Last Updated: April, 2015
LIMSExpert.com originated a decade ago as a website dedicated to helping individuals and compaines suffering from the troubles associated with buying, enhancing, and implementing a laboratory information management system (LIMS) in a changing world.
In and around July 2012 this site began describing a shift in the LIMS marketplace -- the DIY LIMS initiative. DIY stands for 'do it yourself' and is a stance on both the architecture and licensing of a LIMS. It says,
- Like a computer system, a LIMS should be composable from parts that can be independently sourced.
- The licensing of not only the host system but the components must be an Open Source license.
- There should be an effort to openly discuss and improve upon designs utilized in LIMS to avoid obfuscation as well as to promote design practices.
Each of these components is necessary for DIY LIMS. An Open Source system, by itself, lacks the architectural constraints needed to avoid obfuscation or to facilitate independent authorship of system components. There is no impetus by the developers to do the extra work needed to ensure that anybody can publish a working component that will perform system tasks. This leaves the adopters with the gargantuan task of forking the entire codebase in order to change the system's direction, which is often not a realistic option.
Commercial, or vendor-supported systems, fare no better. The lack of an Open Source license makes it impossible to share one's work with whoever needs it. This restriction impedes communication and the development of best practices.
In essence, DIY LIMS is in a category all its own and is a growing force in the laboratory informatics landscape. Join us in reading our posts on this website; follow @LIMSExpert.com on Twitter, and visit the site's contact page for additional information.