The first versions of a dialogue computer identification system "Diagnostics-1" and "Diagnostics-2" were developed by A.Lobanov in 1974 for a highly primitive to the present standards computer "Nairi" (Lobanov, 1975).
Later on the system was transferred to more accomplished types of computers (Lobanov et al., 1981; Lobanov, 1983).
Beginning from 5 version, created at the Zoological Institute (St.Petersburg, Russia), for the personal computers IBM PC (programming languages - FoxPro and FORTRAN), the system has received the new name BIKEY (from words - Biological Identification KEYs).
The latest versions BIKEY-6 and BIKEY-7, oriented for operation with both the text descriptions and images of taxa are been worked out by A.Lobanov and M.Dianov (1994, 1995) to operate in MS-DOS environment with IBM PC/AT-compatible computers.
PICKEY is the most complex program of the system BIKEY. In the program PICKEY algorithm of identification, developed by A.L.Lobanov (1974) and used in all dialogue programs of a diagnostic BIKEY system, is used. For maintaining continuity with the programs of the previous versions of BIKEY system, written in the language FORTRAN, M.Dianov has created an original library of graphic procedures and functions for support of a "mouse" for this language. It has allowed to use FORTRAN and for the program PICKEY, realizing an active graphic interface and designed for intensive use of a manipulator the "mouse".
The last version PICKEY used in CD-ROM "Wir bestimmen Baeume" ("The trees of Germany"), which published in 1997.