Tutorial: Import Flow Data from FCS Express

Documentation
This tutorial shows you how to use LabKey Server to import data exported from FCS Express.

Install LabKey Server and FCS Express

If you haven't already installed LabKey Server and FCS Express, use these download links:

Set Up Folder and Assay Design

Adding an assay folder provides the basic assay functionality. Enabling FCS Express in that folder provides the FCS Express-specific features. Finally the assay design/protocol provides the fields to receive the data, files, jpegs, etc, coming from the FCS Express client.

  • First, we will make a folder (of assay type). Navigate to a project where you have administrative permissions to create a new folder. On a local demo server, you can use the Home project: http://localhost:8080/labkey/project/home/begin.view?
  • Sign in.
  • Create a subfolder: (Admin) > Folder > Management, click Create Subfolder.
    • Name: A unique folder name. For this tutorial, we use "FCS_Express_Data".
    • Folder Type: Select Assay.
    • Complete the wizard, accepting all defaults.
  • Enable the FCS Express module in the new folder:
    • (Admin) > Folder > Management and click the Folder Type tab.
    • Under Modules select FCSExpress.
    • Click Update Folder.
  • Finally, set up the FCS Express assay design/protocol:
    • Click the FCS_Express_Data link to return to the main folder page. The name of your folder may vary.
    • Click New Assay Design. Select FCSExpress, scroll down to select the current folder as the assay location, and click Next.
    • Enter a Name. (You may enter any name. For the purposes of this tutorial, we have used "My FCS Express Protocol".)
    • Before you save this assay design/protocol, scroll down the page to review the built in data fields. Note that you can add fields or customize existing fields, but for this tutorial, simply use the default.
    • Click Save and Close.

LabKey Server is now ready to receive data from FCS Express.

FCS Express Set Up

Prepare the FCS Express Report

To kick off a data export from the FCS Express client, you need the following pieces of information:

  • The export URL -- this URL kicks off the import process (and encodes the target folder)
  • The protocol id -- this tells LabKey Server which assay design/protocol to target
  • The field names -- these are the target database fields
  • To get the export URL and protocol id, start from your main tutorial folder page, FCS_Express_Data.
  • Click the name of your assay design (My FCS Express Protocol), then click Import Data.
  • The message in the UI gives you the export URL and the protocol id to use. The example values are circled here, and show where you will enter them in the FCS UI. Note that the value '58' shown here is an example for the machine generating this screencap. Your protocol ID will likely vary.
  • To get the field names, return to the main folder using the Folder_Name link.
  • Click your assay design (My FCS Express Protocol).
  • Select Manage Assay Design > Edit Assay Design.
  • Review the field names available and decide which you want to use to receive data. You can also create new fields to receive data as described below.

With this information in hand, you are ready to start the import process by exporting your data in compatible format from FCS Express.

See the FCS Express documentation for the sample data and export process instructions: Exporting to LabKey Server

View the Exported Data

  • When export is complete, return to LabKey Server to see your data:
  • Navigate to the FCS_Express_Data folder.
  • In the Assay List, click My FCS Express Protocol, or an alternate name you gave the tutorial assay design.
  • The Assay ID field will show the name you entered in FCS Express, click it to see the data you exported from FCS.

The only fields mapped in the tutorial are the ID and Date. Click (Grid Views) > Customize Grid to see other fields that can be made available.

What Else Can I Do?

Export More Kinds of Data

Below are listed the fields for a expanded assay design/protocol in order to capture more kinds of data from FCS Express. You can create this expanded design from scratch, or use the XAR shortcut described below. Note that any statistical data in FCS Express can be included in the export.

Column NameLabelType
ParticipantIDParticipant IDSubject/Participant (String)
DateDateDateTime
EventsGate 1 EventsInteger
PercentM1 PercentNumber (Double)
JPEGHistogramFile
FCSFCS fileFile
FEYFCS Express LayoutFile

Shortcut: Assay Design From a XAR File

Use the following XAR file as a starting point: FCSProtocol1.xar

  • Download the already prepared assay design/protocol: FCSProtocol1.xar
  • Return to the main FCS_Express_Data folder.
  • In the Assay List, click New Assay Design.
  • Click the link UPLOAD or use the data pipeline link option to import the XAR File directly.
  • Complete the wizard.
  • You will now see the new "FCSProtocol1 Results" assay design in the Assay List web part. No data has been uploaded yet, but the import protocol was created for you in one step.

Make the Comments Field Visible in LabKey Server

When preparing data for export from FCS Express, you can enter comment data that will be included in the exported data. To see this comment data once it has been exported to LabKey Server, follow the instructions below.

  • Return to the main FCS_Express_Data folder.
  • Click your assay design name.
  • Click some data run to view the exported data directly.
  • Select (Grid Views) > Customize Grid.
  • Under Available Fields, open the Run node, and place a checkmark next to Comments.
  • Save the view. Your exported comment data will appear.

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