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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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
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?
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?
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.
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