Today we are taking the wraps off the Lab7 Enterprise Sequencing Platform (ESP), our sequencing informatics platform, and BioBuilds, our small way of giving back the community. Before introducing the products, I want to take a moment and share some of our core values, values that we infuse daily in our design and development efforts:
- Science is a collaborative process: good software must remove friction between stakeholders. Scientists, clinicians, bioinformaticians, lab techs, and IT personnel are all more productive when they can work together effectively. The Lab7 ESP is designed from the ground up to enable collaboration and individual productivity.
- Science should not be bogged down by mundane software tasks. Or, good tools are productivity multipliers, mediocre tools are time sinks. Too much of sequencing informatics is driven by ad-hoc methods to handle common tasks. Our mission at with Lab7 is to handle the nuts and bolts of sequencing informatics, freeing our users up to focus on their science.
- ¡Se habla everything! We know that all science is unique. We also know that most informatics environments are unique. All our products are designed to be as agnostic as possible when it comes to science and informatics. We work with any instrument, any analysis tool, any species, any deployment method, and (almost) any compute platform.
- User experience matters. User experience is much more than nice user interfaces. It is a development philosophy that ensures all aspects of the software are designed with the end user’s goals in mind. This takes effort, but we strongly believe that powerful software does not have to be hard to use. From our UI to our commitment to support as many platforms as possible, user experience plays a central role in every decision we make.
- There should always be a free (as in beer) version. I like trying software before I buy it. I also like being able easily share cool tools with my friends. Lab7 will always maintain a free, functional version of our ESP. Try it, share it, like it, buy it … informatic!
We are publicly previewing two products today: the Lab7 ESP and BioBuilds.
The Lab7 ESP is our flagship product. Our first release focuses on the most essential layer of the sequencing informatics stack: pipeline management. Our Pipeline Manager allows users to easily create, execute, and share complex pipelines, visualizations, and reports.
Today’s release is our free version. A full version is also available that includes support for multiple users, remote access, and cluster execution using SLURM, PBS, and SGE/OGE.
The Dashboard will expand to include additional components that help streamline sequencing operations. Watch for sample tracking and protocol management tools along with reference management and additional reporting and visualization methods in the coming months.
BioBuilds is our answer to the dependency hell that is slowly taking over bioinformatics software. When was the last time you were able to download a package, run configure/make, and have it just work? How many times in the last month have you lost hours or days chasing down dependencies (*cough* zlib *cough*) or editing makefiles just to try out a new package?
With BioBuilds, we will provide pre-built binaries for many common packages across many platforms. We’ve invested heavily in a powerful build system for our main product and want the community to benefit direct from that effort. If your favorite package isn’t in BioBuilds, let us know! Licenses permitting, we will do our best to include it in a future release.
Our team at Lab7 has enjoyed building our products and we are excited to start sharing them with the community.
Thank you for checking us out!
Chris Mueller, Founder and CTO