LabKey Sample Manager makes it easy to manage samples, storage, data collection, and workflows in growing labs across all disciplines.

Learn more about the features and capabilities of Sample Manager on our website.

This topic details the features and enhancements in each release as a guide to help users track changes over time.

Release 23.3, March 2023

  • Samples can have expiration dates, making it possible to track expiring inventories. (docs)
    • If your samples already have expiration dates, contact your Account Manager for help migrating to the new fields.
  • Administrators can see the which version of Sample Manager they are running. (docs)
  • ELN Improvements:
    • The panel of details and table of contents for the ELN is now collapsible. (docs)
    • Easily copy links to attachments. (docs)

Potential Backwards Compatibility Issue: In 23.3, we added the materialExpDate field to support expiration dates for all samples. If you happen to have a custom field by that name on any Sample Type, you should rename it prior to upgrading to avoid loss of data in that field.

Release 23.2, February 2023

  • Clearly capture why any data is deleted with user comments upon deletion. (docs | docs)
  • Data update (or merge) via file has moved to the "Edit" menu of a grid. Importing from file on the "Add" menu is only for adding new data rows. (docs | docs | docs)
  • Use grid customization after finding samples by ID or barcode, making it easier to use samples of interest. (docs)
  • Electronic Lab Notebooks now include a full review and signing event history in the exported PDF, with a consistent footer and entries beginning on the second page of the PDF. (docs)
  • Projects in the Professional Edition of Sample Manager are more usable and flexible.
    • Data structures like Sample Types, Source Types, Assay Designs, and Storage Systems must always be created in the top level home project. (docs)

Release 23.1, January 2023

  • Storage management has been generalized to clearly support non-freezer types of sample storage. (docs)
  • Samples will be added to storage in the order they appear in the selection grid. (docs)
  • Curate multiple BarTender label templates, so that users can easily select the appropriate format when printing. (docs)
  • Electronic Lab Notebook enhancements:
    • To submit a notebook for review, or to approve a notebook, the user must provide an email and password during the first signing event to verify their identity. (docs | docs)
    • Set the font-size and other editing updates. (docs)
    • Sort Notebooks by "Last Modified". (docs)
    • Find all ELNs created from a given template. (docs)
  • An updated main menu making it easier to access resources across projects. (docs)
  • Easily update Assay Run-level fields in bulk instead of one run at a time. (docs)

Release 22.12, December 2022

  • The Professional Edition supports multiple Sample Manager Projects. (docs)
  • Improved interface for assay design and data import. (docs | docs)
  • From assay results, select sample ID to examine derivatives of those samples in Sample Finder. (docs)

Release 22.11, November 2022

  • Add samples to multiple freezer storage locations in a single step. (docs)
  • Improvements in the Storage Dashboard to show all samples in storage and recent batches added by date. (docs)
  • View all assay results for samples in a tabbed grid displaying multiple sample types. (docs)
  • ELN improvements to make editing and printing easier with a table of contents highlighting all notebook entries and fixed width entry layout, plus new formatting symbols and undo/redo options. (docs)
  • New role available: Workflow Editor, granting the ability to create and edit workflow jobs and picklists. (docs)
  • Notebook review can be assigned to a user group, supporting team workload balancing. (docs)

Release 22.10, October 2022

  • Use sample ancestors in naming patterns, making it possible to create common name stems based on the history of a sample. (docs)
  • Additional entry points to Sample Finder. Select a source or parent and open all related samples in the Sample Finder. (docs | docs)
  • New role available: Editor without Delete. Users with this role can read, insert, and update information but cannot delete it. (docs)
  • Group management allowing permissions to be managed at the group level instead of always individually. (docs | docs)
  • With the Professional Edition, use assay results as a filter in the sample finder helping you find samples based on characteristics like cell viability. (docs)
  • Assay run properties can be edited in bulk. (docs)

Release 22.9, September 2022

  • Searchable, filterable, standardized user-defined fields on workflow enable teams to create structured requests for work, define important billing codes for projects and eliminate the need for untracked email communication. (docs)
  • Storage grids and sample search results now show multiple tabs for different sample types. With this improvement, you can better understand and work with samples from anywhere in the application. (docs | docs | docs)
  • The leftmost column of sample data, typically the Sample ID, is always shown as you examine wide datasets, making it easy to remember what sample's data you were looking at. (docs)
  • By prohibiting sample deletion when they are referenced in an ELN, Sample Manager helps you further protect the integrity of your data. (docs)
  • Easily capture amendments to signed Notebooks when a discrepancy is detected to ensure the highest quality entries and data capture, tracking the events for integrity. (docs)
  • When exploring a Sample of interest, you can easily find and review any associated notebooks. (docs)

Release 22.8, August 2022

  • Aliquots can have fields that are not inherited from the parent sample. Administrators can control which parent sample fields are inherited and which can be set independently for the sample and aliquot. (docs)
  • Drag within editable grids to quickly populate fields with matching strings or number sequences. (docs)
  • When exporting a multi-tabbed grid to Excel, see sample counts and which view will be used for each tab. (docs)

Release 22.7, July 2022

  • Our user-friendly ELN (Electronic Lab Notebook) is designed to help scientists efficiently document their experiments and collaborate. This data-connected ELN is seamlessly integrated with other laboratory data in the application, including lab samples, assay data and other registered data. (docs)
  • Make manifest creation and reporting easier by exporting sample types across tabs into a multi tabbed spreadsheet. (docs)
  • All users can now create their own named custom view of grids for optimal viewing of the data they care about. Administrators can customize the default view for everyone. (docs)
    • Create a custom view of your data by rearranging, hiding or showing columns, adding filters or sorting data. (docs)
    • With saved custom views, you can view your data in multiple ways depending on what’s useful to you or needed for standardized, exportable reports and downstream analysis. (docs)
    • Customized views of the audit log can be added to give additional insight. (docs)
  • Export data from an 'edit in grid' panel, particularly useful in assay data imports for partially populating a data 'template'. (docs | docs)
  • Newly surfaced Picklists allow individuals and teams to create sharable sample lists for easy shipping manifest creation and capturing a daily work list of samples. (docs)
  • Updated main dashboard providing quick access to notebooks in the Professional Edition of Sample Manager. (docs)
  • Samples can now be renamed in the case of a mistake; all changes are recorded in the audit log and sample ID uniqueness is still required. (docs)
  • The column header row is 'pinned' so that it remains visible as you scroll through your data. (docs)
  • Deleting samples from the system entirely when necessary is now available from more places, including the Samples tab for a Source. (docs)

Release 22.6, June 2022

  • Save time looking for samples and create standard sample reports by saving your Sample Finder searches to access later. (docs)
  • Support for commas in Sample and Source names. (docs)
  • Administrators will see a warning when the number of users approaches the limit for your installation. (docs)

Release 22.5, May 2022

  • Updated grid menus: Sample grids now help you work smarter (not harder) by highlighting actions you can perform on samples and grouping them to make them easier to discover and use. (docs)
  • Revamped grid filtering and enhanced column header options for more intuitive sorting, searching and filtering. (docs)
  • Sort and filter based on 'lineage metadata', bringing ancestor information (Source and Parent details) into sample grids (docs)
  • Rename Source Types and Sample Types to support flexibility as your needs evolve. Names/SampleIDs of existing samples and sources will not be changed. (docs)
  • Descriptions for workflow tasks and jobs can be multi-line when you use Shift-Enter to add a newline. (docs)

Release 22.4, April 2022

  • In the Sample Finder, apply multiple filtering expressions to a given column of a parent or source type. (docs)
  • Download templates from more places, making it easier to import samples, sources, and assay data from files. (docs)

Release 22.3, March 2022

  • Sample Finder: Find samples based on source and parent properties, giving users the flexibility to locate samples based on relationships and lineage details. (docs)
  • Redesigned main dashboard featuring storage information and prioritizing what users use most. (docs)
  • Updated freezer overview panel and dashboards present storage summary details. (docs)
  • Available freezer capacity is shown when navigating freezer hierarchies to store, move, and manage samples. (docs | docs)
  • Storage labels and descriptions give users more ways to identify their samples and storage units. (docs)

Release 22.2, February 2022

  • New Storage Editor and Storage Designer roles, allowing admins to assign different users the ability to manage freezer storage and manage sample and assay definitions. (docs)
    • Note that users with the "Administrator" and "Editor" role no longer have the ability to edit storage information unless they are granted one of these new storage roles.
  • Multiple permission roles can be assigned to a new user at once. (docs)
  • Sample Type Insights panel summarizes storage, status, etc. for all samples of a type. (docs)
  • Sample Status options are shown in a hover legend for easy reference. (docs)
  • When a sample is marked as "Consumed", the user will be prompted to also change it's storage status to "Discarded" (and vice versa). (docs | docs)
  • User-defined barcodes in integer fields can also be included in sample definitions and search-by-barcode results. (docs)
  • Search menu includes quick links to search by barcode or sample ID. (docs)
  • See and set the value of the "genId" counter for naming patterns. (docs)

Release 22.1, January 2022

  • A new Text Choice data type lets admins define a set of expected text values for a field. (docs)
  • Naming patterns will be validated during sample type definition. (docs)
  • Editable grids include visual indication when a field offers dropdown choices. (docs)
  • Add freezer storage units in bulk. (docs)
  • User-defined barcodes can be included in Sample Type definitions as text fields and are scanned when searching samples by barcode. (docs | docs)
  • If any of your Sample Types include samples with only strings of digits as names, these could have overlapped with the "rowIDs" of other samples, producing unintended results or lineages. With this release, such ambiguities will be resolved by assuming that a sample name has been provided. (docs)

Release 21.12, December 2021

  • The Sample Count by Status graph on the main dashboard now shows samples by type (in bars) and status (using color coding). Click through to a grid of the samples represented by each block. (docs)
  • Grids that may display multiple Sample Types, such as picklists, workflow tasks, etc. offer tabs per sample type, plus a consolidated list of all samples. This enables actions such as bulk sample editing from mixed sample-type grids. (picklists | tasks | sources)
  • Improved display of color coded sample status values. (docs)
  • Include a comment when updating storage amounts or freeze/thaw counts. (docs)
  • Workflow tasks involving assays will prepopulate a grid with the samples assigned to the job, simplifying assay data entry. (docs)

Release 21.11, November 2021

  • Archive an assay design so that new data is disallowed, but historic data can be viewed. (docs)
  • Manage sample status, including but not limited to: available, consumed, locked. (docs)
    • An additional reserved field "SampleState" has been added to support this feature. If your existing Sample Types use user defined fields for recording sample status, you will want to migrate to using the new method.
  • Incorporate lineage lookups into sample naming patterns (docs)
  • Assign a prefix to be included in the names of all Samples and Sources created in a given project. Removed in version 22.12.
  • Prevent users from creating their own IDs/Names in order to maintain consistency using defined naming patterns (docs)

Release 21.10, October 2021

  • Customize the aliquot naming pattern. (docs)
  • Record the physical location of freezers you manage, making it easier to find samples across distributed sites. (docs)
  • Manage all samples and aliquots created from a source more easily. (docs)
  • Comments on workflow job tasks can be formatted in markdown and multithreaded. (docs)
  • Redesigned job tasks page. (docs)

Release 21.9, September 2021

Release 21.8, August 2021

Release 21.7, July 2021

Release 21.6, June 2021

Release 21.5, May 2021

Release 21.4, April 2021

Release 21.3, March 2021

Release 21.2, February 2021

  • 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 are complete

Release 21.1, January 2021

  • Freezer Management
    • Match your digital storage to your physical storage
    • Store and locate samples with ease
    • Monitor usage and capacity in graphical dashboards
    • Track volume, freeze/thaw counts, and comments during check in/out events

Release 20.12, December 2020

  • Detailed audit logging now shows only what has changed when data is updated.

Release 20.11, November 2020

Release 20.10, October 2020

  • Integration with BarTender to print labels.

Release 20.9, September 2020

  • A new tutorial is available to help you get started with a new/empty instance of sample manager. Try it here: Tutorial: Learn Sample Manager
  • Label colors are shown in the samples section of the main dashboard.
  • In anticipation of future support for Freezer Management, underlying functionality like the ability to access storage locations from the main menu have been added.

Release 20.8, August 2020

  • Sample Types can have custom Label Color assignments to help users differentiate them. (docs)
  • In anticipation of future support for Freezer Management, underlying functionality like the ability to see the storage location of a sample has been added. These facilities are not yet visible in the application interface.

Release 20.7, July 2020

  • Improved search experience. Filter and refine search results. (docs)

Release 20.6, June 2020

  • Bug fixes and small improvements

Release 20.5, May 2020

  • Use Sample Timelines to track all events involving a given sample.
  • Detailed audit logging has been improved for samples, under the new heading "Sample Timeline Events."
  • Sample Types can be created by inferring fields from a file, or by defining fields manually. Source types offer the same convenience.
  • Editing of sample parents is now available.
  • The definition of Sample Types can now include "Source Alias" columns, similar to parent aliases already available.

Release 20.4, April 2020

  • The creation interface for Sample Types has been merged to a single page showing both properties and fields. This makes it easier to create naming expressions that use fields in your Sample Type.
  • Define Sources for your samples. The source of a sample could be an individual or a cell line or a lab. Tracking metadata about the source of samples, both biological and physical, can unlock new insights.

Release 20.3, March 2020

  • Samples can be added to a workflow job during job creation. You no longer need to start a job after selecting samples of interest, but can add or update the samples directly within the job editing interface.
  • Removing unnecessary fields is easier with an icon shown in the collapsed field view.

February 2020

  • LabKey Sample Manager is Launched!

The symbol indicates a feature available in the Professional Edition of Sample Manager or with a Premium Edition of LabKey Server.

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