EvIdentTM (EVent IDENTification) is a user-friendly, algorithm-rich, graphical environment for detecting, investigating, and visualizing novelty in a set of images. Novelty is identified for a region of interest and its associated characteristics. For functional magnetic resonance imaging, for instance, a characteristic of the region of interest is a time course, which represents the intensity value of voxels over several discrete instances in time. Originally developed for a platform-specific environment using proprietary technology, a new incarnation of EvIdent has been designed using an application programming interface called VIStATM (VISualization Through Analysis). VIStA is written in JavaTM and offers a sophisticated generalized data model, an extensible algorithm framework, and a suite of graphical user interface constructs. This paper describes EvIdent and some of its features, the rationale behind the design of VIStA, and the motivations and challenges of scientific programming using Java.