Category: QLIMS as a Platform

FOCUS Article – The Journey to QLIMS as a Platform

Today we are bring to you a special in focus article about the journey to releasing the QLIMS platform. The interview was with our General Manager, Jonathan Gannoulis, and steps through the thought process to revolutionise laboratory informatics:

  1. The Initial Idea – inception and drivers to create QLIMS version 9
  2. Expectations – transition to leading edge
  3. The Journey – creating a future proof LIMS

The interview provides a fantastic insight into the values and thought process to empower an organisation to make significant change.

 

 

To learn more about how you can benefit from this approach please feel free to contact our friendly team.

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QLIMS as a Platform (3) – Bridge Integration Engine

Have you wanted a cost effective, secure, and flexible way to integrate laboratory instruments and other systems?

The QLIMS Bridge is exactly that and for GMP certified laboratories it provides a streamlined way for validation.

What is the Bridge?

The QLIMS Bridge is a powerful service which monitors folders on a server/computer, then automatically and securely transfers files and maps their associated data to the QLIMS in the cloud.

Running in parralell to the core LIMS it will process large volumes of data from multiple sources in near real time without impacting performance of the LIMS. All the while logging and reporting successes and exceptions.

It is vendor agnostic and very flexible so can be used with a wide range of instruments, file formats and data structures.

 

What do customers use it for?

The Bridge Service is powered by python and has access to the entire LIMS. Here are some typical uses:
  • Laboratory instruments – ICP, GC-MS, LC-MS, analysers, micro-plate readers, HPLC and many many more from all the usual vendors plus some you may not know!
  • Sample Registration from external collaborators – Many external collaborators will send files with their sample data. Upload this information and automatically register the samples with their metadata.
  • Third party portals – Where a company has a web portal which cannot integrate via API the automatic transfer of files to register jobs is made easy
  • Reference laboratories – Automated interfacing with reference/contract laboratories to track chain of custody and receive results for work performed and attach reports.

Conclusion

The QLIMS Bridge is another service on the QLIMS platform which brings laboratories a step closer to being fully automated. In line with Lab 4.0 it connects the physical workplace to the digital allowing laboratory staff to focus on value add work. Traditional integrations simply reduce manual data input which is important, but the true power of the Bridge is that from there it can then trigger further business logic.

 

Contact us today to discuss how it can help.

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QLIMS as a Platform (2) – API Accessibility

For our second post in the QLIMS as a Platform series we will be discussing one of the core components, the Application Programming Interface (API).

 

What is an API?

When we talk about APIs, we’re referring to interfaces that allow developers to access and modify the data and functions of the LIMS. APIs are most commonly associated with websites and web services. For example, when you log into Facebook, you’re using their API to access and modify your data within their system.

 

APIs are a powerful tool for developers because they allow them to access data and capabilities on an as-needed basis without needing to build everything from scratch. For example, instead of building an external sample submission module from scratch, a developer can use an API from QLIMS to build an app or portal integration that uses the data and capabilities of our API.

 

Just like end users interact with an application through the graphical user interface to perform their day-to-day work, a developer can interact with the application by writing commands through the API.

 

Are there differences in API’s?

One of the first things to note is that not all APIs are created equal. Key points of differences:
  • Power – Some APIs are designed for data access, others are designed for control.
  • Data Access – How much of the application can be accessed and the functions which can be performed.
  • Technology – What technology the API is built on makes a big difference in terms of how developers interact. The three most common are REST, SOAP and RPC.
  • Documentation & Support – Having the tools is one thing, but for those looking to develop complex integrations; accurate easy to read documentation and expert support greatly help the process.

 

Benefits of a REST API

The benefits of API’s which use REST technology are:
  1. Lightweight – REST APIs rely on the HTTP standard which means it’s format agnostic, thus fast, and lightweight — which is necessary for mobile app projects, internet of things devices, and more.
  2. Independent – The REST protocol separates the data storage and the UI from the server. This means that developers can work on different areas of a project independently.
  3. Scalable & flexible – REST APIs can be scaled quickly due to the separation between the client and the server. Additionally, developers can also easily integrate REST APIs without much added work.
The above points are why QLIMS customers can benefit from having multiple high throughput integrations and services running simultaneously without impacting the performance of the LIMS for laboratory staff.

 

The QLIMS API – Platform over Application

As mentioned above QLIMS has a comprehensive REST API encompassing the entire application which is well documented, with technical support available from the OnQ support team and our regional certified partners.

 

This is a core pillar of our platform approach, as it allows for multiple applications to be developed and integrated with QLIMS. As such,customers get a more flexible, scalable and integrated approach to the LIMS platform with a wide and growing list of ready integrations to help your lab achieve maximum efficiency.

 

Contact us today to discuss how it can help.

 

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Introduction to QLIMS as a Platform – Lab of the Future

In this blog series we will be re-introducing our well renowned LIMS, QLIMS, and how it enables our philosophy for lab informatics, the concept of LIMS as a Platform. Benefits it can enable include:

  • Reduce manual errors and lower investigation workloads by 90%
  • Improve data integrity
  • Reduce QC lab lead times by 60-70%
  • Enhance brand trust
  • Move the lab from a cost centre to a strategic partner!

For those who haven’t read our recent white paper, Building the QA Lab of the Future, we spoke about the tools you need today, to be ready tomorrow. The key word there being tools, because although we sit firmly in the laboratory it doesn’t mean we lose sight of the overall business having a cohesive strategy.

 

What is QLIMS as a Platform?

The goal is to ensure your LIMS can not only meet your requirements today, but also the requirements of the future which you do not know yet.

By definition an application is designed to help a user perform specific tasks. A platform is an architecture and software framework that allow many applications to run and connect.

We start on the platform of course with LIMS, QLIMS, as this is our history and where we have had much success. From there we have additional services and applications which run alongside QLIMS helping your lab run as efficiently as possible allowing for less administrative work and more science.

Here is an example:

qlims as a platform example

qlims as a platform example

 

From sample registration to reporting, quality management, project management, resource planning, instrument and systems automation, workflow and specifications management, notifications, data import, business intelligence reporting and lab execution the QLIMS platform is infinitely scalable.

 

How do we do this?

QLIMS is completely API based. API is an acronym for Application Programming Interface. Just as you have a fully functional and easy to use interface for the laboratory users, an API is the set of toolkits which exist for those with software development expertise to enable applications to talk together.

OnQ Software provide fully documented API’s for your internal IT team and/or systems integrator of choice. Alternately via our Certified Developers Program we can connect you with trained partners to help.

 

What is currently available on the QLIMS Platform?

Here are some of the 3rd party applications which we have available on the QLIMS platform designed to make a scientist’s life easier and empower the business:

  • QCKen – rapid data migration tool from ZIFO for import of LIMS data from legacy systems, spreadsheets, hand written notes and other databases.
  • Water Outlook – a cloud-based repository for all operational and compliance data that provides early warnings, data storage, security and risk reduction.
  • Remote Sampler – a ruggedized mobile data collection solution designed specifically for use in the water and environmental sectors. Developed by CSols.
  • Links for LIMS – a complete bi-directional, vendor agnostic instrument integration package from CSols.
  • BaseSpace Clarity LIMS – genomic workflow management tool from Illumina that includes integration to dna sequencers.
  • Bartender – dynamic label generation tool from Seagull Scientific which includes drivers for laboratory printers.
  • RippleDown – clinical decision support solution from BeamTree.

Instrument integration, scheduling, data import mapping, bulk reporting, repository management are some examples of the many OnQ developed services embedded within QLIMS.

 

Conclusion

This is the future of technology and about time that laboratories are brought up to this level.

Start with one of the QLIMS SaaS packages to be up and running in weeks, not years and always on the latest version. From here you can scale on demand.

For other vendors interested in having their application on our platform, please make contact via our website.

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