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Open Access Highly Accessed Software

SDAR: a practical tool for graphical analysis of two-dimensional data

Saroja Weeratunga1, Nien-Jen Hu2, Anne Simon3 and Andreas Hofmann145*

Author Affiliations

1 Structural Chemistry Program, Eskitis Institute for Cell and Molecular Therapies, Griffith University, Brisbane, Qld, 4111, Australia

2 Division of Molecular Biosciences, Imperial College London, London, SW7 2AZ, UK

3 Universite Lyon 1, CNRS ICBMS 5246, Institut de Chimie et Biochimie Moleculaires et Supramolaires, Laboratoire Genie Enzymatique, Membrane Biomimetique et Assemblages Supramoleculaires, F-69622, Villeurbanne, France

4 Faculty of Veterinary Science, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, 3010, Australia

5 Queensland Tropical Health Alliance, Townsville, Qld, 4811, Australia

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BMC Bioinformatics 2012, 13:201  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-13-201

Published: 14 August 2012

Abstract

Background

Two-dimensional data needs to be processed and analysed in almost any experimental laboratory. Some tasks in this context may be performed with generic software such as spreadsheet programs which are available ubiquitously, others may require more specialised software that requires paid licences. Additionally, more complex software packages typically require more time by the individual user to understand and operate. Practical and convenient graphical data analysis software in Java with a user-friendly interface are rare.

Results

We have developed SDAR, a Java application to analyse two-dimensional data with an intuitive graphical user interface. A smart ASCII parser allows import of data into SDAR without particular format requirements. The centre piece of SDAR is the Java class GraphPanel which provides methods for generic tasks of data visualisation. Data can be manipulated and analysed with respect to the most common operations experienced in an experimental biochemical laboratory. Images of the data plots can be generated in SVG-, TIFF- or PNG-format. Data exported by SDAR is annotated with commands compatible with the Grace software.

Conclusion

Since SDAR is implemented in Java, it is truly cross-platform compatible. The software is easy to install, and very convenient to use judging by experience in our own laboratories. It is freely available to academic users at http://www.structuralchemistry.org/pcsb/ webcite. To download SDAR, users will be asked for their name, institution and email address. A manual, as well as the source code of the GraphPanel class can also be downloaded from this site.