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DDIS How To and FAQs


  • How do I register as a DDIS user?
  1. Click on the "Become a User" from DDIS home page.
  2. Fill in all required data entries (marked with * ) shown below and click on the Submit button. Please note, your email address must be accurate. We will send activation information through your email.
  3. After an approval, your account will be activated and an email notification will be sent to you.
  • How do I find my user name/password?
  1. Click on "Forget my password?" from DDIS home page.
  2. Enter your email associated with your DDIS account and press the Submit button. Your access code will be sent to your email account.
  • Where do I get IT related DDIS support?

You can call or email IFAS Help Desk.
Phone: (352)-392-INFO or (352) 392-4636
IFAS Help Desk is available every week day.

  • How do I submit a DDIS sample?
  1. Login the DDIS home page
  2. Click on the "Submit a Sample" link
  3. Follow the prompts to complete three-step submission procedure:

(1) Select Sample Type:

Select your sample type from the submission screen. If you are not sure what type sample you are submitting, you may select more than one category.
Then click on the Next button.

(2) Fill Sample Data:

(3) Upload Digital Sample

Image should be in the format of GIF or JPEG. Video could be Windows Media or QuickTime. The maximum size for each uploading file is 3MB and you can submit up to six files for each sample. Normally, each image should be less than 1MB.

  • How do I retrieve my sample?
  1. Login the DDIS home page.
  2. You may click on "My Sample" link in MyDDIS page. All your samples are displayed in this page with most recent sample on top.
    By selecting the year and the status of the sample followed by clicking the submit button, you may filter out samples you want to view.
  • How do I make diagnosis or identification?
  1. Login the DDIS home page.
  2. Click on My Sample and select the DDIS ID of the target sample. Then click on "Diagnosis" in Operation column.
  3. Read the sample information in "View" tab . You may click on the thumbnail images to view large size images. Or you may click on the Photo Viewer to launch the viewer. If a multimedia file is included, you have to have a viewer installed on your computer to view the video.
    After you examined the sample, click on the "Diagnosis" tab to enter your diagnosis. If you want to include a web page in your diagnosis, please put a complete URL started with http in your diagnosis (i.e. If needed you may refer this sample to an external specialist or other DDIS specialists.
    Click on the Submit button to send your diagnosis to DDIS server.

Fill in required fields are essential to meet NPDN data requirements.

  • How do I find samples I have submitted or diagnosed?
  1. Login the DDIS.
  2. Click on "My Samples" and select options from the radio buttons.
  • How do I search DDIS samples?
  1. Login DDIS from DDIS .
  2. Click on "Search Samples." You have four search options:
    A) Search by Sample ID
    Enter a DDIS sample ID , then click Search button.

    B) Search by Keyword
    Enter a sample common name, scientific name, or family and selection location, then click on the Search button.

    C) Search Sample by Types
    Select the sample location, as well as the sample type and display option, then enter the approximate period of the submission time of the target sample. After doing these, click on the Search button.

    D) Search by Sample Names
    Enter the name of the sample (no matter which name you enter, you can enter common name, scientific name, or family), and host plant name. Then, select the location (listed by county) of the sample. Finally, click on the Submit button.

  • How do I update my account information?
  1. Login DDIS.
  2. Select "Update My Account" in the head tool bar. You can change your profile and password. If you are a specialist, please specify your specialty area. Enter your UFID.
  • What's the maximum file size I can upload to the DDIS server?

Each upload file has to be less than 3MB. Please use small media files to reduce upload time and storage space.
Normally, an image file should less than 1MB.

  • How do I reduce the size of an image file?

Computer software allow you to crop or resize images. Please see a list of examples here.

  • How do I make changes for a submitted sample?
  1. Login DDIS.
  2. Click on My Sample and then click on the "Revise" link.
  3. Describe the changes and attached new images for submission. Notification will be send to the same specialist from your initial submission.

Note: For record keeping purpose, users are allowed to add new changes only without modifying the early submission. Revision will be appended to the original submission. You may use this feature to: 1) describe changes of an existing sample, and 2) add additional images or media to a sample. In addition to six images limited by the initial submission, users may add as many images as they want to a sample.

  • How do I change a sample from "Public" to "Private" or vice versa?
  1. Log in DDIS
  2. Click My Sample
  3. Select View at the the rear of the target sample.
  4. Click Change this sample to private.


  • What is DDIS and is DDIS a part of SPDN/NPDN?

The Distance Diagnostic and Identification System (DDIS) for Extension was developed to serve growers' and homeowners' needs for quick identification and diagnostic services as a basis for Integrated Pest Management programs. DDIS provides a collaboration and communication tool for first detectors, extension specialists and diagnosticians to share information on plant insects and diseases. The system is used for enhancement of diagnosis of plant diseases, insects, weeds, invasive species, plant management, physiology, and nutrient problems.

DDIS is a part of SPDN and NPDN Network. Authorized DDIS users may submit samples to SPDN network.

  • Does DDIS support iPad, iPhone or Android phones?

Yes. For iPad or iPhone, iOS 6 or above is required.

  • Why can't I just attach a digital picture to e-mail and send it?

That's how we got started, but there are some serious drawbacks:

  • It creates a bunch of clogged e-mail boxes and "quota exceeded" messages that prevent box-holders from receiving more e-mail.
  • DDIS uses standard lab forms to acquire field data for diagnosis and the system is networked with SPDN and NPDN.
  • It doesn't allow sample and response tracking and reporting.
  • And it doesn't contribute to the archive for future research and educational use.
  • I don't have a microscope. DDIS won't do me any good, will it?

All UF/IFAS employees who have a digital camera can use DDIS. We're finding that many images for plant and insect IDs are quite satisfactory without using a microscope.

  • Why do I have to fill out so much information on the sample form?

The more information a diagnostician has, the better - or quicker - the answer back to you. And the more complete the text descriptions, the better the archive will serve us all later when we use the accumulated samples in the library. The information on the DDIS form was compiled from the paper forms that different identification and diagnostic services were using with biological samples.

  • Who are DDIS users?

  • County Extension agents, county and UF employees.
  • Diagnosticians and specialists at UF/IFAS, FDACS and external specialists.
  • Extension clientele and master gardeners through county Extension agents.
  • Designated clientele for diagnostic clinics
  • University of Puerto Rico specialists.
  • General public to contribute media to DDIS Media Library

  • Who can receive my sample?

A list of specialists who registered with DDIS at University of Florida and external specialists. They are specialists in different areas in academic departments, government institutions, diagnostic labs or clinics. You can see a list of specialists after you login DDIS.

  • How can I tell whether my sample has gone to the specialist?

As soon as a sample is successfully submitted, you'll get a notification that gives the sample ID code, and an e-mail notification. If these don't appear quickly, then you can bet your sample didn't go through.

  • What if I want to share a sample or a response with another agent?

Login to DDIS and view the sample. In DDIS Toolbox, grant permission to another person. This sample will appear to another user's My Sample folder.

  • How many images should I submit?

Take enough photos and select a few best photos that can represent the symptoms of plant and pest. You may have photos for field view, close up view and microscope view. If you want submit more photos after your initial submission, you always can add additional photos by revising the sample.

  • Does DDIS allow extension clientele in Florida to submit a sample?

Yes, DDIS provides a means for Extension Clienteles (growers, crop consultants, homeowners or master gardeners) sending digital samples to their county extension agents. After the extension agent receives the sample, he/she may reply to the sample submitter or forward the sample to proper clinics or specialists for diagnosis. This feature provides a direct on-line communication among county extension agents and their clienteles. Below are procedures of the sample submission.

  • The extension clientele has to sign up as a DDIS user by clicking on Sign Up button on the DDIS Web site. In the sign up form, please select Extension Clientele as your user group. The user account will be activated upon extension agent's confirmation in that county. Before this step extension clientele needs to get DDIS training offered at the counties.
  • With approval of the account, the user then can submit a sample to county extension agents in his/her county using DDIS.
  • County extension agent who received the sample then replies to the user directly or forwards the sample to specialists or diagnostic clinics.
  • If the sample is forwarded to a specialist, diagnosis notification will be sent to both the county extension agent and the sample submitter.