Determining LIMS Functionality, Cost, and ROI: System Architecture Strengths and Limitations - Pharmaceutical Technology

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Determining LIMS Functionality, Cost, and ROI: System Architecture Strengths and Limitations
Before any information technology solution can be installed, a company must decide whether applications are going to reside on individual computers at each employee's workstation, on servers within or outside of an organization, or on a vendor's website.


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It may also be important to consider whether remote handheld devices are critical to the laboratory. If so, see whether the thick-client LIMS can run on a portable device and assess whether the necessary .NET support browser is available for PDAs and other handheld devices used in the laboratory. This can be a significant issue to organizations that conduct R&D in the field or perform activities such as environmental monitoring on the plant floor.

Summary

There are significant differences between thick-client, web-enabled, web-based, and thin-client solutions. Thick-clients are desktop client applications that connect to a remote database. Web-enabled solutions are more oriented toward thick or rich clients, and web-based solutions offer some of the benefits of thin-client applications. Thin-clients, on the other hand, are true HTML applications that do not require additional end-user client downloads, applets, or frameworks. Just be sure a firm knows what it's getting by being aware of the differences, advantages, and disadvantages of each type of solution in relation to its existing or planned infrastructure. Many organizations are choosing thin-client solutions and paving the way toward a simplified infrastructure that delivers lower cost of ownership, better usability, and less complexity. Above all, firms need to make sure the laboratory information management system it selects is the best fit for the organization.

Ron Kasner serves as the vice-president of corporate development for LabVantage Solutions, where he is responsible for directing LabVantage's long-term product strategies, global marketing initiatives, and business development opportunities. LabVantage Solutions, Inc., 1160 US Highway 22 East, Bridgewater, NJ 08807, tel. 908.333.0103, fax 908-842-0338,
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