SESAR Release Notes

SESAR v.7.2.2 (November 16, 2018)

  1. Enhancement: Improved validations and error messages related to the fields of Sub-Object Type and Classification. 
  2. Enhancement: Sub-Object Type is now displayed alongside Object Type on all lists, pages, and search results.
  3. Enhancement: Implemeneted a new version (4.0) of web service schema. All related web services such as sample upload, update, and profile retrieve are updated to support the new schema.
  4. Bug Fix: Fixed a bug that caused "Material" or "Classification" fields to be overwritten when not specified in a batch update template or update web service XML file, and backfilled missing values. 
  5. Bug Fix: Fixed a bug that displayed incorrect sample numbers when using the polygon search. 
  6. Bug Fix: Updated JQuery library to use https to avoid sometimes occuring blank pages. 


SESAR v.7.2.1 (October 18, 2018)

  1. Bug Fix: Minor bug fix.


SESAR v.7.2.0 (October 16, 2018)

  1. Enhancement: Added Deleted Sample(s) to the My Samples block on the home page.
  2. New Feature: "Experimental Specimen" is now an accepted object type with the sub-sample types of "Thin Section" or "Other". This change is reflected in the template generator as well as the drop down and pick lists. This new type is currently supported on batch upload, batch update, single sample registration and sample profile edit page.
  3. Bug Fix: Fixed a bug which occasionally caused the home page to go blank.
  4. Bug Fix: Fixed a bug so that the database records the user who updates sample metadata.


    SESAR v.7.1.2 (September 7, 2018)

    1. Enhancement: Improved the clarity of error messages returned when using web services.
    2. Bug Fix: Fixed a bug which returned an error when templates containing reserved symbols were uploaded.
    3. Bug Fix: Fixed a bug which caused an offset in the display of sample locations in the SESAR batch upload map preview.

    SESAR v.7.1.1 (April 25, 2018)

    1. New Feature: An option to preview sample locations on a map is now provided when you upload a SESAR batch registration or batch upload template. You can access the map by clicking "View Locations on Map." Locations are only shown if you have entered values for Latitude and Longitude (not UTM). You can see if samples plot in expected locations and, if not, you can adjust coordinates in your batch template and re-upload it, eliminating the need to edit sample metadata at a later time or involve the SESAR curator.
    2. Enhancement: Additional text was added to clarify changes made in the batch template in SESAR v.7.1.0. Changes were made to the template in order to enable easier assignment of sample metadata release dates.
    3. Enhancement: Sequence requirement for external URLs in sample registration web service was removed.
    4. Bug Fix: Sub-object type is now correctly retained or updated using SESAR batch update.

    SESAR v.7.1.0 (January 18, 2018)

    1. New Feature: Users may now set release dates for samples through individual sample registration, batch registration, and through the registration web service.
    2. New Feature: Users may now update release dates for samples by editing individual sample profiles in MySESAR, using the MySESAR batch update functionality, or using the update web service.
    3. New Feature: A new batch registration template can now be downloaded from MySESAR. This new template allows users to specify different release dates for each sample in the template, rather than setting a single release date for all samples in the template. If no release dates are specified, sample metadata will be publicly accessible immediately (recommended).
    4. New Feature: An email notification will now be sent to SESAR users one month before their sample metadata release dates. This email will notify users of the upcoming release dates and recommend steps for editing release dates if desired.
    5. Improvement: The is_private field was deprecated. Previously, metadata accessibility was controlled by both is_private flag and the release date (called publish_date). Now, metadata accessibility is controlled solely by release date.
    6. Improvement: Formatting for dates (e.g., collection date) in batch registration templates has been relaxed. Acceptable date formats now include YYYY-MM-DD and MM/DD/YYYY. Date cells no longer have to be formatted as text.
    7. Improvement: Added documentation to each PHP script.
    8. Bug Fix: Added validation to ensure that collection end date is after collection start date.

      SESAR v.7.0.0 (July 26, 2017)

      1. New Feature: Users may now update sample metadata for existing samples in bulk by uploading a batch template, a method that is very similar to the initial batch registration mechanism. Check out this tutorial about the new functionality.
      2. New Feature: Users can now assign IGSNs of up to 32 characters in length (A-Z, 0-9, '-', '.'). The new syntax follows recommendations of the IGSN e.V. at The extended syntax is primarily intended for use by large repositories, where it may be necessary to use hierarchical syntax conventions. However, in consideration of human readability as well as the fact that the IGSN will appear on-line and in print, the IGSN e.V. recommends that the IGSN should be as concise as possible. If you are considering assigning IGSNs to your samples that are longer than 9 characters, please contact to discuss.
      3. New Feature: Users can now specify Elevation Unit when registering samples (must be either feet, meters, miles, or kilometers).
      4. New Feature: A Help button has been added to the top row of tabs in MySESAR.
      5. Improvement: A 'Go Back' button has been added to each sample profile page.
      6. Improvement: The initial page users see when they log into MySESAR for the first time was restructured and enhanced with additional help text.
      7. Improvement: On the batch template creator page in MySESAR, selecting either Northing, Easting, or Zone will automatically select the other two choices for inclusion in the downloaded template.
      8. Improvement: The My Account tab in MySESAR has been enhanced to include additional help text and functionalities for user code management.
      9. Bug fix: Parent IGSN validation bug fixed for individual sample registration.
      10. Bug fix: Sample XML schema bug fixed for material validation.
      11. Bug fix: Sample ownership transfer bug fixed for when Geopass ID does not match with the email address specified by the user in the My Account tab of MySESAR.
      12. SESAR v.6.4.3 (September 1, 2016)

        1. New Feature: If others have shared permissions with you to view, edit, and/or register sample metadata on their behalf in SESAR, you can now view what permissions you have on the My Account tab in MySESAR.
        2. Improvement: batch upload speed was significantly reduced, particularly for large batches of samples.
        3. New Feature: users can now search by multiple IGSNs in the SESAR catalog.
        4. Improvement: error messages for batch and individual sample registration in MySESAR were clarified and standardized.
        5. SESAR v.6.4.2 (June 23, 2016)

          1. Improvement: Large files with metadata for a large number of samples can now more easily be downloaded from the SESAR search catalog.
          2. Improvement: downloaded files of sample metadata from SESAR now contain a clickable hyperlink to the sample metadata profiles of each sample.
          3. SESAR v.6.4.1 (April 28, 2016)

            1. New Feature: If others have shared permissions with you to view, edit, and/or register sample metadata on their behalf in SESAR, you can now view what permissions you have on the My Account tab in MySESAR.
            2. Improvement: error messages for all SESAR web services were clarified and standardized.
            3. SESAR v.6.4 beta (March 11, 2016)

              1. New Feature: If they own more than one namespace, SESAR users can now choose which namespace to use as prefix for IGSNs when they upload a batch registration template.
              2. New Feature: a new field for users to specify sample other names has been added.
              3. New Feature: users may now specify ORCID numbers in their account profile.
              4. New Feature: there is now the option to contact the owner of a sample at the bottom of each public sample metadata profile.
              5. New Feature: users can now filter samples by user code in MySESAR.
              6. New Feature: SESAR users can now assign permissions to others to view, edit, and/or register sample metadata on their behalf. This substantial new functionality is described in more detail here.
              7. New feature: a new sample metadata update web service now exists for updating sample metadata in bulk programmatically.
              8. New Feature: a new web feature service provides access to the core metadata for top level samples.
              9. New Feature: a new web map service provides the distribution map of top level samples in SESAR.
              10. Improvement: error messages in single sample registration are now more clear and specific.
              11. Improvement: the performance of the sample upload web service has been improved, greatly reducing the time necessary to register samples.
              12. Improvement: the date string on printed labels and in sample profiles now reflects precision as indicated in the collection date precision field.
              13. Improvement: the speed of page loading in MySESAR has been improved.
              14. Improvement: downloading large amounts of sample metadata has now been streamlined. Metadata are now written out into CSV files with metadata for 5000 samples each.
              15. Improvement: SESAR users can now run multiple searches of the SESAR catalog concurrently in multiple tabs.
              16. Improvement: SESAR samples can now be discovered through the IEDA Data Browser. Once a user selects samples of interest, he/she can click "Explore", which will take the user to the SESAR catalog to further define search criteria.
              17. Bug Fix: pagination for samples from a particular cruise has been improved. By default, 25 samples will be shown per page, with the option to show less or all per page.

              SESAR v.6.3 (July 30, 2015)

              1. New feature: User can set sample metadata to public or private from their MySESAR sample list.
              2. New feature improvement: UTM Zone has been updated to a more popular user syntax - using the zones A-Z instead of N or S.
              3. New feature: The sample profile page is now a RESTful webservice, returning xml or json.
              4. New feature: There is now a webservice to return IGSNs given a latitude-longitude defined polygon.
              5. New feature: There is now a webservice to return IGSNs according to Field Program (e.g., Susquehanna Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory (CZO))
              6. Improvement: Batch registration template headers are now case insensitive. Although we recommend using the provided template and not editing the column headers, templates that differ only in header capitalization will work.
              7. Improvement: Web service for a given sample now returns a tree structure for parents, siblings, or children samples.
              8. Improvement: Increased the efficiency of IGSN registrations with the GFZ handle registration service. This improves the efficiency of IGSNs being resolvable by URI.
              9. Improvement: Missing metadata about cruise and ship filled in for many ODP samples. 
              10. Bug fix: Printable labels now update fields correctly, 0 depths show up, and blank fields are blank instead of "Not Provided"


              SESAR v.6.2 (March 31, 2015)

              1. New feature: additional metadata fields in response to feedback from the Critical Zone Observatory community. New object type "site", fields for UTM coordinates: Easting, Northing, Zone. Vertical datum.
              2. New feature: created classification XML schema file.
              3. New feature: XML Sample Upload Web Service
              4. Improvement: rewrote the xml sample upload service, the new URL is New service includes robust validation, definitions, improved error messages, and ISO 8601 date time format.
              5. Improvements: sample edit page URL uses the IGSN instead of internal sample id, improved error messages, robust validation.
              6. Bug fix: individual registration material pull-down menu now properly refreshes upon a change in material to Biology.
              7. Bug fix: several places where "help text" in the entry form would be read in as typed characters has been fixed.
              8. Bug fix: bug related to navigation type and launch platform name not being saved is fixed.
              9. Bug fix: sample edit page, sample subtypes now can be chosen from a pickable list in a popup.
              10. Bug fix: fixed bug when updating classification


              SESAR v.6.1 (February 20, 2015)

              1. Added option for users to toggle samples as public or private from the Sample Edit page.
              2. Improved the SESAR upload XML schema file to have more comments.
              3. Improved the map projection for better display in the polar regions.
              4. Improved the collection date precision validation.
              5. Improved the notification of data managers when new namespaces are used for the first time.
              6. Improved the label generation: blank spaces allowed on the labels for writing in information instead of "Not Provided"
              7. Improved the SESAR API search to handle 5-digit namespaces.
              8. Improved the display of cruise information for linked cruises.
              9. Improved instructions for deleting multiple samples.
              10. Improved downloaded spreadsheets to all have URL links to the sample profiles.
              11. Standardized the IGSN sample link URLs within SESAR.
              12. Added new materials - Ice and Synthetic.
              13. Added new classification: Macrobiology>Coral.
              14. Bug fix: Web Services, fixed bug where whitespace before IGSN would create error. 
              15. Bug fix: Web Services, fixed bug of incorrect error message when IGSN already exists.
              16. Bug fix: Web Services, improved the error message when no login or password was entered.
              17. Bug fix: Web Services, improvement so that the "less than" symbol no longer causes an XML Parsing Error.
              18. Bug fix: validation of data in batch registrations now checks the entire batch.
              19. Bug fix: reimplemented the generation of PostGIS location information upon batch registration.


              SESAR v.6.0 (November 25, 2014)

              1. Improvement of system for added protection against SQL injection attacks.
              2. Improved database to separate uploads from the source tree.
              3. Improved security through added accounts for separate database access.
              4. Improved display of image paths.
              5. Improved admin site messages when registering IGSNs with IGSN handle service.
              6. Bug fix: fixed incorrect display of information in printable label update options and print all labels.
              7. Bug fix: fixed geographic region search failure.
              8. Bug fix: fixed bug in MySESAR search by registration date filter.
              9. Bug fix: fixed missing QR code images in printable labels.
              10. Created scripts for exporting certain information (e.g., in the Person table) to graph databases.


              SESAR v.5.1 (October 9, 2014)

              1. Improved credentials web service. Improved documentation for the service, including examples.
              2. Improved search by registrant.
              3. Bug fix: fixed empty return result for advanced search by registrant.
              4. Bug fix: fixed display of special symbols in the description field.


              SESAR v.5.0 (July 18, 2014)

              1. New namespace syntax with 5 characters (beginning with IE), instead of 3 characters. This change will not affect existing IGSNs or namespaces.
              2. New web service for retrieving IGSNs for a specific namespace, documented on the SESAR API page.


              SESAR v.4.6 (May 27, 2014)

              1. New sub-object types available nested under Individual Sample including bead, chemical fraction, cube, culture, cylinder, mechanical fraction, powder, slab, smear, specimen, squeeze cake, thin section, toothpick, U-channel and wedge.
              2. Support for a new printable label format, (Cryotags from Electron Microscopy Sciences, 77565-W).
              3. In batch registration, users may assign IGSNs with any of their namespaces (previously, only the primary namespace was allowed).
              4. Bug fix: Latitude end and longitude end now show up on the Edit page for dredge samples.
              5. Bug fix: Special symbols for Sample Type and Classification validation fixed, now allowing "Liquid>aqueous" in batch registration.
              6. Batch registration upload and preview functions have improved performance.
              7. Improvement: Data model now allows different URL link types including DOI.
              8. Transition to new IGSN architecture: new checking procedures ensure that user codes and IGSNs are not duplicated in the growing number of IGSN allocating agents.


              SESAR v4.5 (February 10, 2014)

              1. IGSN deactivation: An IGSN can be deactivated (a.k.a. deleted) by request to the SESAR Admin, when approved, the IGSN no longer shows up in the public search or in the user's MySESAR environment.
              2. Improvements to related file upload: More formats are allowed to upload and be attached to sample profiles: .xls, xlsx, .doc, .docx, .txt, .rtf, .pdf, .ps, .zip, .gz.
              3. Improvement to batch registration template: the template now has alternately colored lines to aid data entry.
              4. Individual Sample Registration form improvement: better validation on latitude/longitude/elevation.
              5. Special characters such as åäö displaying correctly on the Sample profiles now.
              6. Batch registration validation: A recent bug caused by javascript functions or package failure on the Mac Chrome or Safari has been fixed. IGSNs that are not 9 digits are no longer allowed to be uploaded via batch uploader.
              7. Sample deletion request bug fixed and the feature is functional again.


              SESAR v4.4 (October 15, 2013)

              1. Filter by IGSN in MySESAR for better sample management.
              2. Customize columns displayed in the MySESAR list view: In MySESAR, a new link for "Add Column(s)" allows users to display additional fields for better sample management.
              3. Customized Label printing: The label printing has been customized so that you can choose which fields to display on the label, including Sample Other Name, Depth (min) and Depth (max), and Collection Date.
              4. Direct links to Sample profile pages in the Downloaded file: Metadata downloads from SESAR now include a hyperlink that leads directly to the sample profile.
              5. Batch Registration improvements: Several improvements include: reformatting of the batch registration template for better readability, improved error checking upon Batch Registration, improved instructions for fixing batch registration template errors, and case insensitivity of controlled vocabularies.
              6. New Developer's Document posted: SESAR webservices API documentation is posted on the IEDA webservices page.
              7. Fixed a bug that did not display or allow editing of Depth (min) and Depth (max) for certain object types.


              SESAR v4.3 (July 22, 2013) 

              1. Sample Grouping: Create, edit, and view customized groups of SESAR samples. There is a new tab in MySESAR called My Groups. Create groups for projects, loan groups, field programs, or funding awards. You can add samples both from your own namespace or from other namespaces. These groups will be saved in your SESAR workspace. To help us guide future development, use the orange feedback tab on the right side of this page to let us know how you intend to use SESAR groups.
              2. Automatic notification of new batch registrations: When you successfully submit a new batch registration template, our data managers are notified immediately. This has improved response time for registration of SESAR batches.
              3. A fix for the Chrome browser now allows negative numbers to be entered into the latitude, longitude, and elevation fields during Individual sample registration.
              4. When entering Geologic Age and Geologic Unit in individual sample registration, non-numeric entries are now allowed.
              5. Sample profiles with release dates in the future can no longer be accessed by the Search IGSN box on the front web page or by direct URL query. A message is displayed that indicates the information is not yet public. Previously, these samples were only excluded from the catalog search.
              6. Batch registrations will not be be uploaded if error messages still exist. The errors must be corrected before the batch can be uploaded.


              SESAR v4.2 (March 26, 2013)

              1. Collection Time is read in from the batch registration sheet in the format HH:MM:SS UTC. See the SESAR Quick Guide for more information.
              2. Classification search is enhanced to now return all hierarchically-lower categories in addition to the category itself. e.g. A search for "Igneous>Volcanic" will return "Igneous>Volcanic>Mafic", "Igneous>Volcanic>Intermediate" and "Igneous>Volcanic>Felsic" as well.
              3. More information (Material and Classification) is shown in the list view of MySESAR and search results.
              4. The Map Search has been updated to correctly return results by both map polygon and user-entered N-S-E-W bounding values.
              5. Private samples are now linked correctly to the detailed sample profile from MySESAR.
              6. Individual batch registration hover-over definitions are properly aligned.
              7. Individual batch registration "Ready?" button at the bottom of the webform directs to the correct sample profile display instead of a blank page.
              8. The primary image thumbnail of a sample correctly displays at the top of the sample profile.
              9. IGSN case insensitivity is correctly deployed to more features in SESAR. (If you previously had any lowercase IGSNs, please contact if you have questions.)


              SESAR v4.1 (January 14, 2013)


              1. Time zone display is now in UTC (Universal Time Coordinated). The display on sample profile pages follows ISO-8601.
              2. Label printing is implemented in MySESAR. Users have the option to select certain samples and print labels for them. More information here.
              3. Batch registration template Quick Guide instructions are now included with each new download of a Batch Registration Template.
              4. The sample delete button at the bottom of a user's sample profiles now leads to the correct page for requesting sample delete.