OpenClinica update is user-driven

The newly released beta version of EDC/data-management platform OpenClinica 3.1 boasts a "completely rewritten" version of Extract Data. It's now based around a plug-in architecture.

It turns out the various ways in which users organize, format and present data are "tremendously diverse and often conflicting," says OpenClinica provider Akaza Research, in an announcement. Prior to the rewrite, the Extract Data architecture made it difficult to add output formats or to tweak existing ones.

It's not often that you hear a solutions provider talk about product shortcomings. But Extract Data showcases two differences between open-source and proprietary software platforms.

The first is that open-source users drive product improvements. To some extent that's true in the proprietary camp as well. But in the open-source case, it's the users tinkering with the code to make the fixes. The second difference is the willingness of open-source brand-holders to discuss flaws. In fact, it's to their advantage to spread the bad word. That's what mobilizes the fixers.

The OpenClinica 3.1 core application will now produce only CDISC Operational Data Model output (version 1.3, with OpenClinica extensions) as the natively supported format. Output to other formats is via XML Stylesheet Transformations of the native CDISC ODM. Users can access pre-built transformations or create their own to get to their preferred formats.

- here's the OpenClinica release