The VARS software is open source. The source code can be retrieved from Mercurial (hg); details for Mercurial access can be found here

VARS works on Windows 7 and XP, MAC OS X, and Linux/UNIX (with some limitations). It requires Java Runtime Environment, version 1.6 (aka Java 6) or later. Developers should have a basic understanding of Java and/or databases.

VARS Developers

Using the downloads and instructions in this section you can set up your own video annotation and reference system (VARS). The instructions assume that the VARS software and test database are already installed. (See setup.)

The pages cover:

VARS has been deployed on Microsoft SQL Server 2000, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Apache Derby, PostgreSQL 9, Oracle and MySQL. Other database servers should also work too.

This development documentation was used in a workshop for prospective VARS users, held at MBARI in December 2005. It is for a previous version of VARS but most of the information is still relevant to the current VARS. These two Powerpoint presentations also contain some useful information:

Setting up a Database

The VARS download contains a preconfigured Apache Derby database that is suitable for testing, development and deployment. However, if you would like to configure and install VARS on your own database server. Instructions for the different database servers can be found at:
  • Apache Derby [In progress]
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 [In progress]
  • PostgreSQL