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Summary and future developments

Development of the 3Dee database presented challenges typical of derived databases in molecular biology. Frequent updates to the derived database are necessary since the primary database is growing rapidly (1). The base information in the database, the domain definitions, cannot be derived by an automated method for all proteins, and requires human input to maintain consistency (2). The database contains relationship data, so changes to one entry in the sequence and structural hierarchy will affect other entries in the hierarchy (3). Currently, the 3Dee database is a traditional file processing system that has worked effectively for creating and updating of the database. However, the base information in 3Dee is tabular and could benefit from the advantages of a commercial relational database management system (RDBMS). Conceptually, an RDBMS offers extra security, program-data independence, and support of multiple views of the data. So a wider variety of complex queries via application programs, allowing access to all information stored in the database, would be possible.

Uwe Dengler, 2000-10-16