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 24.5, May 2024

  • Assign custom colors to sample statuses to more easily distinguish them at a glance. (docs)
  • Easily download and print a box view of your samples to share or assist in using offline locations like some freezer "farms". (docs)
  • Use any user-defined Sample properties in the Sample Finder.
XXProfessional Edition Features:
  • More easily understand Notebook review history and changes including recalls, returns for changes, and more in the Review Timeline panel. (docs)
  • Administrators can require a reason when a notebook is recalled. (docs)
  • Add samples to any project without first having to navigate there. (docs)
  • Edit samples across multiple projects, provided you have authorization. (docs)

Release 24.4, April 2024

  • Maintenance release 24.4.1 addresses an issue with uploading files during bulk editing of Sample data. (resolved issue)
  • Users can better comply with regulations by entering a Reason for Update when editing sample, source or assay data. (docs)
  • More quickly find the location you need when adding samples to storage (or moving them) by searching for storage units by name or label. (docs)
  • Choose either an automatic (specifying box starting position and Sample ID order) or manual fill when adding samples to storage or moving them. (docs)
  • More easily find samples in Sample Finder by searching with user-defined fields in sample parent and source properties. (docs)
  • Lineage graphs have been updated to reflect "generations" in horizontal alignment, rather than always showing the "terminal" level aligned at the bottom. (docs)
  • Hovering over a column label will show the underlying column name. (docs)
  • Up to 20 levels of lineage can be displayed using the grid view customizer. (docs)
XXProfessional Edition Features:
  • Administrators of the Professional Edition can set the application to require users to provide reasons for updates as well as other actions like deletions. (docs)
  • Moving entities between projects is easier now that you can select from multiple projects simultaneously for moves to a new one. (docs)

Sample Manager User Conference - March 28, 2024

Watch the session recordings to hear what's new in Sample Manager, best practices for using key features, and other users sharing how Sample Manager is used in their labs.

Release 24.3, March 2024

Maintenance Release 24.3.5, May 2024

  • Resolved an issue with importing across Sample Types in certain time zones. Date, datetime, and time fields were sometimes inconsistently translated. (resolved issue)
  • Resolved an issue with uploading files during bulk editing of Sample data. (resolved issue)

Version 24.3.0, March 2024

  • Storing or moving samples to a single box now allows you to choose the order in which to add them as well as the starting position within the box. (docs)
  • When discarding a sample, by default the status will change to "Consumed". Users can adjust this as needed. (docs)
  • While browsing into and out of storage locations, the last path into the hierarchy will be retained so that the user returns to where they were previously. (docs)
  • The storage location string can be copied; pasting outside the application will include the slash separators, making it easier to populate a spreadsheet for import. (docs)
  • The icons and are now used for expanding and collapsing sections, replacing and . (docs)
  • Assay run fields can now use the datatypes "Date" or "Time". (docs)
  • The ":withCounter" naming pattern modifier is now case-insensitive. (docs)
XXProfessional Edition Features:
  • Workflow templates can be edited before any jobs are created from them, including updating the tasks and attachments associated with them. (docs)

Release 24.2, February 2024

Note: Beginning with the February (24.2) release, Sample Manager will require stronger passwords. Users may be prompted to set a more complex password to align with security requirements when they log in.
  • In Sample Finder, use the "Equals All Of" filter to search for Samples that share up to 10 common Sample Parents or Sources. (docs)
  • Include fields of type "Date" or "Time" in Samples, Sources, and Assay Results. (docs)
  • Users can now sort and filter on the Storage Location columns in Sample grids. (docs)
  • Sample types can be selectively hidden from the Insights panel on the dashboard, helping you focus on the samples that matter most. (docs)
  • The Sample details page now clarifies that the "Source" information shown there is only one generation of Source Parents. For full lineage details, see the "Lineage" tab. (docs)
  • Up to 10 levels of lineage can be displayed using the grid view customizer. (docs)
  • Menu and dashboard language is more consistent about shared team resources vs. your own items. (docs)
XXProfessional Edition Features:
  • The application can be configured to require reasons (previously called "comments") for actions like deletion and storage changes. Otherwise providing reasons is optional. (docs)
  • Developers can generate an API key for accessing client APIs from scripts and other tools. (docs)

Release 24.1, January 2024

  • A banner message within the application links you directly to these release notes to help you learn what's new in the latest version. (docs)
  • Search for samples by storage location. Box names and labels are now indexed to make it easier to find storage in larger systems. (docs)
  • Only an administrator can delete a storage system that contains samples. Non-admin users with permission to delete storage must first remove the samples from that storage in order to be able to delete it. (docs)
XXProfessional Edition Features:
  • Electronic Lab Notebook enhancements:
    • All notebook signing events require authentication using both username and password. Also available in version 23.11.4. (docs | docs)
    • From the notebook details panel, see how many times a given item is referenced and easily open its details or find it in the notebook. (docs)
    • Workflow jobs can be referenced from Electronic Lab Notebooks. (docs)
    • Editing during ELN is fixed after an issue on Chromium-based browsers (eg. Chrome, Edge) caused users to experience jumpiness during notebook authoring. Also available in version 23.11.7 and 24.1.2.

Release 23.12, December 2023

  • Samples can be moved to multiple storage locations at once. (docs)
  • New storage units can be created when samples are added to storage. (docs)
  • The table of contents for a notebook now includes headings and day markers from within document entries. (docs)
  • Workflow templates can now have editable assay tasks allowing common workflow procedures to have flexibility of the actual assay data needed. (docs)
  • When samples or aliquots are updated via the grid, the units will be correctly maintained at their set values. This addresses an issue in earlier releases and is also fixed in the 23.11.2 maintenance release. (learn more)

Release 23.11, November 2023

  • Moving samples between storage locations now uses the same intuitive interface as adding samples to new locations. (docs)
  • Sample grids now include a direct menu option to "Move Samples in Storage". (docs)
  • Standard assay designs can be renamed. (docs)
  • Users can share saved custom grid views with other users. (docs)
  • Authorized users no longer need to navigate to the home project to add, edit, and delete data structures including Sample Types, Registry Source Types, Assay Designs, and Storage. Changes can be made from within a subproject, but still apply to the structures in the home project. (docs)
  • The interface has changed so that the 'cancel' and 'save' buttons are always visible to the user in the browser. (docs)

Release 23.10, October 2023

  • Adding Samples to Storage is easier with preselection of a previously used location, and the ability to select which direction to add new samples: top to bottom or left to right, the default. (docs)
  • When Samples or Sources are created manually, any import aliases that exist will be included as parent fields by default, making it easier to set up expected lineage relationships. (docs)
  • Grid settings are now persistent when you leave and return to a grid, including which filters, sorts, and paging settings you were using previously. (docs)
  • Header menus have been reconfigured to make it easier to find administration, settings, and help functions throughout the application. (docs)
  • Panels of details for Sample Types, Sources, Storage, etc. are now collapsed and available via hover, putting the focus on the data grid itself. (docs)

Release 23.9, September 2023

  • View all samples of all types from a new dashboard button. (docs)
  • When adding samples to storage, users will see more information about the target storage location including a layout preview for boxes or plates. (docs)
  • Longer storage location paths will be 'summarized' for clearer display in some parts of the application. (docs)
  • Naming patterns can now incorporate a sampleCount or rootSampleCount element. (docs)

Release 23.8, August 2023

  • Sources can have lineage relationships, enabling the representation of more use cases. (docs)
  • Two new calculated columns provide the "Available" aliquot count and amount, based on the setting of the sample's status. (docs)
  • The amount of a sample can be updated easily during discard from storage. (docs)
  • Customize the display of date/time values on an application wide basis. (docs)
  • The aliquot naming pattern will be shown in the UI when creating or editing a sample type. (docs)
  • The allowable box size for storage units has been increased to accommodate common slide boxes with up to 50 rows. (docs)
  • Options for saving a custom grid view are clearer. (docs)

Release 23.7, July 2023

  • Define locations for storage systems within the app. (docs)
  • Create new freezer hierarchy during sample import. (docs)
  • Import & update samples across multiple sample types from a single file. (docs)
  • Administrators have the ability to do the actions of the Storage Editor role. (docs)
  • Improved options for bulk populating editable grids, including better "drag-fill" behavior and multi-cell cut and paste. (docs | docs)
  • Enhanced security by removing access or identifiers to data in different projects in lineage, sample timeline and ELNs. (docs)
  • ELN Improvements:
    • The mechanism for referencing something from an ELN has changed to be @ instead of /. (docs)
    • Autocompletion makes finding objects to reference easier. (docs)
  • Move Assay Runs and Notebooks between Projects. (docs | docs)

Release 23.6, June 2023

  • See an indicator in the UI when a sample is expired. (docs)
  • On Sample grids in Picklists, Workflows & Source Details pages, when only one Sample Type is included in a grid that supports multiple Sample Types, default to that tab instead of to the general "All Samples" tab. (docs)
  • Track the edit history of Notebooks. (docs)
  • Control which data structures and storage systems are visible in which Projects. (docs)
  • Move Sources between Projects. (docs)
  • Project menu includes quick links to settings and the dashboard for that Project. (docs)

Release 23.5, May 2023

  • Move Samples between Projects. (docs)
  • Assay Results grids can be modified to show who created and/or modified individual result rows and when. (docs)
  • BarTender templates can only be defined in the home Project. (docs)
  • ELN Improvements: Pagination controls are available at the bottom of the ELN dashboard. (docs)
  • A new "My Tracked Jobs" option helps users follow workflow tasks of interest, even when they are not assigned tasks. (docs)

Release 23.4, April 2023

  • Add the sample amount during sample registration to better align with laboratory processes. (docs | docs)
    • StoredAmount, Units, RawAmount, and RawUnits field names are now reserved. (docs)
    • Users with a significant number of samples in storage may see slower than usual upgrade times due to migrating these fields. Any users with existing custom fields for providing amount or units during sample registration are encouraged to migrate to the new fields prior to upgrading.
  • Use the Sample Finder to find samples by sample properties, as well as by parent and source properties. (docs)
  • Built in Sample Finder reports help you track expiring samples and those with low aliquot counts. (docs)
  • Text search result pages are more responsive and easier to use. (docs)
  • Administrators can specify a default BarTender template. (docs)
  • ELN Improvements: View archived notebooks. (docs)
  • Sample Status values can only be defined in the home project. Existing unused custom status values in sub-projects will be deleted and if you were using projects and custom status values prior to this upgrade, you may need to contact us for assistance. (docs)

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)
  • Sample names can incorporate field-based counters using :withCounter syntax. (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

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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