Introduction to IUCLID
IUCLID (International Uniform ChemicaL Information Database) is a software application to record, store, maintain and exchange data on intrinsic and hazard properties of chemical substances. It is a key software application for both regulatory bodies and the chemical industry where it is used in the implementation of various regulatory programmes. Examples include the OECD Cooperative Chemicals Assessment Programme (CoCAP) and the EU legislation Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). The REACH legislation states explicitly that data shall be submitted to ECHA in IUCLID format. For mor
Development of IUCLID 6
The first version of IUCLID was used from 1993 for the European Existing Substances Regulation 793/93/EEC. IUCLID has therefore been under development for over twenty years. IUCLID 5 and its underlying technologies originate from a period of development between 2003 and 2007 whilst IUCLID was being readied for its role in the implementation of REACH. So much has changed in the intervening years that it was decided to completely re-build IUCLID, as IUCLID 6.
IUCLID 6 provides a new software architecture that allows the implementation of new end-user functionalities that could not be created by simply developing IUCLID 5 further. The revisions of the software architecture also enhance a number of non-functional requirements that were identified as potential weaknesses in IUCLID 5. Enhancements have been made in the following areas:
- Ease of Use: the creation of a version of IUCLID aimed at SMEs that is easier to install
- Security: the definition of a new user access policy to documents
- Interoperability: the definition of new services and plug-in architecture
- Extensibility: new approach to data storage
- Reliability: the use of transactional operations in the database
- Portability: re-definition of the existing IUCLID 5 versions
- Scalability: increase the data capacity beyond that possible with IUCLID 5
- Performance: improvements in large-scale data instances
Even though the software has been completely re-written, as requested by our users no large changes have been made in the way that the graphical user interface works, with most functions having been retained from IUCLID 5. Thus, moving from IUCLID 5 to IUCLID 6 should involve a minimal amount of retraining of users. The branding has been refreshed, and many of the visual cues in the interface of IUCLID 5 have been retained in a recognisable form.
When to start using IUCLID 6?
IUCLID 6 has been published on 29 April 2016. IUCLID users should start preparing for the upgrade to this new version. For the preparation of submissions under the EU regulations REACH, CLP and BPR, IUCLID 5 must still be used until the submission systems are updated to accept the new IUCLID 6 format. You will find more information on the ECHA website.
Details of changes from IUCLID 5 to IUCLID 6
The development of IUCLID 6 was split in to two main phases. In the first phase a technical upgrade was performed to renew the architecture of the application to include up-to-date components. At the same time functional improvements have been made in areas such as user management, data access and content organisation. All these changes were made available with the IUCLID 6 beta version, in June 2015.
In the second phase, the development of IUCLID 6 was aimed at improving the format of the data. This activity was done in collaboration with the OECD because IUCLID contains the OECD Harmonised Templates (OHTs) for reporting chemical test summaries. A complete review process was launched for the OHTs in 2013, aimed in particular at addressing the shortcomings and limitations of the current format. This included enhancement of the control of data entry, to help both the data submitter and evaluator in regulatory processes. Consultations took place in 2014 at the EU and OECD levels to agree on an updated format that has been added to IUCLID 6 in the release of 29 April 2016. This official release of IUCLID 6 covered both technical upgrade and enhanced format.
After the release of IUCLID 6 to the public, service and maintenance releases are prepared in order to fix reported issues and to provide improvements and new features requested by the users. In order to provide IUCLID users a predictable release plan, it was agreed to plan two IUCLID releases per year, one (minor) release in Spring and one (major) release, including format changes, in Autumn.
Under this section the current planning and scope for the future releases are made available for information only and are subject to change (updated on 19th July 2017).
- Mid-November 2017 (version 2.0.0), including format changes
- Spring 2018, minor release
- Autumn 2018, major release, including format changes
- Other user requirements currently not prioritised
- LDAP connectivity
- Spell checker
- Attachments versioning
- Announcements for IUCLID system administrators
- Link to email server (e.g. for resetting passwords)
IUCLID plugin family
Plugins contain functionalities that have been deliberately kept out of those built-in to IUCLID 6 because not all users need them, and the separateness makes rapid development possible without having to upgrade and test all of IUCLID 6.
At the end of 2014 a survey was launched to collect user feedback and requirements for the existing IUCLID 5 plugins: report generator, validation assistant, dissemination, and fee calculation. The survey responses were analysed and then summarised in a report that served as a basis for the development of the same functionalities for IUCLID 6.