Written originally for the C. elegans sequencing project, the software is used to manage genetical and physical map data and DNA sequences from a variety of plants, animals and prokaryotes. The bulk of the sofware has been written by Jean Thierry-Mieg(mieg) and RichardDurbin(rd). Queries about the code can be addressed directly to,, or

Compiled versions of the software together with documentation for users and links to other sites can be found at this site, along with a list of viewable databases.

Inside ACEDB, context-sensitive Help pages can be accessed from every window. These pages are also available online. A news group exists at and is a good source of help.


ACEDB was originally written for the Xwindows interface of UNIX machines. THE UNIX VERSION IS DESCRIBED HERE but versions for Windows and Macintosh are also available.

Opening an AceDB Database

Your system administrator will usually set up a script allowing you to type "acedb" on the command line.

The First View of AceDB :

The first X window to open is the CLASS window. This MAIN or CLASS window lists the most frequently used classes of object modelled in your database. It has a Title giving the name of the database and version number and the version of software in use. It has buttons with drop-down menus, also, facilities for calling for a list of stored objects and performing word searches on the database.The data models for each class of object modelled in the database can be viewed from here. There is a unique background menu associated with this window in that it provides the only way of quitting the database.

The second window appears after a double Left Mouse (LM) click on an Class. It is called the KEYSET window and this gives a list of the objects requested from the class window. This window also has a background menu as well as several button function boxes at the top of the window. From this window it is possible to select an object to view.

Selecting and Viewing Objects in AceDB :

The original UNIX-based version of ACEDB was written for use with a 3- button mouse. The left-mouse (LM) button is used for selecting an object, the right-mouse(RM) button for pulling down a menu and selecting an item from it, the middle mouse (MM) is used on graphical map displays for zooming in or out, or re-centring the display on a new object. Selecting an object with LM can be done EITHER by a double click, or, by highlighting its name first, then giving another click to fetch it. Every object is displayed in its default display.

The Main Types of Display