Database-oriented application systems require powerful IT technology to efficiently support sample processing and to securely collect the resulting data in a structured, evaluable way. This process can be realized through:
…a server system that hosts the LIMS or lab database. It allows the installation of a LIMS application software as well. The database and the application are often distributed over several servers, which can be operated internally or externally by IT service providers. Common products such as ORACLE or MS SQL Server are used as lab-databases. More rarely they count as open-source solutions. Finally, the server hardware is normally meant to be using Windows or UNIX / LINUX server operating systems.
…workstations that are usually connected to the server system via a local network. they are usually operated with MS Windows and offer the user the LIMS application with a graphical user interface. The LIMS is often structured as a client-server program: the application and database part is separated and communicates via a network. Besides, many systems are now completely based on web technologies. As a result, more and more LIMS applications can be operated partly or completely via Web browsers simplifying their use as cloud-based solutions. Finally, many LIMS manufacturers are gradually making application parts available on mobile devices such as tablets.
…a network infrastructure and wide area networks (LAN, WAN) predominantly based on Ethernet. TCP/IP is used as the most common network protocol. Servers and clients are connected via the network infrastructure so that the LIMS user has access to all necessary and released resources.
In addition to these basic components, there are also further aspects of a LIMS implementation. These extend from networking with higher-level planning systems such as ERP or MES to the integration of customers or suppliers via the internet.
The integration of peripherals, especially the connection of analyzers for online data acquisition, represents an important step towards increasing work efficiency and minimizing errors. Furthermore, electronic data exchange with other IT systems in the company offers considerable potential benefits. This includes not only production’s integration planning and warehouse management systems, business-oriented applications, but also external systems, such as those of the customers or for the department administration.