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[bioontology-support] [bioportal-announce] Release of NCBO BioPortal 4.20

Ray Fergerson rayferg at
Tue Sep 1 14:03:18 PDT 2015

We are happy to announce the release of BioPortal 4.20. We have had a number of "silent releases" since the last announced 4.14 release in February 2015. These releases  concentrated almost exclusively on infrastructure improvements and thus most of these improvements are not directly visible to an end user. Nevertheless we are pleased to announce the latest BioPortal release and fill you in on visible features that have been released silently in the interim.

*         Released to production a new version of the Ontology Recommender. This version is more flexible than the previous version and allows users to assign weights to the scores for various factors that influence the recommendation. In addition some edge cases in the old system that resulted in bad recommendations have been addressed. This new recommendation system was developed independently by Marcos Martinez and then incorporated into our base code.

*         Instances (individuals) in an ontology can now be accessed through the API. Documentation for this is available at:

*         Components have been added to the Annotator UI to allow users to exercise additional options available through the API.

*         Icons now indicate non-subclass relationships in OBO ontologies. Previously it was not possible to distinguish visually OBO subclass from other OBO relations displayed in the tree (such as OBO part-of).

*         The UMLS MeSH vocabulary is now displayed hierarchically. Previously it was displayed as a flat list of terms because of some problems with the hierarchical relation in the source that we were using.

*         The Search API now allows search-by-name of provisional classes assigned to an ontology.

*         The UMLS ontologies have all been updated to the latest 2015AA release.

*         A new version of BioMixer with a simpler user interface has been incorporated into the system. This work was done by our collaborators at the University of Victoria.

*         Created both a REST service and a UI for BioPortal application administration. This interface is automatically visible to VM administrators.

*         Updated the framework of our system from RAILS version 2 to version 4.

*         Fixed many bugs, especially those causing failures when parsing an ontology.

The NCBO BioPortal Team

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