Databases at the Hub: Now you can create them yourself!

By Ann Christine Catlin1, Sudheera R. Fernando, Sumudinie Fernando, Ruchith Fernando, Ruwan J Egoda Gamage

1. Purdue University



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There are more than thirty medical and scientific databases established across ten Hubs. All databases were created using our Hub-based "data technology" components, with interesting new features and capabilities added to the technology for each new project. We have customized these databases for complex data types, with features tailored to support data collection and exploration for large funded projects.

But all communities should be able to share their data through the Hub! Many users need "simple" databases, based on spreadsheets that can be transformed into online, feature-rich databases – so that colleagues across the globe can search, browse, explore, drill-down, filter, download, and analyze shared research data. As the "data technology" components have become more powerful, and as more Hub communities called for their own personal databases, users kept asking: "Can you give us a way to create our own Hub databases?" The answer now is "Yes."

In this talk I will describe and demo DataStore Lite, an easy (and very cool) 3-step process for creating a searchable Hub database from a spreadsheet with data. I will also present DataStore, the next generation tool that gives Hub users a way to create more sophisticated databases, with full-featured data collection and exploration. I will briefly describe the Hub "data technology" components, which are used for DataStore Lite, DataStore and all custom-built databases.


Ann Christine Catlin is a Senior Research Scientist with the Rosen Center for Advanced Computing at Purdue University. She has an MS in Mathematics from Notre Dame University, and worked at several companies, both large (Bell Labs) and small (Applied Data Research) before coming to Purdue University. She was in the Computer Science Department for 12 years, where she worked on problem-solving environments for partial differential equations-based applications. She then moved to the Rosen Center, where she has worked for the past 5 years on creating a "database technology" for the HUBzero cyber infrastructure. She had led projects for Hub databases funded by NIH, NSF, NCI, NIST, U.S. Army, AFRL, Regenstrief Foundation and other institutions and foundations, with more than 40 publications about her work.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Ann Christine Catlin; Sudheera R. Fernando; Sumudinie Fernando; Ruchith Fernando; Ruwan J Egoda Gamage (2013), "Databases at the Hub: Now you can create them yourself!,"

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Nikki Huang

Purdue University