CABINET and CARD:  Integrated Access to Chemical and Biological Information

Scott Dixon

Metaphorics, LLC

What is CABINET?

Data Models and Languages

Why not Unification?

Federation Advantages

Federation Disadvantages



Cabinet Access to Relational Databases


Incorporating User Data

To incorporate user data from an RDBMS in Cabinet servers which participate fully in the federation, we need to provide three things:

  1. User control of look and feel. This is accomplished by providing a template system in CARD.
  2. User control of data access. Provided via a small amount of scripting plus SQL access to the back end RDBMS. An embedded SQL engine is also available (based on SQLite).
  3. Access to Cabinet functionality. Provided by the underlying CARD application.

Look and Feel

Web content generation is widely done via template systems. The CARD template system, ANTES (ANother TEmplate System) is based on the StringTemplate language which enforces a strict separation of presentational and procedural components. The author of StringTemplate (Terence Parr) has written an excellent paper on the benefits of such a design.


Template System


CARD Application

Functional Overview


CARD/ACD example application is available on our server here. See me for access information.

Other New Servers




Metaphorics colleagues: