LABVANTAGE has a rich history of providing innovative and reliable data migration services. From small, spreadsheet-based systems to large, legacy or competitor LIMS, each migration project is planned, managed, and executed using the most reliable methodologies and toolsets available.

In 2009, LABVANTAGE took on the largest convergence of two major LIMS the industry has seen when it acquired the SQL*LIMS business from Life Technologies Corporation. To accomplish this, LABVANTAGE is relying on its LIMS migration expertise and leveraging a world-class technology partner to develop a revolutionary set of data migration methods and solutions.

Using the SQL*LIMS to LABVANTAGE LIMS (formally named “SAPPHIRE”) migration strategy as a template, migration planning begins with an analysis of the data available in the legacy LIMS system. Altova MapForce is used to visually map tables and columns between the source and target systems. These maps promote collaboration between system architects and developers and become the foundation for design documentation. The goals of the data mapping exercise is to strategically review the business processes provided by the legacy system, to designate target tables and columns for existing data, and provides a chance to design and optimize the new workflows as they will operate in the new LABVANTAGE system. Once the design stage is complete and all the data has been mapped between the systems, the MapForce designs are provided to the ETL (extract, transform and load) developers for construction.

As a point of distinction among LIMS vendors, LABVANTAGE has developed a close partnership with expressor, a leader in enterprise-class data integration software. This partnership ensures that every LIMS migration benefits from high-volume, low-latency data processing from a wide variety of data sources and formats.

In order to most effectively implement the expressor software during LIMS migrations, LABVANTAGE ETL developers created the “LABVANTAGE Semantic Universe.” This new solution provides the semantic layer for unifying names between different systems, and provides a collection of already-created metadata objects used to work with the LABVANTAGE and SQL*LIMS databases. In addition, the “DI Workbench” solution allows an ETL developer to connect to any database schema and rapidly create the appropriate semantic and metadata objects for any LIMS or other application. In summary, by using the Semantic Universe and DI Workbench, LABVANTAGE can maximize ETL re-use and remove reliance on point-solutions written in java, PL/SQL, or other developer intensive scripting.

When the solution is finalized, it is seeded with relevant configuration information and the expressor software runs the extract, transform, and load operations to convert data from the legacy LIMS to the new LABVANTAGE system. Optionally, the custom LIMS migration solution can be configured to partition and parallelize data streams, which can increase the amount of data that is moved and thereby decrease the time required to complete the migration.

Developing an approach to custom LIMS migrations will probably never be as simple as point, click, or drag. It can, however, be simplified and streamlined using a proper selection of technology, tools, and methodology.

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