One of the Center’s primary objectives is the establishment of a health and environmental database accessible to all sectors. It is the role of the information management department to carry out this function for the Center by developing, implementing and growing information management systems. Information management includes formal systems for data archival and documentation that facilitate analyses and accurate interpretations. Commercial relational data base management systems (RDBMS) are just one component of information management. For example, the lung and whole body counting system uses an integrated RDBMS for data collection and storage. Microsoft® Access databases are used to store environmental monitoring data (aerosol, soil, drinking water, surface water and sediment) collected by the field sampling program.
The Center operates Sun and Dell servers running SunOS, Linux, and Windows operating systems that provide network and administrative services, such as file sharing, electronic mail, and automatic daily backup to the Windows and UNIX computers in the Center. The Center also operates a DEC Alpha workstation running OpenVMS, which provides the computational support for the lung and whole body counting system.
One of the goals of the information management department is to continuously look for ways to improve the input, storage and analysis of the Center’s data. Efforts are underway to migrate databases from Microsoft’s® Access to MySQL providing integrated data management and reporting, consistent look and feel for input and reporting screens, and near real-time public access to the Center’s data via a web interface.