firstname.lastname@example.org, 25th June 2003
Talisman is an open source rapid application development platform with a particular focus on the Bioinformatics domain. Due to the web based nature of the system, the majority of the real documentation for a Talisman instance is actually contained within the running server. In order to view it, you can either install the system yourself or look at the test installation at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) here. You can also jump to the 'raw' sourceforge site at http://www.sourceforge.net/projects/talisman which will give you access to the download links, ancillary documentation and other standard sourceforge features.
Talisman was initially developed in the Swiss-Prot group at the EBI, subsequence development up to the current time has been under the auspices of the eScience R&D group and funded as part of the EPSRC myGrid project.
Talisman may be deployed in various different configurations. The default is to deploy the runtime and portal as one unit; this presents end users with a web based environment and allows extremely agile development of such things as curation tools. In fact, the original purpose of the project was to provide curators in the Swiss-Prot group at the EBI with access to data in Oracle without requiring them to learn a new technology to do so. Since its development, a large proportion of the annotation of InterPro and Swiss-Prot Gene Ontology mappings have been done with tools developed using Talisman. In order to use this, you need to download the Talisman code and either build or copy the WAR (Web Application aRchive) out into a suitable Servlet engine such as Apache Tomcat. The configuration and installation of the servlet engine itself is outside the scope of this project.
An alternative is to use Talisman as a scripting environment within the Taverna project's workflow system. This allows functionality that Talisman is particularly suited to such as scripting over databases, text processing etc to be made available as services within workflows in the same way that Taverna can consume grid or web services natively. In order to use Talisman in this mode you just need to download the Taverna code, it includes an embedded Talisman instance, no further code is required.