Recorder 6 - Consortium

Current Situation (8 February 2018)


JNCC  support  for R6  will cease at the end of March 2018. However the Consortium has received sufficient funding from an R6 user to be able to continue supporting R6 for at least a year after this - possibly two. The level of support will be less than that currently available under the JNCC contract, but  should be sufficient to  maintain the system and ensure that users have support when they need it.  Our version of R6 will be based on Recorder 6, v 6.28, but will be independent of JNCC.


The Consortium fully supports the recent consultation on the future of R6 undertaken by ALERC  and have urged all users to take part in this. If this consultation results in a suitable plan which will provide more comprehensive and longer term support for all R6 users the Consortium will pass on the funding it has to ALERC. However, should this not  be the case, or if the implementation of any new arrangements are delayed then the Consortium will endeavour to continue supporting R6 and seek additional funding as necessary.     

The aim of the Consortium will be to ensure that support is available if users encounter problems and to keep the R6 species dictionary up to date. Beyond this they will  provide a framework which will allow development of R6 to continue subject to funding.  At some point in time Recorder 6 will need to be replaced, but until a replacement has been specified and funding obtained then R6 needs to be maintained.  Systems do not operate in isolation so, in our view, maintenance must include the ability to adapt to meet changing requirements.   


Recorder 6 can be installed and run under Windows XP and all  subsequent versions. It will install and run on Windows 10.  The latest installation version is 6.26.2. This requires  SQL Server 2008 , SQL Server 2012,  SQL Server 2014 or SQL Server 2016 to  be installed before the installation of R 6.  Version  6.28 0 is the latest upgrade .

Recorder continues to be supported and upgraded when installed on SQL Server 2000 (or MSDE), SQL Server 2005 , but the latest version can no longer be installed  on these version of SQL Server.

Recorder 6 will run on Virtual Servers  and is working successfully on a number of such installations.  We know of two instances where there have been problems with Virtual Servers, but these appear to be down to the set up of the servers and not to any issue with R6.

There is no  alternative system to R6 available, without the loss of important data. Unlike accounting and similar systems where transaction data can be consolidated or archived when moving to a new system,  biological recording  systems need to retain the detailed information so that it can be reviewed  in the light of new research or development.  In this context R6 is just a front end to a well designed database which contains information which needs to be retained and accessed indefinitely.  Those involved in the support of R6 are aiming to  continue supporting and developing it until such time there is a replacement system available which can be used without the loss of any information. We believe that R6 has many years life left yet, however, at some point (we are not there yet)  it may not run on the latest MS Operating system or on the latest version of SQL server.  


Recorder 6.28  will be the last version available  in the JNCC repository (GIT). This version has been forked  and it is this  forked version which will be used by the Consortium for ant future development.