The Distributed Annotation System (DAS) defines a communication protocol used to exchange biological annotations. It is motivated by the idea that annotations should not be provided by single centralized databases, but instead be spread over multiple sites. Data distribution, performed by DAS servers, is separated from visualization, which is done by DAS clients.
DAS is a client-server system in which a single client integrates information from multiple servers. It allows a single machine to gather up genome annotation information from multiple distant web sites, collate the information, and display it to the user in a single view. Little coordination is needed among the various information providers.
DAS is heavily used in the genome bioinformatics community. Over the last years we have also seen growing acceptance in the protein sequence and structure communities.
The BioDAS web site is hosted by the Open Bioinformatics Foundation. Thanks to The Bioteam, who provided and maintained the bio* servers during the initial years.