The CSols Easter Bunny has a surprising depth of knowledge in laboratory informatics, given the bunny’s more well-known skills. The CSols Easter Bunny has been in the field for hundreds of years and has seen it all (or most of it). In this blog post, the Bunny leaves you some valuable Easter Eggs you can find for yourself in LabWare LIMS.
Now that I’ve signed off on another year’s work, I have time to lay some spoilers on you. You wouldn’t expect LabWare to be hiding anything in their system, such as a pinball game like Microsoft did with its Office 97 software, but once you are running LabWare 8, you will start to notice all the little updates to the system, specifically performance improvements throughout the system, increased versatility of visual workflows, and the potential time-saving opportunities you can take using mobile and web-based options. You might even hear the voice in your head murmur, ”I didn’t know it could do that!” Although this blog post illustrates Easter eggs using LabWare 8 as the example, I don’t want to limit your adventurous side and make you think that there is nothing new to be done with LabWare 7. There are a lot of similarities between the two versions and you can find Easter eggs in either. LabWare 8 is just the most modern version available.
That’s not how this Easter Bunny rolls. The Easter Eggs you want to find entail (pun intended) new functionality that you never realized was even possible. LabWare 8 is the most current version of a leading software solution for a wide range of industries, such as:
Its versatility makes LabWare a great option if your lab has been considering a system upgrade, replacement of a current system, or a completely new install. I could ramble on and on about every new detail LabWare has implemented in this new iteration, like the ability to use stored procedures or Open Worldwide Application Security Project (OWASP) enhancements for tighter web security, but let’s be honest… YouTube exists, there’s WiFi in my burrow, and yes, LabWare has a channel. (CSols Inc. does too; here is your first blog Easter Egg!). It’s LabWare’s job to sell you on using LabWare in your lab, but I sure can help you figure out what you can do with it!
Nearly every aspect of LabWare 8 can be customized; sometimes with the help of knowledgeable consultants! With each new release, LabWare increases the number of modules that come with the base version. In this egg hunt, curiosity is rewarded. There’s always the one kid that bullies their way to every visible egg, but the keen, curious eyes will see the prized egg the bully was too busy to notice. You can even author your own application programming interfaces (APIs) for integration with other systems like Empower CDS and SAP, which gives you much more control over the utility of the applications overall.
After a few exploration sessions, you may be asking yourself, what can’t it do? That’s the mentality we want to foster! Stretch your mind out and imagine the possibilities. If you had access to LabWare LIMS on a mobile device, you could walk around your facility all day, getting each piece of the current puzzle plugged in and managed properly. We all know how great it is to diagnose those issues. Today, it may involve having to bring together four different teams for what was a minor issue that now has ballooned into something much bigger. The mobile option in LabWare 8 lets you just grab your mobile device and walk right over to the source of the issue!
With LabWare 8, you could also opt for a web-based deployment alongside the mobile app (Android or iOS) and still have the old school way of running the application through a client/server setup, which might be more streamlined to your company’s policies. You might just want to be on the cutting edge and adopt the latest version to stay current, which I have seen firsthand. Not only can LabWare 8 work on desktops and laptops, but also on mobile devices! Maybe you want to get away from on-premise servers and go to the cloud-based solution. Pretty much any permutation is possible; the options are endless, and CSols is here to help modern laboratories make the best decisions to leverage their LabWare investment.
Data Integrity has always been a key feature of LabWare LIMS, and maintaining this high level of integrity was one of the highest priorities for the most modern software iteration. LabWare 8 enables data integrity through its robust audit capabilities, using a method called immediate commit processing scheme; the enforcement of document audit review gives comprehensive support for regulatory data integrity.
Even when items are marked high priority, like the toddler running to get the sparkled egg who then spies an even larger egg under a bush, you can always find ways to improve. My egg distribution activities don’t occupy 100% of my billable time, so I recently encountered this scenario for a client. The initial LabWare improvement turned into a full-on staff augmentation including upgrades and more enhancements; now we are polling the users for even more enhancements because of the provided solution’s effectiveness.
You are never really testing or scaling up your system effectively unless you get the actual users up front to interact with the developers about whether this should happen, or could we do this, and so on. As a CSols consultant, nothing would make me happier than for the daily users to reach out and ask me questions about the LabWare system, so that I can share my knowledge about what it is capable of doing!
Which kid are you at an Easter Egg hunt? The shy/methodical kid who wanders off outside the yard looking for some hidden secret? The bully/brute force type rushing out the gate to get as many eggs as possible for themselves (or to share with less fortunate egg hunters)? Could you be the kid in the middle of the big group, schooling together like minnows, just going with the flow? None of these approaches are necessarily wrong, but each presents its own challenges to discovering the full functionality of a LabWare system. In my near decade of LIMS Development, I have come to realize that the CSols difference lies in giving the clients the best options and adaptability for their individual situations. We want the end users to poke around and find those Easter Eggs in the system. We like the challenge and the reward of seeing and hearing from users, “Oh wow! It can do that!”
Finding Easter Eggs in your LabWare system may not be easy, and you may even find a rotten one here and there. (If you are like my parents, the biggest egg turns out to hold something you would never have wanted—like a list of chores!) Issues will always find their path to the light, but giving clients the ability to handle issues accordingly and minimize the stress they produce is just one of the ways CSols can help in a LabWare LIMS upgrade. Let us come together, celebrate, hunt for eggs, and make a nice souffle (or cake!) together!
What’s your favorite LabWare 8 Easter egg? Tell us in the comments!