Products and Services


What makes IrisBG different from other products?

  • IrisBG is the only software package available today that provides a complete plant collection management solution with integrated maps, a web solution for garden visitors, an online Index Seminum for seed exchange and support for mobile handheld devices.
  • Available since 1996, IrisBG provides our customers with a worry free, modern, efficient long term solution for plant collection management at a predictable cost.
  • IrisBG is designed in close collaboration with botanic gardens and created by people with a background in both professional Botany AND Software Engineering.
  • IrisBG can run on a single PC, in a large network with hundreds of users, or even in a dispersed global network with the plant collection stored on a cloud based database service.
  • IrisBG is the popular choice with IT staff. You can choose between different SQL database products and select the one that best fits your organisation. The data can be accessed with standard database tools and installation and upgrades are as simple as can be.
  • We know that your time is valuable and that time spent on record keeping should be used as efficiently as possible.
  • We strongly believe in openness, also with regard to our pricing, which we have made available online.
  • Your plant records are valuable to you, so a lot of research has gone into our product to ensure a high level of data quality and to reduce the risk of data loss. This is an aspect that is often ignored in “low cost” solutions. With IrisBG, the data is protected from unauthorized access and, in addition, each individual user’s access can be fine-tuned.
  • A lot of effort has been put into the design of IrisBG, giving customers as much flexibility as possible to alter the behaviour of the system according to their requirements. Ranging from basic changes such as planting status, to more advanced changes like taxonomic classification or accession numbering policy.

Why do you charge an annual support and maintenance fee?

Our goal is to give the best possible products and services to our customers today and tomorrow. This involves a constant investment in research and development. The latest version of our product is always available to our customers as part of the support and maintenance service. Should you need it, we are available to give you a helping hand and we are constantly improving our online resources, so you also have unlimited access to assistance online. Adaptations and revisions are introduced on a regular basis based on new relevant developments in botany and technology. Should any technical problems arise, they will be resolved efficiently without any unpleasant financial surprises. We are committed to our product and we want our customers to feel confident that they have a quality product and service available at a predicable price.

Buying a product with an annual fee is difficult for us.

We have difficulties commiting to an annual fee, is there an alternative?

For customers with a restricted budget, we are offering a special solution, whereby a one-off licences can be purchased, with an option to upgrade when required. Please get in touch for details.

Do I need to pay for other product licenses?

Do I need to pay for other product licenses apart from the IrisBG licence?

Many of our customers use IrisBG together with free database options such as Microsoft SQL Server Express. Unless you have very specific requirements, there would be no other licensing costs on top of the IrisBG licence.

We have more than one garden, can IrisBG handle this?

IrisBG can be configured with as many gardens (collections) as needed. The plant collections will share the taxonomy and some of the system definitions. You can define how much access a user has to each plant collection. Please consult our pricelist for multiple garden/sites installation.

Can I use a Generic Collection Management System?

There are many similarities between managing a collection of objects and a collection of plants. However, there are also some important differences that will make it difficult to successfully adopt a Generic Collection Management System (CMS) for a living botanical collection.

Below, we have listed some of the important differences:

  • Nomenclature Management. Botanical nomenclature is typically more complex than the naming requirements of a collection of objects such as a museum collection. Botanical nomenclature is also constantly subject to change, which needs to be handled efficiently and safely.
  • Accessioning. Living plant collections can often have several entities (plants) within one accession with it's own life cycle. With asexual propagation, you can also create an offspring within the same accession.
  • Plant Collection Management. A living collection system should allow you to track the whole lifespan of the plant material including propagation, plant care and inspections.
  • Mapping. The location of plants in the garden and where plant material was collected in the wild is important information in a living collection. A fully integrated mapping solution is in many cases not relevant for a collection of inanimate objects but highly desirable for a botanical garden.
  • Advanced Features. Advanced feature rich systems such as IrisBG have dedicated solutions to support workflows that are specific to botanical collections and are unlikely to be found in generic CMS. This includes solutions for handhelds, visitor’s website, label management, seed catalogue production, etc.
  • The final two points are normally to be found generic CMS as well, but they have a more generic approach and consequently may not work very well for a botanical collection.
    • Identification / Determination. Plant identification is a highly specialised field and curators need to ensure that identification is well documented with regards to certainty and identification history.
    • Provenance. Keeping track of the origin of plant material is important for research and conservation. In addition, botanical collections also need to manage restricted plant material in accordance with international regulations.

What is IrisBG Mobile used for?

IrisBG Mobile is used by garden staff to view and update the plant collection records when out in the garden. With IrisBG Mobile, you can change accession details, such as item status and label status, take photographs and view and update map coordinates. IrisBG mobile also supports barcode and QR code scanning. More details are available on the IrisBG mobile product page.

Installing and Implementing IrisBG


Is it difficult to install and maintain IrisBG?

To install IrisBG, you do not require any special skills apart from a general experience in software installation. Some basic knowledge of database management is a benefit, but all the necessary steps are explained in our installation guide. Should you require any assistance, we are always available.

How do I get my existing data into IrisBG?

We offer a data migration service. Read more about the data migration service.

Do you provide taxonomic data with IrisBG?

We are able to supply APG III classification (genera and above) upon request, based on the genera relevant for your collection. This is typically carried out as part of our data migration service. The benefit with this approach is that the system will not be filled up with irrelevant taxa. When adding new taxa, there are productivity tools such as “web search” and “IPNI validation” which make adding new taxa easy and efficient. For more details, have a look at the video tutorial “Managing your Taxa”.

Do I need to record the GPS location of all my plants?

No, to be able to use maps, it is sufficient to have the map coordinates recorded for your garden location. IrisBG will show the location of your plants by using the plant coordinates, OR the garden location coordinates.

To use maps, do I need to have a digitized map?

To use maps, do I need to have a digitized map prepared by a professional surveyor?

No, you can start with online maps and satellite images from suppliers such as Bing and OpenStreetMap. Depending on your location and your requirements, the online map resources may be sufficient.

Poor network coverage and using IrisBG Mobile.

We have poor network coverage in our garden; can I still use IrisBG mobile?

You do not require a wireless connection in order to use IrisBG Mobile. With IrisBG Mobile you have a copy of your plant collection on the handheld device, which is synchronized with the desktop version when you are back at the office.

Can I install IrisBG on 64-bit Windows?

IrisBG is compatible with 32 and 64-bit Windows. This includes all versions from Windows XP and later (Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10). From version 3.6.0, released March 2016, IrisBG will also run as a native 64-bit process on 64-bit windows, making it capable of processing very large datasets. The same installation is used for all Windows versions.

Can I run IrisBG on an Apple Mac?

To install IrisBG on Apple Mac, you would need a to install virtualization software such as Parallels Desktop for Mac, WMware Fusion or a similar product.

Can I install IrisBG on Citrix?

Yes, we have several clients who use IrisBG on Citrix.

Will we still own the data if it is stored on the cloud?

Yes, the data is yours. As an extra service, we can also provide a full copy of the entire database upon request.

Using IrisBG


Can I add my own data fields to IrisBG?

Yes. With custom attributes you can add your own fields to your taxa and accession records. Please have a look at the video tutorial, “Using Custom Attributes” for more details.

What is the maximum number of images I can store?

With IrisBG, you can store as many images as you like. You are only limited by the available disk capacity on your database server.

Is there a maximum size on the images I can store?

To conserve disk space, IrisBG is delivered with an automatic image downscaling feature. This is by default set to 3 megapixels, but can be changed by the individual user and for each individual image. The maximum image resolution is 50 Megapixel.
The image storage is fully integrated with the database and can be configured to handle very large images on dedicated disks with increased performance and flexibility.

Does IrisBG support my accession numbering policy?

Yes, most likely. IrisBG supports a wide range of numbering regimes and formats. For each accession, you will record the accession year and accession number. The accession number can be a series for each year, or a number series for the whole plant collection. The accession number can be assigned automatically by the system, or manually by the user. You can define your own accession number format, built up by a combination of accession details using only an accession number or combined with the accession year, and/or other details from the accession.

Can I design my own reports?

Yes, with IrisBG you can create your own reports. For more details, have a look at the video tutorial “Advanced reporting”.


Last Updated 20 Jan 2014
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