Midas Platform is an open-source toolkit that enables the rapid creation of tailored, web-enabled data storage and provides a cohesive system for data management, visualization, and processing. At its core, Midas Platform is implemented as a PHP modular framework with a backend database (MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQLite). While the Midas Platform system can be installed and deployed without any customization, the framework has been designed with customization in mind. We recognize that building one system to fit all is not optimal, thus we have extended the framework to support plugins and layouts.
Midas Platform employs Kitware's Quality Software Process (CTest and CDash) to test the system and ensure a high-quality, well-tested, robust application. While CTest and CDash have been written to support C/C++ source code development, we have extended the framework to provide a continuous integration for PHP/HTML.
Midas Platform is adaptable and has a broad scope, with the flexibility to address a variety of needs for scientific data management. Through integration with a range of other open-source toolkits, applications, or internal proprietary workflows, Midas Platform offers a solid foundation to meet the needs of data-centric computing.
The MIDAS project started in 2004 at the University of North Carolina. At that time, Dr. Stephen Aylward and Julien Jomier were looking for an alternative to PACS to manage their medical images. At the same time, Kitware was looking into developing the Insight Journal, an online open-access journal for hosting publications, data and source code. The need for a new system led to the collaborative development of Midas. The original Midas source code was based on DSpace, an open-source digital archiving system written in Java. Several factors, mainly related to web hosting, pushed the rewriting of the code in PHP. In 2006, the Insight Journal went live and now receives more than 10,000 unique visitors per month and provides a platform for hosting source code and datasets related to the Insight Toolkit and the Visualization Toolkit.
In 2008, the Optical Society of America deployed Midas to support the first Interactive Science Publishing (ISP) system. Since then, Midas has been deployed at several institutions including the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and Harvard Medical School in addition to several commercial applications.
After several years of internal development, the Midas source code was released in 2009 under a non-reciprocal, BSD open-source license to leverage the benefits of community involvement and development. Based on the success of MIDAS 2.0, in 2011 the Midas Platform was created to encompass all the open-source data management efforts at Kitware. Among the contributions to the Midas Platform, Midas 3 and the Midas Client were the initial projects to be included. In 2012, Midas 3 was released with an improved Apache 2.0 license.
Please see the Midas case studies page for examples of Midas installations and how it can be tailored to your needs.