RADARS, a rapid, automated, data archiving and retrieval software system for high-throughput proteomic mass spectral data processing and storage, is described. The majority of mass spectrometer data files are compatible with RADARS, for consistent processing. The system automatically takes unprocessed data files, identifies proteins via in silico database searching, then stores the processed data and search results in a relational database suitable for customized reporting. The system is robust, used in 24/7 operation, accessible to multiple users of an intranet through a web browser, may be monitored by Virtual Private Network, and is secure. RADARS is scalable for use on one or many computers, and is suited to multiple processor systems. It can incorporate any local database in FASTA format, and can search protein and DNA databases online. A key feature is a suite of visualisation tools (many available gratis), allowing facile manipulation of spectra, by hand annotation, reanalysis, and access to all procedures. We also described the use of Sonar MS/MS, a novel, rapid search engine requiring 40 MB RAM per process for searches against a genomic or EST database translated in all six reading frames. RADARS reduces the cost of analysis by its efficient algorithms: Sonar MS/MS can identifiy proteins without accurate knowledge of the parent ion mass and without protein tags. Statistical scoring methods provide close-to-expert accuracy and brings robust data analysis to the non-expert user.