Feb 12, 2010 at 6:02 PM

Welcome to the Microsoft Biology Foundation (MBF) beta 2!

This is a major milestone in the progress of this project and a big step towards embracing the open source community model of development.  From this point forward, all the development activities of our project team will occur on CodePlex:  check-ins, bug tracking, code reviews, etc.

In addition, we will start accepting code contributions from a few of our partners to help establish best practices for this type of development process.  These external folks will help to define and drive the v1.0 release. Once we have ironed out the kinks in the submission process, everyone will be welcome to participate in the project and extend MBF to meet the needs of the biological research community.

As you will have seen from the introductory pages, MBF is a library of code released as open source and freely available for commercial and non-commercial use. The intention is to make it easier for anyone to use Windows for bioinformatics and genomics, and we hope anyone working in these areas will make use of this resource. As well as the basic library, you will find sample applications that demonstrate how MBF can be used to build standalone programs for Windows, or add biological functionality to a command-line scripting language like Python, or can be used as a set of discrete 'building blocks' to create a workflow using our Trident scientific workflow engine (http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/tc/trident.mspx) - you can even add biological functions directly into Office products such as Excel, check out http://bioexcel.codeplex.com/.

Most importantly, we have designed MBF to be easy to extend - so if it doesn't do what you need, why not consider writing some extensions and contributing them back to the project for others to use?

Please let us know what you think - biology is a big area and MBF is just starting out, so your feedback would be very welcome,

The Team


Feb 25, 2010 at 1:50 AM

All the word documents listed here are in the .docx format which I am unable to read it on my system therefore I urge you to release the documentation in .xps or .mhtml or .doc format

Microsoft is famous for walkthroughs and How-Tos so why dont you have some good walkthroughs so that a novice can also understand MBF.

Everybody agrees that knowing the architecture of DNA,RNA is very important and it would be good if you take a specific example and convert that example into psuedocode and finally into a C++ or C# class and eventually the code compilation, debugging and generation of either the executable or Dynamic Link Library


Srinivasan S Saripalli

Mar 1, 2010 at 6:58 PM
Edited Mar 1, 2010 at 7:01 PM

Hi Srinivasan,

We are considering making our documentation available in other formats, but we are waiting to see what the level of demand is from the community before we go ahead. The .docx format is the standard format supported by Office 2007 and later - in previous versions of Office, the default format was .doc. The first thing I would suggest is installing the Microsoft Office Compatibility pack (follow the link at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word/HA100444731033.aspx). This will enable you to open .docx files in older versions of Word - and it is free. If you would prefer a different conversion solution, you will find many third-party standalone converters, batch conversion utilities and web services by searching the web.

Regarding walkthroughs, pseudocode, how-tos and tutorials - we are planning to create more as time goes on; some will be short videos, some will be tutorials and we will also run short training courses where people can get hands-on experience. Also look out for me and other members of the MBF team making presentations at conferences throughout the year. All of these materials, plus details of talks and courses, will be posted on this site in the coming months.

Thanks for your interest - and stay tuned!