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FishStatJ is the new generation of the well known and widely used FishStat Plus software.

The project

The project for developing the next generation of FishStat Plus was announced in May 2008.

It started in 2009 with a thorough technology investigation, in order to guarantee a sound platform choice for facing the next 10 years.

It went through strictly managed iterative development and review phases over 2010, involving FAO staff as well as external reviewers and beta-testers from CWP member organisations.

The business case

The former FishStat Plus is a Visual Basic 4.0 (16-bit) desktop application that relies on a proprietary Microsoft Access database, developed with MS tools of the Windows 95 generation. Therefore, it is a MS Windows dependant application which does not support different platforms (it cannot for example be installed on Mac or Linux platforms). Moreover, with the advent of new MS Windows operating system versions (XP, Vista, 7), the software installation and operation experienced an increasing number of problems, as testified from users feedback, which are seriously limiting its effectiveness and preventing some run time features to work as expected.

The software architecture, designed 14 years ago, has been able to accommodate a wide variety of fishery statistics, but there are now new requirements which would imply modifications to the software design, impossible to implement considering above mentioned limitations.

The report of CWP 21 meeting (2005) stated that “most CWP member users are satisfied with FISHSTAT 2.3 even though the programme has some weaknesses, i.e. problems of installation on new Windows platforms and difficulties when setting up new datasets. If and when a new version is developed, it is recommended that the user interface should not be changed substantially and that the new software should be thoroughly tested before being distributed.”

Beyond CWP experts, the FishStat Plus software interface is well known and accepted by the users, but the “look and feel” and some usability aspects of the interface are now felt outdated and old fashion.

The deliverables and the delivery phases

A first prototype was presented to the 23rd CWP meeting in Hobart(Australia) in February 2010.

The production version of the FishStatJ application has been demonstrated in occasion of the 29th Session of COFI (Jan 31 – Feb 04, 2011).

The first FishStatJ operational release has been made available for download and distribution in May 2011, in correspondence with the publication of the 2011 yearly update of the FAO fishery statistical data collections.

Updates will be regularly deployed and users informed via a mailing-list and an issue tracking and reporting system will be in place for encouraging and structuring the users feedback.

The product

FishStatJ is a Java-based desktop application, relying on an open an extensible framework and offering a standard database support.

Figure 1 - FishStatJ view
Figure 1 - FishStatJ view

The key features

Likewise the former FishStat Plus, FishStatJ is a powerful yet simple to use tool offering two main set of features:

  • statistical datasets browsing, data mining, charting and reporting
  • filtering, grouping and aggregation through hierarchical dimensions
Figure 2 - FishStatJ charting
Figure 2 - FishStatJ charting

Operative systems, distributions and supported architectures

FishStatJ supports  multiple platforms and multiple Operative Systems. An appropriate multi-platform development environment and workflow has been established and application versions are released according to the target platforms.
The following is the (minimal) set of supported platforms.

Windows

  • 32bit
  • NT/Win2000/WinXP/Vist/7

Linux

MAC

Minimal HW requirements

  • 1Gb of system memory (RAM), 2Gb recommended
  • 160Mb of disk space, including the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and the FAO global datasets
  • 1 GHz 32-bit(x86) processor
 
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