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OMERO: flexible, model-driven data management for experimental biology


Data-intensive research depends on tools that manage multidimensional, heterogeneous datasets. We built OME Remote Objects (OMERO), a software platform that enables access to and use of a wide range of biological data. OMERO uses a server-based middleware application to provide a unified interface for images, matrices and tables. OMERO's design and flexibility have enabled its use for light-microscopy, high-content-screening, electron-microscopy and even non-image-genotype data. OMERO is open-source software, available at

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Figure 1: Architecture and data modeling in OMERO.
Figure 2: OMERO clients.
Figure 3: External applications as OMERO clients.
Figure 4: Experimental, heterogeneous data stored and viewed in OMERO.
Figure 5: Non-image data and the use of metadata for large-scale computations.


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We thank E. Hill for helpful comments on the manuscript. Work on OME, Bio-Formats and OMERO in J.R.S.'s laboratory is supported by the Wellcome Trust (085982 and 095931) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) (BB/G022585 and BB/I000755). Work on OMERO Electron Microscopy Data Bank at the European Bioinformatics Institute is supported by the BBSRC (BB/G022577). Work on OMERO at the John Innes Center, Norwich is supported by Joint Information Systems Committee (REXDAT03).

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Correspondence to Jason R Swedlow.

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C.A., J.-M.B., J.M., C.N., M.L. and J.R.S. are affiliated with Glencoe Software, Inc., an open-source US-based commercial company that contributes to OMERO.

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Allan, C., Burel, JM., Moore, J. et al. OMERO: flexible, model-driven data management for experimental biology. Nat Methods 9, 245–253 (2012).

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