Motivation: Heterogeneity of databases and software resources continues to hamper the integration of biological information. Top-down solutions are not feasible for the full-scale problem of integration across biological species and data types. Bottom-up solutions so far have not integrated, in a maximally flexible way, dynamic and interactive graphical-user-interface components with data repositories and analysis tools.
Results: We present a component-based approach that relies on a generalized platform for component integration. The platform enables independently-developed components to synchronize their behavior and exchange services, without direct knowledge of one another. An interface-based data model allows the exchange of information with minimal component interdependency. From these interactions an integrated system results, which we call ISYSf1.gif" BORDER="0">. By allowing services to be discovered dynamically based on selected objects, ISYS encourages a kind of exploratory navigation that we believe to be well-suited for applications in genomic research.