Phonetic and Orthographic Computer Analysis (POCA) program

To download the FDA POCA software, click on the following link. Save the installation zip file to your computer and follow the instructions in the POCA Installation Guide that is part of the zip file.

POCA System Overview

The Phonetic and Orthographic Computer Analysis (POCA) program is a software tool that uses an advanced algorithm to determine the orthographic and phonetic similarity between two drug names. The program can compare a drug name against multiple drug names found in several different “data sources” contained in the software. The two data sources provided through this internet link are Drugs at FDA and RxNorm (which extracts names from Orange Book as one of its resources). Data sources are pipe (|) delimited ASCII files in a specific format.
This zip file contains both a compiled version of the POCA application and the source code. The compiled version has been tested and installed on a number of computers; however the agency is not able to provide technical support for the installation or operation of this program.
POCA is a web-based application that was originally developed for the Microsoft .Net Framework 1.1 and the Oracle 9i Database. It has now been upgraded to the Microsoft .Net Framework 3.5 SP1 and the Oracle 10g Database. POCA can be run on a personal computer or on a server. At FDA the application and database are installed on two tiers, a Windows server running the application code and a Unix server running the Oracle database, to support a staff of drug safety reviewers. When configured on a server, users only need a standard IE browser to interact with the application. If you wanted to run this program on a large server for multiple users no changes would be needed in the source code. It is recommended that installing POCA on a server be done by experienced System Administrators and DBAs.
Installation Overview
Prior to installing the POCA database and application, it will be necessary to ensure that the Microsoft .Net Framework 3.5 and Internet Information Services (IIS) are installed on the computer hosting the web application, and that Oracle 10g Database software is installed on the computer hosting the database (could both be on the same computer). Using the supplied “POCA Installation Guide” the POCA database will be created. Then the POCA web application files will be copied from the CD to the computer’s hard disk and the web server will be configured.
Once the application is up and running, instructions for using the application can be found in the HelpDoc.pdf file that can be down loaded form the User Manual link. This file is also available from the “Help” link in the application.
Files and Folders in the zip file
  • POCA_DB_Install Folder
This contains two scripts and an ORACLE backup .dmp file that will be used to create an Oracle database and import data and PL/SQL routines into the database.
  • POCA_Datasources Folder (inside the POCA_DB_Install folder)
This contains a single ascii file in a specific format. Files in this format can be used as data sources for POCA. A description of this format is supplied as a spreadsheet called data_source_template.xls. Please note that POCA data sources must be in the ascii specific pipe delimited format. POCA does not directly accept spreadsheet data
  • POCA Installation Guide.doc
This document is the instructions for installing the POCA database and application.
  • Poca_Published_Files Folder
This folder contains the compiled version of the POCA application ready to run on a Windows system.
  • Poca_Source_Code Folder
This folder contains the source code for the POCA application for those who want to investigate the algorithms and/or change them.
  • Technical Information Folder
Contains the following files: 
  • POCA ER diagram.pdf
This ER diagram is provided as a reference so users can understand how the tables relate to each other and to get a general feel for the size of the system.
Some of this refers to how POCA is set up at FDA and is not relevant to installing POCA. This might be useful to a programmer who wanted to modify the POCA system.
  • ODAC folder
This folder contains different versions of the Oracle.DataAccess.dll file that you may need to use during installation (see the installation guide).


Page Last Updated: 06/13/2014
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