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Recent Updates

ABACUS is continually updated and this page shows some of the recent updates that have been made available to all ABACUS users. These changes listed here represent just a small number of the changes and new features we make in each new update. More information is available in the Features or Showcase sections of this website.

October 2023

Biomass data entry improvements

The data entry table used to enter biomass data for all taxa in sample has been completely redesigned. The new table offers a more robust experience and additional features including multi-column filtering, sorting and search.

Observation count redesign

Performance improvements have been made to provide quicker access to the numbers of identifications and the quality status of each. 

Searchable drop down lists

Drop down lists throughout the ABACUS application have been improved and now offer search/filtering capability to help users quickly find the option they want in larger lists.

March 2023

Export, repeat, repeat, repeat...

Exports can now be rerun again and again. To simplify your data analysis and QC process exports can now be rerun with all the same settings with just two clicks. Navigate to a completed export and click 'Rerun', fix any data issues, click 'Rerun' again, as many times as you need. 


Analysis dashboard: Table view, search and sort

A much requested feature - the Analysis Dashboard now has a Table view to go with the tile/card view. Plus, search and sort functionality have been added to both views!

Particle size analysis background calculations

The particle size analysis (PSA) data entry module had a redesign to perform its complex calculations in the background, letting your staff complete their data entry quicker and then get on to the next task.

December 2022

Export even wider matrices

A novel method for creating matrix data during exports has been investigated and developed to grant users the ability to export even wider matrices for projects with high numbers of samples. A previous limitation of 400 samples in a matrix has now been removed, allowing the export process to generate matrix data for much larger projects.

September 2022

Site-wide speed increase

Changes made to the method of storing and copying common reference data, the data ABACUS manages for your so you don't have to (like Aphia Records, organisations, platform lists, controlled vocabularies etc.), delivered a significant performance boost across ABACUS and most notably in the export module giving access to you data, fully formatted to recognised standards quicker than ever before! 

Record data for other users

New options during data entry allow recording of tasks and time spent on tasks on behalf of other users. This lets you record data for tasks completed by users that may not be able to access ABACUS and prevents holdups in your data entry and processing.  

June 2022

Internal QC (Quality Checking) performance improvement

Internal QC reports changed to generate nightly rather than at the point of data entry to improve performance and user experience for staff entering data.

February 2022

Revisited stations

Stations can be created that are (optionally) linked to a single survey, for instance if the same station (code and name) must be reused throughout the course of a multi-survey project. This is useful if the station name must be reused but the actual coordinates of the station vary.

Bulk deletion of observations

Extending from the bulk creation of observations (copying observations from another sample), bulk delete of observations that have a zero abundance is now available.

October 2021

The ABACUS October 2021 update included two major new features, custom major biomass groups and survey statuses, and a host of improvements and changes to other areas.

Survey Status and Dashboard Grouping

The status of a survey can now be recorded and this status is used to improve the display of the main dashboard page by grouping and separating surveys based on their status. Surveys currently in analysis (Live) are then separated from those in planning, reporting and archived states.

ABACUS users are able to define their own statuses (relevant to their own in-house processes) and simply associate these statuses with a category (Live, Planned, Reporting, Archived) to realise this functionality.

Custom Major Biomass Groups

Major groups when performing biomass to the major group level of accuracy can now be customised according to each subscriber’s requirements. The ABACUS defaults (Animalia, Mollusca, Annelida, Crustacea and Echinodermata) are available as standard but all can be adjusted as needed.

September 2021

The ABACUS September 2021 update included three major additional new features (single sign on, application configuration and separation of colonial and present taxa identifications) as well as many other improvements.

Single Sign On

ABACUS can now be configured to allow single sign on using the Microsoft account provided by your organisation.

If your organisation does not use Microsoft the default option of an ABACUS username and password is still available and we can also work with you to enable single sign on using other providers.

Application Configuration

To provide further customisation of ABACUS for each organisation a selection of options can now be set directly using ABACUS. This enables ABACUS users to customise their experience with ABACUS and how it works for them.

Colonial and Present

Based on a request from ABACUS users, that they sometimes need to record that a taxa is present (without providing specific counts) but is not a colony-forming species, we have changed how presence/colonial data is recorded. Separate check boxes for Presence and Colonial are now available.

August 2021

The ABACUS August 2021 update focuses on three areas: Reports, Bulk Actions and Internal QC (Quality Checking).


A new dedicated reporting section is being added, providing further reporting capabilities. Reports being added at this point will include:

  • Analysis Progress - detailed facts and figures about the progress of sample analyses with ability to summarise by survey and analyst
  • Reference Collection - full details of reference collection codes by survey

Bulk Actions

As part of our drive to improve productivity the first of our bulk actions will be made available to log in samples in bulk

Internal QC (Quality Checking)

Upon completion of Identification QC tasks in Macrobenthic analysis, a QC report will be produced to document differences in taxonomic and abundance data between determinations during the QC process.


June 2021

The ABACUS June 2021 update focuses on a change to the naming and behaviour of fields when using the WoRMS Taxa Search tool and the first implementation of bulk actions to speed up the entry of sample analysis data.

Identification field names / WoRMS Search

Slight tweaks to the naming of the fields were required to clarify the use of Original Name when entering data directly into ABACUS compared with an Original Name when data, often historic, is imported in bulk and the original name must remain unchanged. The change included:

  • Addition of an Imported Name field (used only when using the import module to import a taxa matrix)
  • Relabelling Original Name to Name on the Identification pages to clarify it's use as a name that has not yet been validated against the WoRMS taxa list, but is also not necessarily an 'original name'

Bulk Log In Samples

Features added to complete the Log In Sample task in bulk. The task can be marked as Finished for all samples in a survey at the same time and optionally a task time can be entered.

April 2021

The ABACUS April 2021 update focused on the addition of the Taxa Matrix import and included other improvements.

Taxa Matrix Import

The ability to import taxa matrix data in bulk using the import module will be added. This includes a new template file, based on the MEDIN Taxa Matrix template, and includes guidance on the structure and data types to correctly prepare an import file.

Comprehensive validation is included to ensure taxa identifications are linked to the correct samples and replicates and abundance values are correct.