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data is only the first step. We are seeing increased adoption of data-driven
workflows. These dive deep into the
raw data and apply visualization,
design of experiments, multivariate
analysis and other statistics tools
to the data sets. Providing data to
such tools becomes much easier with
a normalized data structure like
AnIML took a long time to build. A
number of technical and political challenges had to be addressed to satisfy
the requirements of all stakeholders.
The technical work was finished over
a year ago, offering implementors a
stable basis for adoption. We are now
finalizing the standard documentation
and submitting it to the balloting process at ASTM. This will turn AnIML
into an open and public standard.
In the mean time, much effort has
gone into building the necessary tools
to deploy the standard. For end users,
this includes viewers for the desktop, the Web and mobile platforms,
integration tools, data converters, and
others. For the vendor community,
there are several software components
which allow embedding AnIML functionality into their existing software.
Up to now, AnIML has been applied
primarily in the pharmaceutical and
environmental field. We are looking
forward to exploring other use cases
and seeing the community around this
emerging standard grow.
• AnIML Home Page: www.animl.org
• BSSN Software AnIML Resource Center:
1. ASTM E1947 – 98(2009) Standard
Specification for Analytical Data
Interchange Protocol for Chromatographic
Data, DOI: 10.1520/E1947-98R09
2. McDonald, R.S.; Wilks, P.A. Applied
Spectroscopy 1988, 42, 151-162; Davies,
A.N.; Lampen, P. Applied Spectroscopy
1993, 47, 1093-1099; Lampen, P.; Hillig,
H.; Davies, A.N.; Linscheid, M. Applied
Spectroscopy 1994, 48, 1545-1552
3. Rühl, M.A.; Kramer, G; Schäfer, R: Spectro
ML-A Markup Language for Molecular
Spectrometry Data, Journal of Laboratory
Automation December 2001 vol. 6 no. 6
4. Martens L et al: mzML — a Community
Standard for Mass Spectrometry Data,
Mol Cell Proteomics January 2011;
10(1): R110.000133, DOI: 10.1074/mcp.
Burkhard Schaefer is the lead architect
of the AnIML format and co-founder
of BSSN Software, an AnIML tools
company. He can be reached at