A Brief History of Recorder


Recorder 3

The original version of Recorder (now known as Recorder 3) was developed in the late 1980s by the Nature Conservancy Council (NCC) and made generally available in 1992. In the mid 1990s the package was externally reviewed and considered a success. However, the review identified a need to redevelop Recorder on a more modern database platform as opposed to the DOS based technology of the original version as this was becoming obsolete.


Recorder 2000

Redevelopment of Recorder by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) began at a similar time to the emerging idea of the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) around 1997. The new version of the package, known as Recorder 2000, was released in September 2000. Over the following two years Recorder was altered and augmented through extensive consultation with users and the next major version was known as Recorder 2002.


Recorder 2002

The Recorder 2002 version embodied a number of key NBN standards and concepts ranging from metadata standards, a taxon dictionary and model licences for the exchange of data. It also allowed scheme organisers to define their own standard terms, recording cards and locations to help in the collation and management of records from a number of recorders and provided access to maps of 1:50,000 within Recorder. Recorder 2002 was widely adopted across the community but suffered from a restriction in the amount of data it could hold (up to around 1.3 million records). For many of the major collators across the community this was not enough and in 2004 a further phase of the project was launched to develop Recorder 6 which would effectively allow users to collate limitless numbers of records.


Recorder 6

The fundamental innovation introduced in the Recorder 6 series include a change in database platform from Microsoft Access to Microsoft SQL Server (MSDE) which provides more robust data storage, better security and the ability to store a potentially unlimited number of observation records. Recorder 6 has continued to be improved since its launch with increased stability and the development of a suite of additional functionality. This includes the ‘snapshot tool’ (which enabled closer integration with other software applications such as GIS systems), more powerful reporting facilities, full integration of the ‘import wizard’, improvements to the report wizard and mapping facilities and the ability to control and transfer the custodian of records.  It is currently used in the majority of Local Record Centres in the UK, a smaller number of National Recording Schemes and amongst individual recorders as well as in Germany, Luxembourg, the Falkland Islands and the Channel Islands.


The latest version

For details of the latest version please visit the 'Download Latest Version' page.