The SDSC Notebook: a data management, collaboration and application development environment for the Windows platform


January 6, 2005


Greg Quinn, Blair Jennings, and Robert Byrnes


San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC)


The wealth of information and data freely available to researchers over the Internet is breathtaking, and has led to fundamental changes in the ways in which information is accessed and used by domain scientists. However, accompanying this revolution are some very real issues associated with end-user “data overload”:
How to collate, store, search and re-purpose Internet-derived data
How to effectively annotate this information
How to share this information with colleagues
How to view locally archived and networked data in a richly interactive environment, far beyond that capable through a standard web page
We will present initial work on the SDSC Notebook, a Windows-based application that seeks to address the issue of data overload and to powerfully serve the needs of the research and knowledge worker communities. The project’s goal is to develop an application that will store and manage scientific data derived from a variety of networked resources, such as SOAP services and web pages, into an XML data repository on the end-users computer. Notebook application users will be able to share data and annotations by means of peer-to-peer communication between Notebook application users, creating a virtual collaboratory. Locally stored data will be capable of being annotated using both text and ink data types. An embedded development framework that uses XAML markup to create user interfaces to local and networked data/services will provide informatics developers with the tools needed to create the next generation of advanced data interfaces. More info at


Greg Quinn, Blair Jennings, and Robert Byrnes

Greg holds a senior developer position at the San Diego Supercomputer Center. He is principal investigator of the SDSC Notebook Project and architect of the Encyclopedia of Life project. Prior to SDSC, he worked at the Burnham Institute in La Jolla, developing advanced bioinformatics data presentation interfaces. He holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology and biological data analysis from the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. His interests include developing advanced data presentation interfaces for biological data and data management automation.

Blair is a Programmer/Analyst at the San Diego Supercomputer Center and has been working as a Software Engineer for over 6 years; previously to that he worked as a Biological Chemist for over ten years. His main interests are in applying the concepts of the semantic web (currently leading the JenaNET project on and distributed applications to the areas of scientific knowledge management. Other projects that he has worked on

Bob is a Programmer/Analyst for the San Diego Supercomputer Center on the University of California, San Diego campus in La Jolla, California.