The Biological Specimen Inventory (BSI) is a customizable software system used to manage and maintain biospecimen inventories.  It provides real-time, multi-user data collection, quality control, process tracking, and reporting for the entire inventory.  BSI is implemented using state-of-the-art computer technology based on the Java programming language. Development of the BSI system started in 1997, and a production version has been available since December 1998, with new features and modules being added regularly.  The system has been used to implement and track numerous repositories’ inventories, ranging in size from several thousand to several million specimens, while providing secure access to hundreds of users. The system is flexible and can easily be customized to meet each repository's unique needs.

BSI can help you track specimens across multiple institutions, receive shipments, resolve discrepancies, enter data, prepare reports, process requisitions, manage your storage space, scan and print barcodes, import and translate data, maintain an automated data audit trail, and much more!


The BSI system is a three-tiered client/server application.  The first tier is made up of the client, the web browser (BSI Engage), and web services (BSI Connect). The client executes on the users local machine and provides the user interface for the BSI system.  The client is written exclusively in Java. The client connects to the second tier, the transaction server, via the internet.

The transaction server regulates interactions between the first tier and third tier, the SQL database. It enforces data constraints, maintains users' sessions, and generates reports. This server is written in non-GUI Java.

The SQL database is where the data is actually stored and retrieved. The BSI system uses the Postgres database.  Most instances of the BSI system have a dedicated copy of Postgres for accessing the database.

The two co-location facilities in Sterling, Virginia and Baltimore, Maryland host IMS systems that provide 24/7 availability for all our clients’ mission critical applications.  These centers provide a hardened structure with backup generators, redundant Internet connectivity, redundant cooling systems, monitored video surveillance, fire detection/suppression, and 24/7 manned security/technical staff.  Options for local hosting of BSI databases are available.