5 Things You Can't Do with Legacy LIMS Software

1. Register complex biologics relationships

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Sample management functions are useless if you can't actually register real biological entities. Traditional LIMS claim to have “registration” capabilities, but usually it's just for chemical compound data. That can't extend to complex use cases, such as antibody discovery, where various entities have to be registered and interconnected.

2. Easily alter configurations for process development

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LIMS are built for rigid, validated workflows with clear inputs and outputs. However, they're a pain to configure, so they can't be easily reconfigured during process development scenarios where workflows are being iterated on for optimization. You can't optimize your workflows with LIMS, but you also can't optimize them without some way of automatically gathering queryable data.

3. Integrate with your lab notebook

notebook Image from nih.gov

How can you manage laboratory information without accessing scientists' notes and connecting experimental results to samples? The information gathered in LIMS is completely dissociated from experimental context, making experiments difficult and time-consuming to recreate. Since scientists have to manually copy between LIMS and lab notebooks, they lose critical information about assay parameters, protocols, and more.

4. Version workflows while allowing cross-workflow data capture and analysis

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Especially in stages of R&D with validated environments, companies need to know the exact version of what protocol was performed. LIMS requires entirely new workflows to be created for each version of a protocol, making it difficult to compare data across workflow versions.

5. Easily build extensions and integrations without depending on obsolete technology

browser Tim Berners-Lee for CERN via wikimedia.org

Today, LIMS are as outdated as the pen-and-paper systems they were originally designed to replace. Built around Internet Explorer, a lack of accessible REST APIs, and other relics of a bygone era of software, LIMS can’t easily integrate with results-generating instruments. It can’t, for example, tie data from a flow cytometer to the constructs used to generate it, or incorporate yeast fermentation parameters into a batch record.

Benchling's Bioregistry and Workflow and Results Management tools go beyond what scientists wish LIMS did. Our integrated, end-to-end software platform empowers scientists to create complex relationships between biologics, is flexible enough to accommodate any use case (even evolving ones), offers REST APIs and web hooks for easy integration, automatically appends results recorded in the Benchling Lab Notebook to the samples used to generate them, includes rich versioning features, and much more.

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