Biologics: Grids, Detail Pages, and Entry Forms

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This topic covers methods for working with data in grids as well as customizing grid views, detail pages, and entry forms in LabKey Biologics LIMS.

Custom Grid Views

Quickly see data that pertains to you with custom saved grid views for Registry Sources, Samples, Assays, and more. With saved custom views, you can view your data in multiple ways depending on what’s useful to you in different contexts. Administrators can change the defaults for all users, and any user can customize and save their own grid views, controlling data displays in the following ways:

  • Adding and removing fields
  • Re-labeling field headers
  • Changing field order
  • Sorting one or more columns
  • Filtering one or more columns
You can quickly customize a grid view directly from the column header menus, or open the grid view customizer by selecting Grid Views > Customize Grid View to make many changes at once.

All users can create and save their own named grid views. Administrators can also customize the default for all users.

Custom grid views are shown on the Views menu. A selected custom view will still be shown if you leave and return to the same grid.

Learn more about customizing grid views in this Sample Manager documentation topic:

Scroll Large Grids

When scrolling a grid horizontally, the leftmost column, typically the Name or ID, will remain 'locked' or visible on the left, making it easy to understand which entity, sample, or media the visible fields are referring to.

When the data grid is long enough to scroll vertically, such as when using a long 'page size' the column headers will remain visible at the top.

Column Header Menus

Click the column header in a grid to access the column header menu:

  • Filter: Click to add or edit filters; by default the current column is selected in the popup.
    • Remove filter: Remove the filter on this column.
  • Sort ascending
  • Sort descending
    • Clear sort: Remove the sort on this column.
  • Edit Label: Edit the display label for this column.
  • Insert Column: Select a new column to add to the grid.
  • Hide Column: Hide this column from the grid.
You can also drag and drop column headers to new positions in the grid. Making changes from the column header menus will create an edited custom view that you can save for later use. Filters and sorts will also persist and be applied the next time you visit the same grid.

Learn more about column header menus in this topic for Sample Manager:

Administrator Only: Custom Details Pages

An administrator can create a special custom grid view to control the fields shown on an entity details page. If you create this special view using the Biologics interface, it will only show for your own user account. To make this change to the details view for all users, select > LabKey Server > [Your Biologics Project Name] to switch to the LabKey Server UI. Here you can save the "BIOLOGICSDETAILS" view and share it with all users.

Customize the view for the entity type, then save it:

  • Uncheck "Make default view for all users"/"Default grid view for this page".
  • Use the name "BIOLOGICSDETAILS".
  • Check the box to "Make this grid view available to all users" (available only in the LabKey Server interface).
  • Optionally check the box to "Make this grid view available in child folders."

Entry Forms

To modify entry and update forms, modify the fields in the field designer. For example, to add a field "NIH Registry Number" to the Cell Line entity:

  • Select > LabKey Server > [Your Biologics Project Name]
  • In the Data Classes list, click CellLine.
  • In the Data Class Properties panel, click Edit.
  • Click the Fields section to open it.
  • If there are already fields defined, you will see them. Otherwise, click Manually Define Fields.
  • Click Add Field, and specify the field's Name and Data Type.
    • Expand the field details and enter a Label if you want to show something other than the field name to users.
  • Click Save.
  • The field will appear in the entry form for Cell Lines when you Create a new one.

Follow similar procedures to delete or modify entry form fields for other entities.

Editable Grids

Editable grids can be found throughout the application for inserting and modifying data. In an editable grid you can:

Learn more about editable grids in the companion topic for Sample Manager here.

Customize Details Shown for Lookups

Lookup fields connect your data by letting a user select from a dropdown which joins in data from another table. By default, a lookup column will only show a single display field from the table, generally the first text field in the target table.

By editing metadata on that target table, you can expose additional detail to help users choose. For example, if you were offering a dropdown of supplier names, it might also be helpful to users to show the state where that supplier is located. In this example, the "Suppliers" list would include the following XML metadata to set shownInLookupView to true for the desired field(s):

<tables xmlns="">
<table tableName="Suppliers" tableDbType="NOT_IN_DB">
<column columnName="State">

Before applying the above, the user would only see the lab name. After adding the above, the user would see both the name and state when using the same dropdown.

For a real example of how this can be used in the Biologics LIMS application to make it easier for users to select the right raw materials for a batch, review this topic: Add Detail to "Raw Materials Used" Dropdown for Registering Batches

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