Welcome . . . to the Species File Software (SFS) website.
SFS is a collection of programs that provides access to and manipulation of taxonomic
information stored in multiple databases. SFS also defines a standardized
user interface to facilitate interactions with the database.
The purpose of this website is multifaceted: It contains descriptions of the
SFS components, a history of SFS development, a summary of current databases, and
information about how to use SFS as the basis of a new taxonomic database, to name
David Eades is the principal developer of SFS under the auspices of the Illinois Natural History
Survey. Please send comments and questions about the software and its development to David Eades
What is a species file?
It is both a database and a website: The database provides the detailed information
about all taxa contained within the scope of the "apex taxon" and the website provides the
means to interact with and modify the information contained in the database. The apex
taxon defines the scope of the database. For instance, Orthoptera is the apex taxon of the
Orthoptera Species File, which provides information about all taxa contained within the order
The database is an SQL Server application. The Species File Group has
developed an SFS template that contains the basic database table structure as well
as the stored procedures, user-defined functions and views used by species files.
The template is used as the starting point for new species file databases.
The website is a Visual Studio application. It provides the interface between the
database and those who use it. The website provides not only the interface used by the
public, but also the much larger interface used by the editors who manage the data contained
in the database. A template has also been prepared as the starting point for new species
Species File Software includes three sets of source code:
- File specific code. The information contained in this section is unique
to the taxonomic group and is under control of its curator.
- Common code. This software is common to all species files. It is
under control of the Species File Group at the Illinois Natural History Survey.
- Database application code. This code is contained within the database. It
enables more efficient execution than would be possible if the common code were
limited to queries as the only interface to the database.