Requirements and restrictions

Access version

The Diversity Workbench applications require Access 2000 (e.g. from Microsoft Office 2000 Professional) to be already installed. You should be able to use them under a wide variety of Windows version (Windows 95, 98, NT 4.0, Windows 2000 and Windows ME). The Workbench applications should work with most local language versions of Microsoft Office, albeit we could test them only with the English and German version (problems are likely to occur with left-to-right languages (Arabic, Hebrew) and perhaps with Chinese, Japanese, and Korean versions).

We highly recommend upgrading your Microsoft Office version to at least the Service Release 1. Some newer CDs already contain this release; otherwise you can upgrade the existing version through CDs obtained from Microsoft or through the Internet ( If you are uncertain which version of Office you have installed, select Help, About from the menu. Microsoft Access would display in the first line a string that should look like "Microsoft(r) Access 2000 (9.0.4402 SR-1)". If the string does not contain "SR-" at the end, you do not have a service release installed.

Screen (display) resolution

In contrast to the main DiversityReferences module, which is designed to work with a screen resolution of 800 600 pixels (SuperVGA) or larger, Special Indexing is designed for a minimum resolution of 1024 768 pixels (XGA). You can work with a lower resolution, but editing organism interactions will be more convenient if your display is set at least to 1024 768. If you have a modern computer and your monitor has at least 17-inch size, you should be able to use this resolution. To change your current resolution, click with the right mouse button on the background of the Windows desktop and select Properties (the bottommost entry from the context menu). In the dialog box "Display properties" select the tab page "Settings", and set the screen area to 1024 768 pixels.


If you have problems entering the DiversityWorkbench, because your name is missing from the list of available operators, or if you have forgotten your password, you can use the name


This name does not require a password. However, please make sure that your name is entered into the User database and that your password is updated. Under no circumstances enter real data into the database when you are logged in as TestUser. All data connected to TestUser will be deleted on a regular basis!

Login always remembers the last user that used a Diversity Workbench application on a given computer. If you go to a different computer, you can use your user name abbreviation in the place of the name. You always must provide a password, if a password has been defined.

Note that the security model is cooperative: It can relatively easily be broken. Do not assume that the login procedure guarantees the confidentiality of your data. The development is made for people who want to cooperate and are willing to follow the rules. The password prevents accidental data entries under an other persons name, and thus helps to build confidence in the group.

Current restrictions

We are truly very sorry that is has taken us so long to finish only the program so far. The task took us longer than expected, and too much of our development time was tied up in the DiversityCollection module. We are aware that many features are incomplete or missing.

The new taxon indexing will be added as soon as the DiversityTaxonomy module itself can be released. The tab page in the editor that refers to this is simply a view on the DiversityTaxonomy module to simplify data entry. You should later be able to use either editor: a reference source based editor or a taxon name based editor.

The taxon image editor will be released as soon as we have time to finish it. It is not too complicated, but has been postponed to concentrate on the more urgent observation issue

Perhaps most urgent is the addition of an additional search page in DiversityReferences, that allows to search for references based on the information in special indexing. Please be patient with us...

Stability, Crashes, and Backup

We do have some problems with the stability of the various Diversity Workbench applications, and we will continue to try to improve the programs. We are very grateful if you can write us exact situations under which the application behave other than expected, or simply crash. Note that we have no means to find errors when your report simply says: "it crashes frequently when I edit organisms". Unfortunately, wee need a reproducible situation to be able to produce the error ourselves.

It is relatively rare that a crash causes data losses. In contrast to word processor documents, Access continuously saves its records whenever you go to another record. Nevertheless, it is generally a good idea to make frequent backups of the entire database. A very simple way is to first create a new folder named "Backup" within the folder where you have installed the DiversityWorkbench applications. Then on a daily or weekly basis you simply copy all Microsoft Access files (with the extension ".mdb") into that folder. If you sort the files by extension in the Windows Explorer, select them with the shift-mouse-click method, and drag them to the new folder while holding down the Ctrl-key (so that you copy rather than move them), this is a matter of seconds. You should revert to these backups only if you find that you cannot open the DiversityWorkbench application again, even after shutting your computer down completely and restarting it.

Much more frequent than data losses is the case that Access crashes and still remains in memory. Perhaps you cannot close it, or it seems to be closed, but you cannot open it again. In this situation, you can either reboot your computer, or you can use a general feature of Windows to remove programs from memory. The following description applies to Windows 95 and 98; the procedure on NT-versions (NT 4.0, Windows 2000) is slightly different, you have to call the task manager first.

First press Ctrl-Alt-Del on your keyboard. Be sure to press it only once (pressing it twice will immediately reboot your computer). The first dialog box shown below appears. If there is a problem with Microsoft Access being still in memory, it will appear in the task list. Select "Microsoft Access" and click on "End Task". Either immediately, or after 20 seconds, the second dialog box displayed below appears. Select "End Task" again. If you now restart Access it should operate normally again.

Close applications dialog box 1  Close applications dialog box 2