Flexible Licensing (Open source and custom-built tools)
We leverage a rich set of mature, but ever-improving, open source software technologies to sustainably develop ways to aggregate, secure, curate, federate, selectively share, and analyze large and diverse data without having to build an entire ecosystem of tools and technologies from scratch.
The G.E.M.S team skillfully leverages well supported software libraries and applications to implement core and novel functionality.
This approach has the intended consequence of making the platform cost-effective, robust to technology and staff turnover, and compatible with other related projects.
APIs (Linking in and out, to other efforts)
G.E.M.S can run on other systems, and our flexible Application Programming Interface (API) can be used to link G.E.M.S with other data repositories and analysis platforms.
In other words, G.E.M.S was designed from the start to “play nice” in a world of software that is increasingly modular and community developed.
Community Driven (Our users drive development priorities)
Making disparate data interoperable for the unified end of enabling agricultural innovation is a bit like putting together pieces of a giant, ever expanding, jigsaw puzzle. Two big questions loom large. Which parts of the puzzle are best built before others? Which parts of the puzzle are best linked together?
Setting out from scratch to build the complete puzzle picture is bound to fail. Given the rapidly changing realities of the data sciences it is not only technically foolish—as many white elephant informatics platforms of the past can testify—it is also inefficient and uneconomic.
We solve the puzzle building problem by following a simple edict. Let the needs of the innovation market determine our puzzle priorities. Put simply, the never-ending buildout of the G.E.M.S platform is demand driven.
The immediate and practical needs of our G.E.M.S partners determine our platform development priorities. Moreover, many of our purpose-built data and informatics pieces are developed jointly with or specifically for these same partners.
The platform is not a monolith. It is mosaic of purpose-built, interlocking, modular functional pieces. However, these functional pieces are always being developed with an eye to the big picture, which itself is ever-changing as technical informatics capabilities and agricultural innovation needs continue to evolve.