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Mail 8. Bika Health, yes we can!

Bika Mail 8. 10 December 2008

Dear Subscriber

'Same same but different'  - It's that time again, madly busy, another year

And 2009 will start with a bang for us, now that (as reported with great enthusiasm last week) we've been granted half the cost of the next-phase Bika Health development by the SA Department of Trade and Industry's Innovation program.

The Bika Health project aims to deliver a fully customised LIMS for health laboratories on Plone 3 and SQL, targeting a beta release by 1 July. All suitable code will be applied to the Bika trunk and other branches, and released in due course.

Development Roadmap for 2009

Analysis and design for Bika Tribos 1, LIMS for Tribology labs, has started with client sponsorship by Exertus laboratories. We are looking forward to our first foray into results interpretation, taking advantage of exact interpretations of the chemical composition oil to monitor the condition of large engines and transformers.

Bika LIMS Inkosi 2.1, released shortly after our last newsletter in May, is a hit and is currently being downloaded at 25 per day. An upgrade will be made available soon, containing work sponsored by Benchmark Laboratories and Quantum Analytics. Quantum's double-barrelled worksheets were a hard nut to crack, containing multiple results, calculated from intermediate results and finally factored from calibration results before QC gets applied. And all of this from your browser.

In our previous newsletter we reported hosting IAEA fellow Juan Chin-Pampillo from the University of Costa Rica. His aim is to apply Bika Inkosi in pesticide residue and contaminant analysis of soil and water. Juan presented Bika to a regional Central American work group and then, in October, a global group at IAEA headquarters in Vienna. It is very likely that 2009 will see customisations and instrument interfaces developed for this discipline.

In the non-LIMS sector we are completing a web portal with shopping trolley and e-commerce for Analytical Science Technologies in the first quarter. A membership, journal and conference management design has been completed for SA Society of Enology and Viticulture, and development of the latter part is also expected to kick off in early 2009.

Yes we can – but how? With the help of three experienced developers joining us. Welcome Rob Marino, Godfrey Leibbrandt and Charles de Villiers - they all have long and impressive CVs, but sorry Rob and Godfrey, Charles being 6 times national chess champion says most about the bright lot you are;-)

The Bika Health Foundation (BHF)

We have moved to spawn off non-profit foundations to inherit the Bika code and intellectual property. This should remove any lingering doubt that Bika Lab Systems intends to keep these products free an open-source. We felt that Bika Health deserves a foundation of its own, to focus on matters wider than just health LIMS.

The BHF will still be under the wing of the wider Bika OS LIMS Foundation, or 'Collective', our working title currently in vogue. The BHF was presented at the SAHIA/OpenMRS/OSHCA conference in Durban, June 2008 and again in at the 2nd Global LIS conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, September, using a first prototype of Bika Health. This had been customised and Patient Demographics added.

Bika OS LIMS Collective

Watch this space. If you think your contribution qualifies you for membership, or you want to recommend somebody else, please let us know. All AGMs will be held in Cape Town or by proxy ;-)

Client Updates

LIMS: Inkosi upgrades for Quantum and Benchmark were completed.

BBK entered their 5th year on Bika Wine with an upgrade to 64 bit technology and improved performance. They achieved joint 1st place in the 2008 proficiency testing scheme of the SA Wine Laboratory Association, administered on-line in Bika Interlab for immediate turnaround.

Bika CMS, our portal content management services department, produced a Plone 3 site for the Woodstock Improvement District and went live with NuPlone skin and some custom development towards add-ons for membership and issue-management.

Bio-Systems SA went live with their Plone 2.5 portal, including a knowledge centre, the newsletter add-on Plone Gazette (also used to produce this newsletter), plus SEO and a web-marketing campaign.

What meltdown?

Our prediction that more companies will turn to open source for true value-for-money solutions seems to be coming true. 2009 is shaping up to be a better Bika year than ever, with two new products in the pipeline.

Bika Health, in particular, should go a long way towards fulfilling our desire to make a positive contribution.

Season's greetings and a successful, happy New Year to all

The Bika Team


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