The wide uptake of next-generation sequencing and other ultra-high throughput technologies by life scientists with a diverse range of interests, spanning fundamental biological research, medicine, agriculture and environmental science, has led to unprecedented growth in the amount of data generated. It has also put the need for unrestricted access to biological data at the centre of biology. The European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) is unique in Europe and is one of only two organisations worldwide providing access to a comprehensive, integrated set of these collections. Here, we describe how the EMBL-EBI's biomolecular databases are evolving to cope with increasing levels of submission, a growing and diversifying user base, and the demand for new types of data. All of the resources described here can be accessed from the EMBL-EBI website: http://www.ebi.ac.uk.