Bika Lab Systems

Web-Based Laboratory Information Management; Bika LIMS 2.1 Inkosi Open Source Release

Bika LIMS 2.1 Inkosi 'The Chief' is the next major public release of the professionally supported open source LIMS by Cape Town company Bika Lab Systems and was released 26 May on a general public license, free to download, install and use.

Cape Town, South Africa, June 05, 2008 --( Popular first release of Bika - pronounced bheeka and meaning 'to report' in isiZulu - has been downloaded more than 12 500 times world wide and established Bika as leading open source LIMS.

Feature rich LIMS 2 promises to become true Inkosi to the global Bika community of users and developers. It is now in production locally and being piloted in Canada, Nigeria and Costa Rica.

Also in May, Bika hosted a fellow from CICA with the aim of further customisation and implementations in pesticide residue laboratories in Latin America. The scientific exchange was sponsored by the IAEA. A Spanish translation is nearing completion.

Bika Inkosi offers a host of functional enhancements, a well developed quality control suite and more automation to further improve turnaround times and eliminate human error.

Regularly requested analysis sets, analysis profiles, can now be ordered with the minimum of clicks and in bulk through import files.

In the lab itself, once-off worksheet template creation circumvents laborious manual work sheet management. The templates include place holders for control and duplicate samples and can be configured to closely resemble instrument trays.

Upon using a template, Inkosi populates worksheets with an alyses closest to their due dates but these can be manually adjusted to requirement, before exporting them to instruments and recovering results without having to manually enter any data.

Results proceed through the standard Bika web based workflow - validated against client and product specific specifications, verification and publication in the client's preferred media: email, fax, digitally signed print, SMS and export file.

The process is assisted by a system of alerts, prompting role players of pending tasks. A true time calendar, taking non working hours into account, makes for accurate alerts and efficiency reports. Results remain securely archived on-line, accessible via a powerful Google-like live search engine
The Bika Calendar was developed and released as standalone product for adoption and further enhancement in other open source projects.

Quality Control
Bika LIMS 1 is successfully used in ISO 17025 accredited labs and Inkosi builds on this heritage with granular audit trails of samples, analyses, analysis requests, worksheets, orders, invoices, and web content edits, ensuring total traceability. Analysis and work sheet re-testing work flows are incorporated and logged.

Quality Control measures include the maintenance of standards, stocks and suppliers, the use of blanks and duplicate samples, instrument calibrations and graphical reporting on trends, distribution curves, relative % error and inter-laboratory proficiency schemes.

CMS - Web portal content management
Bika remains one of the few web based LIMS not held back by web enabled legacy design, but developed in the cutting edge and robust web server technologies the Internet originated on. Inkosi LIMS front end can be built up to provide valuable services to clients and staff as well as marketing material to prospects and anonymous visitors.

Knowledge centres and news letter tools are just two products that easily integrate with the LIMS and literally hundreds more exist, developed in the community supporting Plone, the open source CMS Inkosi is built on.

POS - the professional open source model adopted by Bika
There is much media coverage about open source software models but these are often misunderstood and its potential underestimated. POS combines traditional OSS projects run by a community of software enthusiasts with a professional company, Bika Lab Systems in the case of Inkosi. The community adds strong support and world wide adoption of the software, while Bika Lab Systems backs the project with full-time engineering staff and formal contracts sponsored by fee-paying customers.

Customers benefit from the increased quality of the software and design, and increased traction enabled by the product's community. Customers, partners, engineers, and open source communities are all self-motivated in ways that are beneficial to themselves and, as a side effect, to all.

Future plans
Bika LIMS development is driven by client and community requirements, and if feedback from the current round of pilot projects bears fruit, complete instrument maintenance, batching, sample storage management and change request modules will be developed for release 4th quarter 2008. These will once more be best of breed designs discussed and improved in the Bika community forums. Ubuntu.

For more information please visit All enquiries welcome,

Bika Lab Systems
Joris Goudriaan
+27 21 7911999