MolabIS - An integrated information system for storing and managing molecular genetics data
Background: Long-term sample storage, tracing of data flow and data export for subsequent analyses are of great importance in genetics studies. Therefore, molecular labs do need a proper information system to handle an increasing amount of data from different projects. Results: We have developed a molecular labs information management system (MolabIS). It was implemented as a web-based system allowing the users to capture original data at each step of their workflow. MolabIS provides essential functionality for managing information on individuals, tracking samples and storage locations, capturing raw files, importing final data from external files, searching results, accessing and modifying data. Further important features are options to generate ready-to-print reports and convert sequence and microsatellite data into various data formats, which can be used as input files in subsequent analyses. Moreover, MolabIS also provides a tool for data migration. Conclusions: MolabIS is designed for small-to-medium sized labs conducting Sanger sequencing and microsatellite genotyping to store and efficiently handle a relative large amount of data. MolabIS not only helps to avoid time consuming tasks but also ensures the availability of data for further analyses. The software is packaged as a virtual appliance which can run on different platforms (e.g. Linux, Windows). MolabIS can be distributed to a wide range of molecular genetics labs since it was developed according to a general data model. Released under GPL, MolabIS is freely available at http://www.molabis.org webcite.