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A selection of BRAHMS v8 video clips


Performance in a large database
Connecting to the conifer demo database
Adding a new user account
Using the species table form
Adding text entries to taxa
Using data grid filters
Selecting visible columns
Creating an RDE file for geographic data
Importing plant names from IPNI
Importing bird sample data from an Excel table
Adding species names to an RDE file
Mapping in action
Printing a garden plant list
Updating and viewing calculated fields
Opening, docking and linking tables
Using tags, filters and maps
Generating labels and saving to pptx
Images -> specimen RDE file for data capture
Tracking edits and using Undo
Managing transactions
Deleting records


Performance in a large database

This clip shows the strong performance in v8 with large databases. The system uses virtualization to pull data from the data store and thus size has little bearing on performance. The example here is from the Naturalis museum in the Netherlands where the preserved specimens table has over 5.7 million records. It also shows how filters can be added using the handy grid filter row.

Connecting to the conifer demo database

The conifer database zip downloaded from https://herbaria.plants.ox.ac.uk/bol/brahms/support/samples/conifers is extracted to a local folder. This can be any accessible drive:folder. If the Database Projects Manager form is opened, close this. Then add a new database connection as shown, using the local file system. Use the browse option to locate the downloaded conifer file. You can then log out of BRAHMS nd log in again choosing the conifer database on the login screen.

Adding a new user account to BRAHMS

This clip shows how to add a new BRAHMS user. With these login credentials, the user can open BRAHMS from any workstation (i.e. not necessarily logged in to the workstation using their own windows credentials). This user is assigned access to two databases in the current data store but with one, has read-only access.

Using the species table form

This clip shows the use of a form to access and edit taxa records. The example starts by setting a filter on the Podocarpaceae. The form updates as you move through the grid. The synonomy tab shows all names related to the current record - with the accepted name at the top. The collection events tab lists all collections linked to the current taxa record together with a summary of specimen location by institution.

Adding text entries to taxa

You can add text descriptions to taxa. Text entries can be of any length and of any topic. These texts are searchable and can be formatted into reports.

Import plant names from IPNI to RDE

Data are easily imported to RDE files from Excel tables and various other sources. In this video, a new taxa RDE file is created and population with records of the genus Dimorphanthera as available on the IPNI site.

Importing bird sample data from an Excel table to RDE.

In this example, some bird data are imported from an Excel table to an RDE file. Field names are auto-matched as far as possible, others can be matched manually. In this sample, the data provided are quite limited, for example, there are no field numbers. The Excel table includes a few non- standard fields and these are added to the RDE file.

Using data grid filters

The data grid filter bar is a powerful and efficient way to add and combine filters on any visible field. In this example, millions of records are narrowed down to show types from Palawan - the selection is then saved to Excel.

Selecting visible columns

This video show how data grid columns can be selected and then saved to a named grid column view using the options on the Grid Tools toolbar. The IUCN Red List view created here is made use of in the video on creating a Tree View.

Creating an RDE file for geographic data

This video clip shows how to create a new RDE (Rapid Data Entry) file for geographic data. It then demonstrates how you can import data from Excel to RDE using the Import Wizard with its auto-field matching feature. Finally, the imported records are mapped. These RDE data could subsequently be imported to BRAHMS - thus speeding up the entry of specimen data from Chile.

Adding species names to an RDE file

This video clip shows how species names can be selected from your database when working in an RDE (Rapid Data Entry) file. The RDE file is first put into Edit mode. The species selector is opened using the F9 key (although this can be configured differently).

Mapping in action

This video clip shows how you can coordinate Tree Views with the in-built ArcGis mapper. The Tree View of taxa names is set to Filter on selection (lower screen). The map background switches from Dark Grey to World Imagery. Maps auto-update with filters and the current collection event record is highlighted in yellow. Clicking on map points locates the record in the grid, an excellent way to locate map errors. The Extent of Occurrence (EOO) is easily calculated.

Printing a garden plant list

In this example, the living collection file is opened and column view is selected. The data are filtered to show one garden area, sorted by grid and sub grid and then printed in preview mode.

Updating and viewing calculated fields

Many BRAHMS tables have calculated fields. These fields are updated when you use the 'recalculate' option. Calculated fields can be selected to view using the standard manage columns tool and you can include them in saved views. The option # Calc Fields on the Grid Tools menu switches calculated fields on and off. This video demonstrates the use of these fields in the country table where you can easily total the number of collections, places and taxa per country. The results are easily sorted, printed or exported to Excel.

Opening, docking and linking tables

When opening multiple tables, it is usually more convenient to dock them to allow simultaneous viewing. If the tables are related, you can dynamically link them. In this example, the species and collection event tables are opened, together with the ArcGIS mapper. A field view (that includes the calculated collection totals) is set for species and the table is filtered to show accepted names in Podocarpus. The collection events table is docked below the species table and dynamically linked. The maps, docked to the right, update as the species change.

Using tags, filters and maps

Tags have multiple uses in BRAHMS, for example saving groups of records to tag groups; printing labels for tagged records; or mapping tagged records. In this example, a filter is set on collection event records that include the word 'serpentine' in the habitat text notes. This selection is then tagged and mapped. The map (restricted to showing tagged records) in then refined using a map search on the west coast of North America, leading to a summary of the species on serpentine soil in that region.

Generating labels and saving to pptx

BRAHMS reporting tools provide almost limitless power to generate lists, master detail reports, labels, charts, cross-tabs and more. You can print, send to documents, attach as email or publish online. Designing new reports using the visual design features is easy and quite fun. In this example, a pre-designed report is used to generate basic specimen labels directly from tagged records in an RDE file and save these to a PowerPoint .pptx file. The RDE file includes some handy pre-calculated fields such as formatted map references and collection dates. In practice, you would design your own specimen label templates.

Images -> specimen RDE file for data capture

Specimen data are frequently added using imaged based data entry. This example shows how a batch of images can be appended to a newly created Rapid Data Entry table, one record per image. Assuming barcodes are available, these can be scanned in as the data from the specimen label(s), are entered. This operation benefits from a large monitor - or using multiple monitors.

Tracking edits and using Undo

All database changes, including those made in RDE files, are tracked in the BRAHMS Edit History table. This feature tracks all record editing; who made the changes and when, together with the original and edited values. All changes, including those in long text strings, can be reversed using the Undo option. In this example, the RDE collections file is first switched into Edit mode to allow editing.

Managing transactions such as gifts, loans and exchanges

Managing transactions is an important feature in BRAHMS v8 - be these for preserved or living material. Transactions are linked to the categories you choose to add to your database. After adding a transaction record, you can link or unlink items; print packing notes and correspondence; record material as returned; edit determinations; and review all transactions using any of the standard data grid features. Transactions, best managed using barcoded material, can be uploaded to BRAHMS onliine as Image based transactions.

Deleting records

This video shows the deletion of some collection events and then of an entire genus. Record deletion is a two-step process. Records are first marked for deletion using the Delete option on the Data Tools toolbar or the default F7 key. This adds * to the DEL field and displays the record in a strikeout font. Repeating the action for a record marked for deletion will un-delete it. The second step is to remove records marked for deletion. Unlike v7, deletion cascades to delete linked child records. Thus, if you delete a species with collections, specimens, text and common names, these too would be deleted.