Configuring user access and databases for a SequenceServer Cloud BLAST server

Many SequenceServer users simply see the graphical interface for performing BLAST analyses.

But how do you format FASTA files from genomes or transcriptomes into BLAST databases? How do you make your server secure so that only certain people can access it? If you’re running your own server, most of this happens in the command-line.

But if you’re using SequenceServer Cloud just use a graphical interface to configure your server. Command-line not needed.

Database and User administration dashboards for a SequenceServer Cloud BLAST server

Each SequenceServer Cloud BLAST instance has a point-and-click administration dashboard.

This dashboard enables the main user to:

The administration dashboard of each SequenceServer Cloud instance is accessible at https://myspecies.sequenceserver.com/edit. It looks like this:

Adding FASTA databases is easy. A simple drag and drop interface and automatic database generation makes adding your data quick and easy

Adding Users

If your SequenceServer Cloud instance is private, you can grant access to colleagues in the “Users” tab by entering their emails and clicking “Add user”. They will receive an email with a link to the BLAST interface.

Adding users to your SequenceServer instance just requires you give their email and they will be sent a request to join

When a user tries to access the BLAST interface, they will be asked to enter their email address, and will receive an email with a login link.

User request access emails provide a secure link to join the SequenceServer account

SequenceServer instances can also be publicly accessible. In that case, no user-specific things are required.

Some organizations need SequenceServer to interface with other login mechanisms, or prefer, for example restricting access to particular IP addresses, or using a generic http password. Because such constraints are organization-specific, they cannot be set through the dashboard - please get in touch and we’ll implement.

Adding BLAST databases

The bottom of the screenshot shows where you can add new data to be used as BLAST databases. Here, you can drag and drop (or select) individual FASTA files or gzipped FASTA files. We automatically detect whether they are protein or nucleotide FASTA files and format them into BLAST databases.

You can also batch upload many FASTA files as a single .zip or .tar.gz.

Finally, you can also upload .zip or .tar.gz archives of preformatted databases.

You have access to commonly used databases that come with SequenceServer, and there are some others you can request. Additionally, you can request support for other databases.

SequenceServer comes packages with useful databases as standard, allowing you to spend more time getting results than downloading large databases

BLAST search history

By default, a button at the top of the dashboard allows the administrator(s) to view the search history of all users. This can also be made accessible to all users.

Having an overview of searches performed can be a handy way for researchers to go back to a previous result, and for administrators to understand which datasets are most important to users.

SequenceServer maintains a full record of your BLAST history so you can look back at your results

Advanced logging

Advanced logging is also available. We can activate “audit trail logging” whereby every click is recorded. This can help with security audits, and for better understanding which of your team members are using the server and how. This is also great for teaching, as it can help educators make sense of student engagement.

By leveraging cloud computing, publication-ready graphics, and a powerful administration interface, SequenceServer Cloud makes it easy to perform sequence search results and to interpret them.

Sequence Search with SequenceServer

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