This topic is under construction for the 21.3 (March 2021) release of LabKey Server.

LabKey Server


  • New menu for switching among LabKey applications. (docs)
  • Synchronous Startup option - use a command line option to ensure that all modules are upgraded, started, and initialized before any requests can be processed. (docs)

Data and Reporting

  • Field editor styling improvements and addition of field selection for partial export or group deletion of fields.


  • Dataset merge (also available in 20.11.3)
  • Specimen functionality is being removed from the study module. If you need to continue using this functionality, you will need to add the specimens module when you upgrade. Contact your Account Manager with questions or concerns.


  • New Assay Type Selection Interface - Simplified method for selecting a Standard assay (recommended and most common), vs. one of the Specialty assays. (docs)
  • Improved Interface for Export/Import of Assay Designs - (docs)
  • Automatic Copy-to-Study Can Target "Current Folder" - Assay designs defined at the site or project level can be configured to copy assay data to the local target study upon import, rather than a fixed target study. (docs)
  • ELISA Visualization Improvements - Customize the way run results are visualized with a new plot editor (available in 20.11). (docs)
  • Experimental ELISA multiplate and inclusion of metadata - (docs)
  • Removal of integration with FCS Express: The FCSExpress module has been removed from the core distribution and is no longer supported.


  • Run Reports via ETL: A new RunReportTask option for ETLs. (docs)
  • ETLs now support triggers on bulk and archive imports
  • ETL Source Filters - Specify a data filter in the ETL definition.
  • Transformation Script Syntax: "httpSessionId" has been deprecated in favor of the new ${apiKey} parameter for authentication. (docs)

LabKey SQL

  • Ontology Functions added to LabKey SQL: Include concept, subclass, and ontology path relationships in your SQL queries.
  • Support for PostgreSQL JSON and JSONB operators and functions.
  • SIMILAR_TO added to LabKey SQL
  • Additional documentation about SQL annotations - todo


  • The Issues API now supports closing an issue/assigning to 'guest'

Distribution Changes

  • Beginning with version 21.3.0 (March 2021), Microsoft SQL Server (and all other non-PostgreSQL database connections) will be supported only in Premium Edition distributions. The BigIron module, which provides support for Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, and SAS/SHARE will move to the Starter Edition and higher distributions.
  • Starting in 21.3.0, Specimen Repository functionality will be removed from our standard distributions (Community, Starter, Professional, etc.). We will continue to support this functionality and provide it to Premium Edition clients who currently use it. For future development, we strongly recommend the use of Sample Types and Sample Manager going forward.
  • The FCSExpress module has been removed from all distributions and is no longer supported.

Sample Manager

  • Freezer management:
    • Match virtual storage to physical storage in your lab
    • Easily store and locate stored samples from anywhere in the application
    • Track locations and movements of samples
    • Check in and out, recording usage and incrementing freeze/thaw counts
    • Import sample data simultaneously with location data making it easy to migrate from another system
  • The field editor now includes checkboxes to enable deletion of multiple fields and export of subsets of fields.
  • Background Import:
    • Removal of previous size limits on data import
    • Progress reporting for asynchronous imports
    • In-app Notifications when background imports complete.
  • Create derivative samples (aliquots) in bulk
  • Trials of Sample Manager are preloaded with example data
  • New header navigation menu
  • New storage unit: Tube rack


  • New main dashboard and master menu, available throughout the application. (docs)
  • Manage more data without leaving the application
    • Define and manage Sample Types
    • Improved Assay designer
  • Improved interface for managing workflow jobs and tasks.
  • Easily switch applications when needed. (docs)
  • In-app Notifications


  • Use a Puppeteer web service to generate PDFs (docs)

Premium Resources


Client APIs

JavaScript API

  • The @labkey/api JavaScript package is now the only implementation available on the client. An experimental flag that had enabled use of the prior implementation has been removed.


  • Rlabkey version 2.6.0 has been released. New additions include the pipeline API for getting status information and starting pipeline jobs. Available on CRAN. (docs)

Python API

  • Updated examples and documentation for use with the new version.

The symbol indicates a feature available in a Premium Edition of LabKey Server.


Was this content helpful?

Log in or register an account to provide feedback

expand all collapse all