Laboratory Information Management System

Sample Login Form

limsExpress Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) is robust, versatile and easy to use. Labs: Analytical, Environmental, Petrochemical, Municipal, Drinking Water, Wastewater, Microbiological, Research, Metallurgical, Organic, Inorganic, QC and Industrial.


Sample Login
The Sample Login form is where samples are logged in and tests assigned. It is the central location for all sample and job data. This is also where you can see all information regarding a sample or group of samples. Samples can be logged in singly or as a group; for example if a client sends 5 samples you would log all of these samples together under one Lab Number but each would be given an individual Sample Number.

This form contains data from four tables. The Sample_Login table is the main table and contains the project information such as client, project name, date received and more. This data pertains to all the samples under that Lab Number.

The Samples table contains sample specific data such as client id, sample location and date sampled. There can be many samples under a single Lab Number.

The Sample_Tests table contains individual test records for a specific Sample Number. One sample could have one or one hundred tests assigned to it. Each test record contains the test name, result, analyst and so forth.

The Sample_Containers table allows the user to enter multiple containers for a single sample. If a user were to send a sample in three containers they could all have the same Sample Number but each would have its own container ID. When you log in tests you can enter the container the test was performed on.

Login Data
New Login
Press the New Login button, a pop-up form will open with the user name and current date and time entered. Select a client from the list and click the Create Login button. The combination of the client selected, the user entering the data and the date/time ensures that if multiple people are logging in samples at the same time that the records are unique and there is no mixing of data.

A form will appear with contacts for that client. Check the mail, fax and/or email boxes for any contacts needing a report, you can also add a new contact if needed (use blank field). When you have finished press the Close button (door).

Enter all job information in the top part of the form; this is the common data for the group of samples. The project can be used to distinguish between groups of samples from the same client. The project is used for charting data and is also used for custom pricing. The project field will list all projects setup with custom pricing for the client. Enter all other appropriate login information and choose the priority of the samples. Setting the priority of the job will set the due date and add any surcharges if required.

Clone Login
This feature allows a user to login sample sets that are almost identical to previous logins. This is great to use when you receive the same samples from a client on a repetitive basis. The login, sample, and test data from the previous login set will be imported. You will then change only the information that is different from the original sample set.

To use this feature press the Clone Login button. A pop-up form with a list of all previous lab numbers will open. Double-click the lab number you wish to clone. A new login will be created and the data from the previous login will be imported (excluding results). You can enter a new sample date and/or time. Change only the information that is different from the original sample set.

When you have a client that frequently sends in the same set of samples you can create a template for these. You would create the template just about like logging in a new set of samples. After pressing the New Record button from the Sample Login form and selecting the client you would press the Create Template button instead of the Create Login button. The new template will be given a lab number and you can enter all the pertinent information.

To use the template it’s just like cloning a login. Select the Clone Login button then when the popup form opens you will select Clone Templates. A list will appear with all available templates and you would just double-click the one you wish to use.
Sample Data
Samples are located in the middle of the Sample Login form. Upon creating a new login the first sample number is automatically added. The new sample number will be the lab number plus the suffix –01 or –001 depending on your setup. Each additional sample number will increase sequentially. To add additional samples just press the Add Sample button.

For each sample you will need to fill in the sample specific data such as sample id, description, date sampled and so forth. For each sample you can assign multiple containers, each container will have an ID which is a letter that is appended to the sample number. You can have up to 26 containers per sample. Each container can have a different preservation.

When you have entered the sample data and containers you need to assign tests. Click on the sample number to select the sample and press the Assign Tests button. A pop-up form will open with a list of test groups. You can add a complete test group or individual tests from within a group.

Cloning Sample Data
Click on the sample number you wish to clone and press the Clone Sample button. Enter the number of times you need to clone the sample. The sample information including containers and tests will be replicated. Check your new sample and change any data that is different from the old sample.

Test Data
Tests are located at the bottom of the Sample Login form. These tests are assigned to a specific sample. To view the tests for a sample just click on the Sample No. in the middle of the form, the sample number selected is shown in the Filter Sample No. field at the top of the form.

This area contains the test data for the current sample. This is where the user assigns items for testing. Results can be entered or reviewed in this area.

Assign Tests
To assign tests for a sample press the Assign Test button. A pop-up form will appear listing all test groups available. To add an entire test group double-click the test group name. If you need to add only certain tests out of the test group then check the Select Individual Tests box before double-clicking the test group on the list. A form will open listing each individual test in the test group, check the box next to each test you wish to add and press Assign Tests. This can be repeated as many times as needed.

After assigning tests you will see all tests listed. These tests contain information that was setup in the Test Group area. This data is like a document template, if you change the template after you assign the test it will not alter the previously assigned tests. Double-clicking the Test Group will bring up the Test Group form. Double-clicking the Method will bring up the Methods form if you have setup the method.

Results can be entered here, if your result is numeric enter it into the Result Value field. This will format and compare the value against limits based on your setup. The Result Value field is used for numeric data comparisons. Your result is compared to the high and low limits and you will be notified if it fails.

Result Value     =  3.1
Format    =  0.00
Result    =  3.10 (Formatted)

Result Value     =  4.14567
Format    =  0.0
Result    =  4.1 (Formatted)

Non-numeric results can be entered directly into the Result field. This field is used as the reporting field on reports. After entering a result the Test Date is set for you. The PQL (Practical Quantitation Limit) is obtained by multiplying the DL (Detection Limit) by the Dilution Factor.

Sample Containers
Sample Containers are located on the right side of the Sample Login form. Each sample can be assigned multiple containers but this is not required. Each container will have an ID which is a letter that is appended to the sample number. You can have up to 26 containers per sample. Each container can have a different preservation. When assigning tests the user will be asked for the Container ID, this allows the lab to track what container a test was performed from.

Stored Objects
The Sample_Objects table has been removed to save database size. We have added a hyperlink field named ‘Link’ to the Sample_Notes table. You can link files using the Notes area.

You can enter notes that pertain to the entire lab number or to an individual sample. To view or add notes press the Notes button. Any note without a sample number entered applies to all the samples in that login. To add a note go to the first empty record and type in the note, to make it sample specific enter a sample number. Pre-defined notes can be added by pressing the Note List button then double-clicking the appropriate note. To magnify a note right-click the note and select Zoom.

Notes can be excluded from reports by deselecting the Include check box. Not all reports have the same type of note setup. Reports can be customized to show lab notes, sample notes or both.

We have now added a hyperlink field to the notes, this allows the user to link data files to a sample or lab number. Please note that you should link to files on the network and not locally if you have more than one user.

QC Data
Pressing this button will bring up a summary of all QC data linked to any sample in the login. It is an easy way to review QC result for the current login.

To print sample reports click the reporting button (printer) on the Sample Login form. The Reporting form will open listing all the reports on the left. There are buttons for previewing, printing, faxing and emailing reports.

Choose a report from the list; reports can be based on the login, a single sample or all samples. Choosing a report with test results will cause a list to appear with any test groups that are applicable. All test groups will be automatically chosen to appear on the report. You can remove a test group from the report by clicking on it. If you need the test groups in a specific order then remove all test groups and add them in the order you want them to appear.

Contacts that has been selected to receive a report are listed on the right side of the screen. Each contact can receive a report by hard copy, fax, and/or email. Ensure that you check all reporting options for the contact. You can add another contact to receive a report by selecting their name from the contact list using the new record list (bottom of the list). If it is a new contact select Clients from the Setup menu and add the contact (see Clients).

Preview:     Click on the Preview button, this looks like a report being viewed with a magnifying glass. This will show the report for all contacts even if they do not have a reporting option checked.

Print:     Click on the Print button, this looks like a printer. All contacts who have the Mail reporting option checked and an address entered in their contact information will have a report printed.

Email:     Click on the Email button, this button looks like a mail slot with an envelope in it. Each contact who has the email option checked and has an email address entered in their contact information will have a report sent to them.

Reports sent via email are sent using the limsExpress PDF print driver which creates a PDF document. Users will need a PDF viewer to read the documents. A free reader can be found at on the internet.

Fax:     Click on the Fax button, this button looks like a binder with a lightning bolt on it. Each contact who has the fax option checked and has a fax number entered in their contact information will have a report faxed to them.

To use the faxing option, 32bit Fax from ElectraSoft must be used to send the faxes automatically from limsExpress™. Other programs can be customized to work also. 32bit Fax can be purchased through Dynamic Databases or online at

Each report that you need to fax must be saved as “Fax “ and the current report name. Then the report must be pointed to the fax print driver. Please call for a further explanation in required.