AnIML is a standardized XML data format that allows for storing and sharing of experiment data. It is suitable for a wide range of scientific disciplines. Its origins are in analytical chemistry. The format now covers biological data as well.
AnIML documents can capture laboratory workflows and results, no matter which instruments or measurement techniques were used. To achieve this, AnIML provides a generic data container that permits the storage of arbitrary analytical data. This includes
- sample information,
- method information,
- measurement results,
- instruments and software used,
as well as workflow information that ties experiments and samples together. The concept of Technique Definitions permits the formal specification of constraints for using this data container. Such a definition can prescribe how the data for specific measurement techniques should be captured in an AnIML document. This way, AnIML can be applied to many different analytical techniques. It grows gracefully as new techniques are developed, allowing continued use of existing software components.
Where does AnIML come from?
AnIML is based on XML. This has several benefits. First, many tools for XML manipulation are readily available off-the-shelf, making implementation easier. Second, as XML is a text-based format, AnIML documents are human-readable – an important aspect for long-term storage.
While AnIML has its roots in analytical chemistry, efforts have been made to make the standard applicable to many other scientific domains. AnIML is being developed by the ASTM E13.15 subcommittee on analytical data which consists of volunteers from industrial, academic, government and vendor communities.
How can I put AnIML to use?
The founders of BSSN Software have been involved in AnIML since 2003. Leveraging this experience, BSSN Software has developed a comprehensive offering of products and services to assist laboratories in deploying AnIML in their processes. In addition, the company supports instrument manufacturers in implementing AnIML in their products.
Seahorse Scientific Workbench is the first full commercial-grade AnIML implementation, allowing users to bring together data from many different instruments and measurement techniques in a single place. A number of AnIML data format converters are available to convert instrument data into the AnIML format.
Due to its constructive involvement and technical leadership in the AnIML development process, BSSN Software is uniquely positioned to deliver effective AnIML-based solutions.