As its name implies, the WinLIMS.NET™ Bridge is a tool (API) that allows WinLIMS.NET™ to tightly integrate with external systems and instruments in a controlled and audited manner. The Bridge allows the creation and update of samples, analytical results and virtually any other type of information used by WinLIMS.NET™ that originates from external sources such as ERP systems, process control systems, analytical instruments, Excel spreadsheets and virtually any other data source.
The Bridge also delivers information from WinLIMS.NET™ to any of these external systems to ensure a closed communications loop to increase productivity and eliminate errors to make your orgnization more competitive and profitable.
The Bridge can also be run as a stand-alone tool that can be used to convert files into XML format for use by applications other than WinLIMS.NET™. It can also be used to programmatically create records between databases (SQL Server or Oracle) and files for those applications that do not supply this type of tool.
The Bridge option consists of a set of components that work both independently and in concert to accommodate virtually any modern mode of system integration. The modules consist of:
- Tables (referred to as INBOXes) that include triggers and stored procedures that ensure the proper creation of records within WinLIMS.NET™.
- A Windows service (XMLInbound) that transfers XML and CSV files into the INBOX tables.
- A Web service (XMLInbound) transfers XML and CSV files into the INBOX tables.
- Inherent XSL transformation support that allows XML and CSV files to be translated to and from the standard WinLIMS.NET™ XML format.
- A WinLIMS.NET™ function (XMLOutbound) that allows the generation of XML files from WinLIMS.NET for consumption by other applications.
- A file parsing application (InterLINK) that allows text files of virtually any format to be translated into a standard WinLIMS.NET™ XML format for use by WinLIMS.NET™ or any other application that consumes XML files.
- A bidirectional tool (WinLIMS.NET™ Interactive Excel) that allows the automatic creation of well-formed Excel spreadsheets for direct data entry into WinLIMS.NET™.
Microsoft Excel is probably the most popular tool that is used within laboratories throughout the world. Within many laboratories users have become accustomed to using Microsoft Excel as a tool for recording information which has made it a defacto standard through its wide use. Although Excel is a great tool for entering data and performing calculations, it is severly lacking in its ability to act as a data repository for quick recall and reporting. In addition, when used on its own, Excel is inherently insecure.
WinLIMS.NET™ Interactive Excel is a component that is included within the WinLIMS.NET™ Bridge that allows you to get the best of both worlds. End users can continue to use the familiar Microsoft Excel software for results entry and the entered results will be saved to WinLIMS.NET™ in a seamless manner to provide an organized, audited data repository that can be used to better manage your company.
The Bridge provides all of the components that are needed to interface to instruments of all types using common configuration and programming languages that are readily available instead of using the obscure, proprietary tools that are used by other commercial LIMS. This means that training and implementation costs are far lower because you won't be dependent on QSI to configure your instrument interfaces; although we can be contracted to do so.
ERP/MRP InterfacingSAP, JDE, Prism, Macola, BPCS, etc.) and WinLIMS.NET™. Samples can be automatically created from workorders for raw materials, in-process samples and/or final product in order to ensure timely, accurate sample creation in an automated manner. Status updates and analytical results can be returned from WinLIMS.NET™ to the ERP/MRP system to form a complete automated cycle.
Some companies that have committed to SAP believe that they are obligated to only use interfaces that have undergone the SAP Certification program. If you're one of these organizations, WinLIMS.NET is for you: our interface for the QM/IDI™ was Certified by SAP in 2003 and in May of 2007 QSI received certification from SAP for integration with SAP's highly advanced Netweaver™ web service product which is a perfect fit for QSI's web-based WinLIMS.NET™ software.
Process Control Systems
It is often beneficial to automatically log samples and/or acquire data from on-line analyzers from your process control systems (e.g. AspenTech IP21, Honeywell, etc.) for use within WinLIMS.NET™. This information is used to combine the process and analytical information for use by engineers and quality assurance personnel to optimize the production of products in terms of both quality and cost. The Bridge provides all of the components allow QSI's staff (or your IT staff) to create the necessary interface(s).