Upcoming changes and improvements in 2012

23rd December 2011 11:39 by Roman Konertz

A letter to our Users

Dear (potential) Open-LIMS user,

On 23rd December 2010, the first public version of Open-LIMS was published. A lot of things has improved during this year. I will give you a small introduction in our upcoming changes and improvements for next year.

Waiting Screens and Dialogs

After reading a study on intdesign2011.blogspot.com, we will try to avoid waiting screens. In most parts of Open-LIMS, the user will see a waiting screen for a period of 3 seconds (see Fig. 1).
In the current public version in 'Create Project', 'Create Sample', 'Clone Sample', 'Login' (Fig. 2) and 'Logout' a new waiting screen is implemented.

In addition, several features will be moved in a dialog window. For Example: Project Proceed (Fig. 3), Add File, Add Equipment and Add Value. Besides, every “yes/no”-dialog, (“delete” or “cancel”) will be moved in a dialog without waiting-screens (e.g. “delete project” (Fig. 4) or “cancel project” (Fig. 5))

The waiting screens will be removed from most frequently used functions first.

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3

Figure 4
Figure 5



Moreover we want to change the lists, to avoid permanent reloads. The first phase is the implementation of an AJAX list handler. This handler is still implemented at the most lists (Fig. 6; except Search and Administration). The second phase will be the functionality of resizeable and concealable columns. In parallel to dialogs, we will start from most frequently used functions to less important ones and finish with the administration.

Figure 6


Data Browser

A special list is the Data-Browser. A lot of operations are possible in this list, e.g.:

- make all important operations in the data-browser in a menu (Fig. 7)
- delete multiple items in one action (Fig. 8)
- adding Files, Values or Folders (Fig. 8)
- direct download from the Data-Browser (Fig. 10) and not via the “File-Detail” page

Figure 7
Figure 8
Figure 9

Figure 10


Material Management

As we described in this article, we want to enable the user to enter material related data. The differences between: material, samples and projects are shown in figure 11.

Figure 11



While entering value-data into forms, some users need to compare these data. Generation of charts would be a nice function. We will implement the comparison of two or more values and of two or more samples. Possible chart-types would be a bar-chart, a pie-chart, a line-chart and a scatter-plot.


DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025 Conformity/Client-Management

The last part is the implementation of the requirements of the DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025. The main missing parts are the client-management and the management of laboratory documents. The implementation of the conformity is one of our minor tasks, but with a client-management we will enable medical or material-science laboratories to use Open-LIMS.


Version Policy

On the way to our first stable version (Version, we will try to publish a snapshot of our current development status, every 6-10 weeks, called “Version”. If all features and bug-fixes are implemented, we will switch over to An update from version to will be possible.



I have read an article on limsexpert.com which criticizes that Open-LIMS has no installer (and some other things as well). We will not create an installer at the moment. Open-LIMS needs a PHP-Environment with special extensions (e.g. 'imagick' for handling tif-files) and cannot be installed in a WAMP/LAMP/XAMPP environment. In detail: Open-LIMS needs PostgreSQL and Imagick which is not available in these environments. The installation-administrator needs some IT knowledge. In my opinion, we can expect, that this person can import a database via the command-line and modify a configuration file. Depends on demands, we will publish a version which runs in a WAMP/LAMP/XAMPP + PostgreSQL environment (without the support of tif-files of course) later, but this is a less than minor task.

Finally, we have created a Skype-Account (“open-lims”) for irregular instant-message and voice communication.

We hope, that Open-LIMS is useful for you and wish you a happy new year.

Best Regards,


Master Developer


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