WALTHAM, Mass., Dec. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- 3rd Millennium announced today the release of its knowledge management system to the open source community. The software is a foundation technology for knowledge management solutions in biopharmaceutical research and development. It is the first of a number of open source releases planned by the company. 3rd Millennium, a leading life science informatics consultancy and systems integrator, has developed these systems in the course of dozens of custom software development projects completed during its seven years serving the life science R&D market.
"We believe that by distributing these foundation technologies as free and open source, a much greater number of organizations will now be able to deploy the kinds of large-scale informatics systems they want, but can't afford," said Richard Dweck, president of 3rd Millennium. "With these robust, production quality foundation technologies now available, research and informatics directors will only have to justify the ROI for the cost of organization-specific customization and extensions. With the bar greatly lowered, many more organizations will pursue informatics solutions with full confidence of the return they will achieve from improved research productivity or reductions in time and costs.
"We have taken a number of steps to address some of the traditional reluctance by commercial enterprises to rely on open source or to outsource systems development. The software available for free download, is clearly enterprise level, commercial-grade, fully tested and comes complete with all documentation and instructions needed to deploy it. Any organization can use it, subject to the General Public License (GPL), at their discretion. For those companies that could otherwise afford to build systems like this on their own, they will save potentially years of development and can focus on internal data integration and adding high value components -- pieces which are by definition specific to each company.
"The reality is that the software that we are releasing is similar to what many biotech and pharmaceutical companies have built or would like to build. Since our software is on average third generation, it tends to be more robust and production quality than what these companies can do on their first attempt. As we've seen with the dozens of product companies that have failed in this space, the systems required for biological research need to be highly tailored or customized for each organization, i.e. one size does not fit all. We expect that many organizations that choose to implement the systems we release as open source will use their in-house resources to extend and customize it to suit their particular research paradigm; similar to the approach they take when they build similar systems from scratch. We also expect some number to request assistance from 3rd Millennium."
The software and all accompanying documentation will be available as of December 15 from the company's website (http://www.3rdmill.com/). In addition, 3rd Millennium will be offering support, warranty, customization, and implementation services to those companies that do not have the in-house resources available. The company will also offer a commercial license to the software for a nominal fee to those biotech and pharmaceutical companies that want to use the software without the restrictions of the GPL. Other categories of software the company plans to release include laboratory information management systems (LIMS), workflow systems, and analysis pipelines.
"Frankly, from the initial response from our existing clients," Dweck added. "I can't see why all of the commercial software vendors in this space haven't done this before. Every mature market values services over products and our profitable experience for each of the last seven years in this market validates this approach."
About 3rd Millennium
3rd Millennium, Inc, located in Cambridge, MA is a life science informatics consultancy that works with biopharmaceutical, government, and academic clients on a project basis to plan, develop, and integrate software systems critical to their research and discovery programs. 3rd Millennium has leveraged its scientific, information technology, and project management expertise to implement systems for laboratory information management, microarray-based gene expression profiling, gene analysis and annotation, genomic and proteomic data integration and versioning, biological pathway modeling and knowledge management. Additional information can be found at http://www.3rdmill.com/.