The users of the web application are categorized into two groups: the general user and the IntEnz curator. The general user has access to the public database to retrieve information of interest, but will not be able to modify or add data. The IntEnz curator is able to access the production database to perform changes to the data.
The reasons for the separation of production data and publicly accessible data are as follows.
(i) Security: only IntEnz curators access the data on the production database. The public access the public web server and the public database, which hold a copy of the production data.
(ii) Fail over: in emergencies and during scheduled maintenance sessions, one set of machines can serve both the production and public versions of the database, albeit at a reduced performance rate.
(iii) Technical: there are different usage patterns for production and public machines. Usage of the production machines can be split into interactive use during European office hours and bulk updates during the night, while the public machines have lower, but more constant access rates to serve the world wide web.
(iv) Scientific: new and updated data on the production machines needs to be kept separate until it is peer reviewed by the NC-IUBMB who are in editorial control of the data. Only then can it be copied to the public database and public web servers. This process is crucial to maintaining the consistency of the database through editorial control by the NC-IUBMB.
The building of such a robust database and tools environment automates database updating as much as possible. It also provides the general user and the IntEnz curator with stable search and curation tools.