Welcome to LabKey Server!

This topic helps you get started using LabKey Server, understanding the basics of navigation and the user interface.

If you are using a LabKey Trial Server, use this topic instead: LabKey Server trial in LabKey Cloud.

Projects and Folders

The project and folder hierarchy is like a directory tree and forms the basic organizing structure inside LabKey Server. Everything you create or configure in LabKey Server is located in some folder. Projects are the top level folders, with all the same behavior, plus some additional configuration options; they typically represent a separate team or research effort.

The Home project is a special project. It is the default landing page when users log in and cannot be deleted. You can customize the content here to suit your needs. To return to the home project at any time, click the LabKey logo in the upper left corner.

The project menu is on the left end of the menu bar and includes the display name of the current project.

Hover over the project menu to see the available projects, and folders within them. Click any project or folder name to navigate there.

Any project or folder with subfolders will show / buttons for expanding and contracting the list shown. If you are in a subfolder, there will be a clickable 'breadcrumb' trail at the top of the menu for quickly moving up the hierarchy. The menu will scroll when there are enough items, with the current location visible and expanded by default.

The project menu always displays the name of the current project, even when you are in a folder or subfolder. A link with the Folder Name is shown near the top of page views like the following, offering easy one click return to the main page of the folder.

For more about projects, folders, and navigation, see Project and Folder Basics.


Using tabs within a folder can give you new "pages" of user interface to help organize content. LabKey study folders use tabs as shown here:

When your browser window is too narrow to display tabs arrayed across the screen, they will be collapsed into a pulldown menu showing the current tab name and a (chevron). Click the name of the tab on this menu to navigate to it.

For more about adding and customizing tabs, see Use Tabs.

Web Parts

Web parts are user interface panels that can be shown on any folder page or tab. Each web part provides some type of interaction for users with underlying data or other content.

There is a main "wide" column on the left and narrower column on the right. Each column supports a different set of web parts. By combining and reordering these web parts, an administrator can tailor the layout to the needs of the users.

To learn more, see Add Web Parts and Manage Web Parts. For a list of the types of web parts available in a full installation of LabKey Server, see the Web Part Inventory.

Header Menus and URLs

In the upper right, icon menus offer:

  • (Search): Click to open a site-wide search box
  • (Admin): Shown only to Admins: Administrative options available to users granted such access. See Admin Console for details about options available.
  • (User): Login and security options; help links to documentation and support forums.

Watch the URL at the top of the page as you navigate LabKey Server and explore features on your server. Many elements are encoded in the URL and programmatic access via building URLs is possible with APIs. Learn more here: LabKey URLs.

Security Model

LabKey Server has a group and role-based security model. Whether an individual is authorized to see a resource or perform an action is checked dynamically based on the groups they belong to and roles (permissions) granted to them. Learn more here: Security.

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