Developers are working on over a hundred new or improved functionalities in the August 2022 to January 2023 period, following a series of global meetings that distilled user requirements into a realistic blueprint for the Enterprise Breeding System (EBS) Milestone 6 release.

During a two-week design workshop at the end of August, EBS team members and Business Change Managers representing breeding programs gathered to look out the new functionalities requested by users and carry out a prioritization exercise. “Based on our perspectives, our experiences and the requests from users, we thought these functionalities were highly important and put them into a priority order,” explained Rosemary Shresthra, Requirements Analyst for the EBS Core Breeding Domain.

The meeting also provided the opportunity to celebrate the successful release and rollout of EBS Milestone 5 at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT).

This process allowed software developers to make the best allocation of their resources, based on user priorities and their own assessment of the difficulty of implementing each step. The resulting EBS milestone plan is now being put into effect to deliver a more functional system capable of more core breeding, service management and breeding analytics tasks. The team is also evaluating a new shipment tool developed by IRRI to trace seed and other biomaterials shipped by programs.

Beyond meeting the immediate demands from users, the EBS development team hopes to address another key issue in Milestone 6: the reliance on paper records and spreadsheet files to transfer data. “In a modern breeding program we shouldn’t use files for data transfer, or to pretty much do anything” said EBS Product Lead Marko Kärkkäinen, describing this as “a manual process, error-prone and resource heavy.” 

Integrating EBS field data collection with the Breeding API (BrAPI) standard would streamline data collection, and allow seamless collaboration. “EBS Milestone 5 already has the functionality that you can give permission to your collaborators,” said Kärkkäinen.  “You assign permission to me, I can use BrAPI to load my device when I am home, then go to the field which can be offline, collect my data and then upload the data when I go back to the office.”

Development on EBS Milestone 6 is on course to conclude in January 2023, and later rolled out to participating CGIAR Centers.

Development of EBS is guided by the needs of its users, both current and future. 
If you are interested in EBS, we want to hear from you! 

© 2020 International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)