Laboratory Information Management System

Categories : All, Healthcare, Social Networks

Client Requirement


The Laboratory Information Management System will provide scientists, engaged life science practices with online tools that will increase their productivity. The best way to achieve this is by providing such tools on a social networking platform. This platform will enable them to collaborate with other scientists, manage shared laboratory equipment, order supplies and archive lab results and documents.

The project is centered on organizing the laboratory. The site will help lab scientists to manage their colleagues and friends in groups and can share their reagent, protocol and facility details accordingly. A Timer will help them set audio or visual alarms or a text message.

From the Reagent section they can upload their reagent inventory online, network their inventory with colleagues, place orders for reagents and read member comments.

Protocols should be fully integrated with the reagent inventory, and helps members to organize and network their protocols with their labmates. Facilities should help labsadminister shared facilities, such as microscopes and FACS machines. Timer should make it easy to time member’s experiments without carrying around a bulky timer.

Along with this, members can also set their profile and share their academic pursuits, publications, with the community. Other scientists can benefit from their expertise and experience.

Members can search other members from their profile details and can visit their profile. They can manage their colleagues and friends from the network section. They can add new members to their group as well

Members can communicate with others from message center with its sub sections. It is divided into different categories according to message. They can set their account related details and other preferences from account settings section.

Project Challenges

Team faced the following challenges while project development:
  • Harmonizing the simultaneous execution of various integrated features and options while maintaining consistent load balance.
  • Incorporating web usability principles while developing numerous features designed for enhancing the users’ community networking experience.
  • Developing a fully Ajax driven site, with various features, without compromising at performance and execution level.
  • Ensuring safe and secure transfer of data while integrating 3rd party API’s and JavaScript compatibility for all browsers.
  • Developing a sturdy & dependable framework to support the real-time updating of content on the site.
  • Allowing the site to handle millions of users at the same time without slowing down.

Technologies Used

Operating System & Server Management Red Hat Linux OS, Multi-Server Architecture with Staging & Production Environment through Version Controlling releases, Server Optimization, Security & SSL Implementation, Scheduler for Back-ups, Alert Monitoring System Integration, Server Performance Tuning at regular intervals, Software Firewall Configuration & Maintenance
Development Tools & Environments PHP5+, Symfony Framework, Microsoft Visio, Zend Studio, AJAX, Java Script, HTML5, CSS3, SVN etc.
Database MYSQL Database Server, DB Clustering, DB Optimization, Master Slave Replication, Query Optimization, Scheduler for Backups


Project Leader 1
Developers 4
Designers 2
Quality Assurance Testers 1


The following four-tier development approach was adopted to equip the site with numerous features and functionality mentioned below:
  • The Database layer containing MySQL Server Database, Tables, triggers and so on
  • The Data Access layer containing the Data Access DLL responsible for accessing data from database
  • The Business Layer DLL consisting of all business logic procedures for modules like Reagent, Protocols, Facilities, Timer, Profile, Message center, Account settings, Network etc.
  • The User Interface Layer which forms the Graphical User Interface of the website


N-tier architecture was adopted to efficiently meet the needs of the enormous website. Following are the layers involved which are loosely coupled with each other:
  • User Interface Layer: This will include the page level layer which will be accessing the other layers beneath to present the data.
  • Database Specific Layer: This acts as a bridge between the physical database and the business logic accessing the data.
  • Business Specific Layer: This acts as a bridge between the User Interface layer and database layer. This will contain all the business logic for the different components involved in the project.
  • Physical Database Layer: This includes My SQL with the tables, views and stored procedures etc.

Development Highlights

The design approach was built around PHP 5 and MYSQL SERVER 5 due to the social networking nature of the website. Modules like User Profiles, Reagents, Protocols and Facilities were developed in PHP such that they can be executed directly from the UI layer. In order to most effectively access the database in an object-oriented context an interface translating the object logic to the relational logic was used to communicate with the relational databases in an object-oriented manner.

An intermediary abstraction layer was created for accessing data from the database. Triggers were used only for complex updation and deletion of data from multiple tables and were entirely avoided with conditional syntax to ensure smooth performance of the website. The UI layer was kept free of any business logic with images, applications and data being called from their respective servers. Web usability guidelines were strictly followed during development and the interface was made easily navigable through judicious use of AJAX, CSS and HTML controls. The site was developed and fully functional within a span of 8 months.

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