Have a Question?
Table of Contents
< All Topics

How to Use Default Sample Descriptions

Available during sample login, the sample Description field will accept up to 255 alphanumeric characters. The Description field is often used to record useful descriptive information about the sample and is frequently displayed on Excel-based final reports.

LIMS’ Default Sample Description fields, which are available on the Notes tab of both the Projects and Customers setup screens, offer a convenient method to add recurring data to a sample’s Description field. During either single-sample or batch login, any data in the Default Sample Description field for the sample’s project or customer is automatically appended to the sample’s Description. If there is existing data in the Description field, the Default Sample Description data is appended beginning on a new line. If both the project and customer have a Default Sample Description, the project’s data is appended first followed by the customer’s data. Any appended data that would exceed the Description field’s 255 character limit is truncated.

A good application of the Default Sample Description field is to add data that will effectively prompt the user to enter additional information during sample login. With this technique you can add project- or customer specific data to your samples. The screen below shows a simple example. Assume a QA lab in a food processor needs to record the lot number and production date for specific products. While the production date could be added as an analyte, their lot numbers are alphanumeric so they are not suitable for an analyte. They also prefer to enter this information during sample login rather than switching to a results entry screen after login.

Adding “Lot:” and “Date:” on separate Default Sample Description lines for the required projects will automatically add this data to the sample’s Description. During sample login the data is appended to the sample’s Description when the sample record is first saved where the user can enter the additional information.

The screen below shows how samples are queried by the contents of their Description using wildcard pattern matching characters. This example uses the asterisk wildcard character, which matches any number of characters, to find the word “Lot” followed by “ABC[1]123” anywhere within the Description field.

While Default Sample Descriptions are not a complete replacement for custom fields available with a full system license, they provide an important technique you should consider when you need to record additional project- or customer-specific data.

Table of Contents