "checkbox" fields, allowing you to enter shared data into several records at once.
NEW TO VERSION 1.0: IMPROVED ARCHITECTURE
One of the most important upgrades in version 1.0 is not immediately visible, but confers many far-reaching advantages: data is now stored as text files in portable data folders. That may not sound very sexy or exciting, but consider some of the benefits:
Ideal For New Users
Being able to switch between your Experiments folder and the Sample Data folder allows new users to experiment with the application or follow the tutorials without being worried they will "wreck something" -- most likely your valuable data.
With all your data is stored as text files in a single folder, it is very easy for you to back up your data. Rather than having to make a copy of all of the application files every time you back up, you only need to copy your data folder which, containing only text, takes up very little space. As with any software application, you should back up your data frequently, at least once a day, and store the copy in a safe location such as on a tape drive or using some other removable media. If you have done this, then even if all your Big Bench Mouse application files were to be deleted from your hard drive, you would just need to download a replacement copy of the application and start working with the last copy of your data folder.
Data folders allow the application to work much more quickly when the number of records increases. Panorama loads data into memory (RAM), in contrast to most other database applications which must spend time searching indexes that are written on disk. Big Bench Mouse capitalizes on this advantage by loading into memory only the portion of data that is needed at any one time. As a consequence, whereas many other database applications will slow down as the number of records approaches 10,000 or more, Big Bench Mouse works almost as quickly with a database of 50,000 records as it does with 500.
Simple, Inexpensive Networking -- Even Cross-Platform
The most exciting advantage of using data folders is that it provides an easy and flexible way for different copies of the application to share data. In the simplest case, you can share your data with any other user of Big Bench Mouse just by giving them a copy of your data folder. However, you don't even need to copy the folder if the two computers are networked, because multiple copies of Big Bench Mouse can access a common data folder! Thus, provided you have given them permission, others can view the data in your data folder even when you are working on it.
If you have upgraded your copy of the application to the networked version, Big Bench Mouse NX, others can both read and change the data in your folder (again only if you have given them permission). With one copy of Big Bench Mouse NX and several additional copies of the standard version, you can set up a multi-user network without the cost or complexity of purchasing third-party database server software. In fact, since the Mac and PC versions of Big Bench Mouse use exactly the same text files, you can even create a multi-user database between networked Macs and PCs!
TUTORIALS AND COMPREHENSIVE USERS' GUIDE
A great way to learn more about BBMouse is to download the free Tutorial. It takes you step-by-step through many of the most common tasks, introducing you to several of the forms and showing you some of the convenient shortcuts. The Tutorial works together with the sample data that is pre-loaded in Big Bench Mouse.
Also available for download is the comprehensive Users' Guide. Like the Tutorial, the Users' Guide is in convenient PDF format. It can be used on-screen, or easily printed on your laser printer.
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