At this year’s CTEC conference, I have the great pleasure of leading a training class called, “Laboratory Data Integration and Migration: Best Practices and Application”. (If you haven’t signed up for CTEC 2011 yet, there’s still time!) In order to be prepared for this class, I have spent most of this week writing the training materials. So I thought this would be a good time for me to write down my thoughts on the data integration and migration landscape here at LABVANTAGE, both in the present and coming in the near future.

Goals of the Data Integration Strategy

If you check out our Data Integration page, you will notice that our partnership with expressor is highlighted. This move to work closely with a data integration partner provides several benefits. First, we wanted to make sure that as a company we were working with a technology partner that deeply understood the complexities of moving large amounts of complex and valuable data. While it is true that any data architect or programmer can create data integration point solutions written in PL/SQL or java, we realize that moving data in a way that is relevant, reliable, scalable, and reusable is best done by settling on a single, considered approach. In other words, we wanted to leverage the most capable technology and experts to meet the most sophisticated informatics challenges.

Second, we wanted to broaden the breadth of laboratory informatics solutions we were able to provide. For example, you will notice that our Business Intelligence & Decision Support page mentions a service called DecisionScapes. Although the front end of this offering might be delivered through slick graphical presentations, rest assured that the back end of such a system will be powered entirely by an enterprise quality ETL tool like expressor.

In the Works and In the Future

We have several things in the works that will revolutionize the data integration and migration business here at LABVANTAGE.

  • I and colleagues from Strategic Solutions, Engineering, and Professional Services have all received training on the expressor software at their headquarters in Boston, MA.
  • I have recently became a certified expressor developer, which means that LABVANTAGE is now an expressor certified solutions provider. This means that the LABVANTAGE teams will more frequently be providing data integration services for many different kinds of laboratory-related systems such as ELN, ERP, MRP, SDMS, and more.
Jeff Vannest becomes expressor Certified Developer Jeff Vannest becomes expressor Certified Developer
  • CTEC will offer a plenary session on Tuesday May 17th led by Bob Potter, CEO at expressor, titled, “Tying It Altogether: Integrating Your Laboratory Data“. Plan to attend this event to hear about the future of data integration and how laboratory informatics fits into that future.
  • On Wednesday, May 18th at CTEC, I will provide an afternoon plenary session called, “All the Right Moves: Migrating Your Laboratory Data”. This 30-minute session will review methods of planning data integration projects, collecting requirements, options for technical architecture, and things to consider when choosing technologies for ad-hoc and formal reporting, as well as providing the foundation for business intelligence solutions.
  • On Thursday, May 19th at CTEC, I will provide a hands-on training class using the expressor software and several laboratory data sources including a LABVANTAGE 5.2 data source, a publicly available FDA Drug database, and a preview copy of our new DecisionScapes data warehouse.
  • Later this year, LABVANTAGE will release LABVANTAGE 6, which is the much awaited convergence of the SAPPHIRE and SQL*LIMS systems running on the LABVANTAGE technical architecture. For SQL*LIMS customers that will be moving data from an existing SQL*LIMS system into a new LABVANTAGE 6 database, this entire migration process will be executed using the expressor software. Therefore as you can imagine, our own LABVANTAGE architects are busily working to create a scalable, reliable data migration system that you can fully trust with all your valuable data.
  • Additionally, keep checking our LABVANTAGE Training Program for your own opportunity to receive data integration training on laboratory data sources. Planned for mid-July, LABVANTAGE will partner with expressor to provide complete, enterprise-quality data integration training specifically designed to meet the challenges of the laboratory informatics environment.

As you can tell, 2011 is proving to be an exciting year for LABVANTAGE in the areas of data integration and migration. And for a data nerd like me, this is all very, very exciting!

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