BIRCH (Biological Research Computer Hierarchy)has provided bioinformatics resources to molecular biologists at the University of Manitoba. BIRCH is an organizational framework for delivering bioinformatics resources to a user group, scaling from a single lab to a large institution. The BIRCH core distribution includes many popular bioinformatics programs, unified within the GDE (Genetic Data Environment) graphic interface. Of equal importance, BIRCH provides the system administrator with tools that simplify the job of managing a multiuser bioinformatics system across different platforms and operating systems. These include tools for integrating locally-installed programs and databases into BIRCH, and for customizing the local BIRCH system to meet the needs of the user base. BIRCH can also act as a front end to provide a unified view of already-existing collections of bioinformatics software.
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BIRCH: A user-oriented, locally-customizable, bioinformatics system
BMC Bioinformatics 2007, 8:54 (9 February 2007)