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Open Access Highly Accessed Software

Bioclipse: an open source workbench for chemo- and bioinformatics

Ola Spjuth1*, Tobias Helmus2, Egon L Willighagen2, Stefan Kuhn2, Martin Eklund1, Johannes Wagener3, Peter Murray-Rust4, Christoph Steinbeck2 and Jarl ES Wikberg1

Author affiliations

1 Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

2 Cologne University Bioinformatics Center, Cologne University, Cologne, Germany

3 Johannes Wagener, Gabelsbergerstr. 58a, 80333 Munich, Germany

4 Department of Chemistry, Unilever Centre for Molecular Informatics, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

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Citation and License

BMC Bioinformatics 2007, 8:59  doi:10.1186/1471-2105-8-59

Published: 22 February 2007

Abstract

Background

There is a need for software applications that provide users with a complete and extensible toolkit for chemo- and bioinformatics accessible from a single workbench. Commercial packages are expensive and closed source, hence they do not allow end users to modify algorithms and add custom functionality. Existing open source projects are more focused on providing a framework for integrating existing, separately installed bioinformatics packages, rather than providing user-friendly interfaces. No open source chemoinformatics workbench has previously been published, and no sucessful attempts have been made to integrate chemo- and bioinformatics into a single framework.

Results

Bioclipse is an advanced workbench for resources in chemo- and bioinformatics, such as molecules, proteins, sequences, spectra, and scripts. It provides 2D-editing, 3D-visualization, file format conversion, calculation of chemical properties, and much more; all fully integrated into a user-friendly desktop application. Editing supports standard functions such as cut and paste, drag and drop, and undo/redo. Bioclipse is written in Java and based on the Eclipse Rich Client Platform with a state-of-the-art plugin architecture. This gives Bioclipse an advantage over other systems as it can easily be extended with functionality in any desired direction.

Conclusion

Bioclipse is a powerful workbench for bio- and chemoinformatics as well as an advanced integration platform. The rich functionality, intuitive user interface, and powerful plugin architecture make Bioclipse the most advanced and user-friendly open source workbench for chemo- and bioinformatics. Bioclipse is released under Eclipse Public License (EPL), an open source license which sets no constraints on external plugin licensing; it is totally open for both open source plugins as well as commercial ones. Bioclipse is freely available at http://www.bioclipse.net webcite.