Posted on 26 April 2022 in by Martijn Houben

BrAPI, Automate data transfer into your workflow

With the release of HortControl 3.8 we implemented an API allowing you to automate data transfer from HortControl (our data management software) to your workflow. You no longer have to download the data manually, nor do you have to manually upload it to analysis pipelines, machine learning models, or anything else.

  • Automate data transfer from HortControl into any workflow
    e.g. your own R&D or monitoring pipeline created in R-studio, Python.. etc.
  • Automate data transfer into third-party tools & software
    e.g. Data management tools or robotics
  • interoperability between Phenospex data and other sources
    e.g. your genotype database

APIs are widely known and used in all industries to standardize communication between tools or to safely open their data to other developers. This API lets you access all plant parameter data, experiment information, and 3D files.

Why did we implement the BrAPI standard?

We were looking for solutions to build our own API but we quickly realized implementing BrAPI, created by the plant research community itself, would bring us and our clients a lot more value.

  • BrAPI has an extremely active community developing the API and open source tools
  • Compatible with plant phenotyping data standards like MIAPPE

We actively collaborate with the BrAPI team to follow the standards defined by the plant research community itself. First of all to give researchers, who already use BrAPI and MIAPPE standards, easy access to our data and to fulfil a pioneering role in bringing data standards to the industry.  You can read all about it on their website.

BrAPI, the advantages


Pioneering by bringing the standards to the industry

Phenotyping is fundamental to the development of new agrochemicals, new plant varieties, and farming itself. Phenotyping is traditionally done visually or destructively –it’s time consuming, expensive, and imprecise. Our mission is to automate the process, make the data actionable, and enable our clients to deliver new agrochemicals and crops faster than ever before.
We empower seed companies, crop-protection companies, and indoor farms around the world in transforming their phenotyping processes into digital, agile and efficient development pipelines. Combining our expertise in sensors, automation, and data analysis with our clients’ know-how, we’re driving transformation.

Digital phenotyping currently lacks the standards required to be widely adopted, hence our pioneering efforts to bring community standards like BrAPI to the industry, taking it beyond a decentralized research tool into a seamlessly integrated plant data provider. For us, implementing BrAPI in our tools is more than just another update: it’s our way of introducing this academic standard to the industry.


How does it work?

Simple requests for data

Send a simple request for data from your tool to HortControl. In this request you state what kind of data you want, and it will be sent back in response. The data you receive is then open for you to use immediately in your workflow or store in your database. The image shows an example request on the top and a possible response on the bottom.

Any data scientist, developer or even a biology student will be able to work with it. The API is well documented and we will be creating tutorials on how to use it.

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