CMSi is software designed to support adaptive management of conservation and amenity areas. It is currently used for the management of many hundreds of sites across the UK and Europe. A significant proportion of the management activities entered into CMSi are actions that affect site biodiversity and so are directly relevant to BARS.
The BARS Export module for CMSi was commissioned by Natural England to help site managers to convert their CMSi projects to BARS actions, without the need to re-type them into the BARS website.
The contract included a period of consultation with the BARS technical team to establish the best translation between CMSi and BARS concepts. Next, a plugin interface was designed. The design goals for the interface were and to make it as quick, easy and transparent as possible for CMSi users to export their projects to BARS actions.
The solution was a single form in CMSi consisting of two panes and a set of editing controls. The top pane displays all CMSi projects in a grid with icons indicating whether they are ready for export or have been modified since the last export. These projects can then be copied down into the bottom export pane. Here the projects can be edited to match BARS term lists using auto-completion controls for bulk editing, filtering and sorting.
The module also remembers previous exports and displays a complete history including whether projects have been modified since the last export. This ensures that subsequent exports are even easier for users and the whole process is completely transparent.