By Jeff Noonan,Vice President of Business Development for Core Informatics
This month we introduced the Platform for Science Marketplace, a first of its kind ecosystem of pre-configured scientific applications. The marketplace is unique because we, and our ecosystem partners, have designed the available applications to easily function in concert with all existing Core Products LIMS, ELN, & SDMS. These products and applications are built upon the same foundational platform and code base, our Platform as a Service (PaaS), known as the Platform for Science. The 100% web based architecture of the Platform for Science provides a device and OS agnostic solution for our clients.
Accelerated project delivery timelines through configurations
A key differentiating feature of our software is the enormous breadth of functionality we can deliver through configurations alone. When you strip away the details surrounding domain-specific research such as drug discovery, next-generation sequencing (NGS) and biobanking, you find processes that are remarkably similar. In fact, you can distill most lab activities into four general categories: samples & inventory, process executions (a.k.a. tests), instrument integration, and reporting.
Traditionally within drug discovery, for example, samples are commonly small molecules, chemicals, and reagents. Recent trends in drug discovery include an increase of the use of peptides, proteins, antibodies, and hybrid conjugate systems. In either case, project teams are charged with discovering and advancing candidates through a series of in-vitro & in-vivo tests to validate efficacy and mode-of-action while reducing risks associated with pre-clinical development.
NGS & biobanking researchers face similar workflow challenges, albeit with different sample types and domain specific tests. These processes include receiving specimens for analysis (patient or otherwise), characterizing those samples (even if it’s just by labeling them with appropriate descriptive attributes), and managing their distribution and use in various experiments.
The PFS Marketplace Providing unique solutions for any laboratory domain
The capabilities and self-describing nature of our platform is what makes the Platform for Science and the new PFS Marketplace fundamentally different from other vendor solutions. Rather than providing an inflexible point solution, or a series of custom point solutions, we’ve built a foundational platform that provides the capabilities all labs need to accomplish the core tasks they face. It also enables us, our partners, and most importantly our customers, to leverage those common capabilities with domain-specific applications that meet more targeted, custom needs. Unlike other software providers, we fulfill the needs of our clients by configuring applications upon our consistent code base, versus protracted, expensive, custom programming initiatives.
Apps sit atop the platform and turn the underlying capabilities of the foundation into something immediately usable. Sample management may be a straight-forward process, but due to the specific needs of varying fields, it is managed through a variety of configured applications. One app creates a small molecule registration system (including chemical structure input and searching functions, physical property calculators, and integration with a barcoding and chemical inventory systems) while another is a donor accessioning app (including patient information and consent forms, details on the type of sample and its physical location and handling, and information on how the sample will be or has been used). Both apps utilize the same underlying platform capabilities, but present those capabilities in a way that caters to users’ domains and to the tasks they are trying to accomplish.
Beyond sample management, the Marketplace provides clients with convenient access to a series of testing applications geared toward drug discovery, NGS, & biobanking markets. Included in this list are apps for high-throughput screening, nucleic acid extraction, library prep & sequencing, along with others.
The Platform for Science Ecosystem
The Platform for Science along with the PFS Marketplace provides organizations with a growing ecosystem of preconfigured applications in combination with an unprecedented level of flexibility. With the Platform for Science Marketplace, organizations can pick and choose the apps that provide the functionality they need. In future blog entries, we’ll be drilling more directly into what solutions might look like in the three domains described above. The beauty of the Platform for Science is that the underlying capabilities can be extended to just about any laboratory domain. Sample management for Crop Science, for instance, would require apps that can handle seeds or cuttings, grown in pots, plots, or fields, and subjected to breeding cycles and hybridization.
That’s the power of the Platform for Science and our underlying software architectureÓit provides a malleable scientific solution that can be deployed across a range of disciplines. Moreover, the Platform for Science enables organizations to continuously adapt IT data management architectures to support the integration of new technologies.
We hope you’ll visit the Marketplace to explore some of the apps relevant to your research. And we’d love to hear from you about specific applications you would find valuable.