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WinLIMS.NET™ is designed and implemented using an SDLC (System Development Life Cycle) approach that is sometimes referred to as the ‘V-Model’.


System Development Life Cycle - 'V' Model

All levels of requirements and specifications; be they the development of core software, customized software or implementation of configurable items, follow the model shown in the following illustration.


V-Model-Development.JPG


This approach associates various levels of requirements, specifications and development items to be properly documented and the response to each specification level is an equivalent testing (validation) and documentation of testing to ensure the quality of the software that is either developed or implemented.


Site Survey

A site survey is carried out to define the functional and operating requirements of a proposed new LIMS. This involves the QSI consultant visiting the client site so that he or she can work with the LIMS project team to establish the LIMS requirements. During the site visits the following aspects are covered.


  • Work flow of all samples from originating departments through to final reporting.
  • Detailed examination of each stage of the work flow.
  • Integration of the LIMS into corporate systems, such as ERP, MRP, etc.
  • Examination of existing laboratory data, both in electronic and paper formats.
  • Structure of specifications and formulations.
  • Analytical methods used.
  • Instrument automation.
  • Batch processes.
  • Sampling rules.
  • Batch and sample dispositions.
  • Report formats.
  • Report distribution.
  • Existing computer infrastructure.
  • Hardware requirements.
  • Choice of client technology, i.e. Web Client, Windows Forms Client or Pocket Client


Throughout the site survey process documentation will be produced, which will be reviewed at each logical stage. At the completion of the survey a complete specification will exist, written in plain English, detailing the LIMS functional requirements and the technical structure needed to provide the functionality. QSI cannot stress enough that this is the most important aspect of a LIMS project.


Statistics show that 60% of all LIMS ever sold do not go live successfully; this is largely because of the lack of communication and/or misunderstandings between vendor and client, hence a LIMS is installed which does not meet the clients needs. This is not the case with QSI: we have a 100% success rate, because we insist on working in cooperation with prospective clients in producing a detailed specification based on a thorough site survey


The Configuration Process

The majority of the implementation work is applied by assigning settings that adjust the functionality of the software or provide cosmetic modifications covering the following aspects of the system. Overall, the configuration will cosist of:


  • Ensuring the underlying data structure meets the specification requirements.
  • Editing of screen forms to reflect the data structure.
  • Adjustment of field names.
  • Adjustment of field tabbing order.
  • Some clients require additional functionality to be able to go live successfully. In these cases careful consideration is given to the creation methodology used. Any new functionality is reviewed to see if it would benefit other WinLIMS.NET™ users, or whether it is totally specific to the client.


If the proposed functionality could produce benefits for other WinLIMS.NET™ users then this functionality would be implemented for the new client, then subsequently included in the WinLIMS.NET™ core, which would be rolled out to all clients at the next version upgrade.


If however the functionality was client specific, this required functionality would be implemented as a module which seamlessly integrates with the WinLIMS.NET™ core. The benefit of this approach is that when an annual upgrade is performed, QSI only has to check that any client specific modules still integrate seamlessly with the new WinLIMS.NET™ core. If a misfit occurs then it is usually a simple fix to correct the issue. QSI is thereby able to offer an annual upgrade to all customers, irrespective of whether they are using an off the shelf WinLIMS.NET™ or a specifically configured version.


The other aspects of implementation carried out by QSI are the creation of required reports and instrument interfacing.


Once WinLIMS.NET™ has been implemented to the clients needs, it is tested internally by QSI to ensure it meets the requirements of the specification document. Once it has passed QSI testing, the software is installed at the client site ready for acceptance testing by the client.


During the acceptance testing period, fine tuning is carried out to the software, based on the client comments, until ultimately the client "signs off" the software as meeting the agreed requirement.