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Inactive Items in Pick Lists

The following technical support email raises an important issue:

“I was wondering how not to show the ‘Inactive’ projects to other users except me as the Admin when [querying]. Right now, the technicians can see the ‘Inactive’ projects and they are confused which projects to choose. Please let me know if it’s possible.”

Most of the major configuration items in LIMS, such as projects, analyses, customers, and locations include an Inactive check box on their setup screen. A member of the Admins security role can mark an item Inactive to prevent further use of the item. For example, if one of your customers goes out of business, you can inactivate the customer to prevent logging any new samples for the customer. Inactive items will not appear in pick lists on screens where new data entry occurs such as in the login screens. However, inactive items will appear in the query controls’ pick lists, which is by design since there would be no easy way to find samples for inactive items if they were not included in these pick lists.

Deleting an item is the only way to eliminate it from a query pick list. However, you can not delete an item if related items remain in the database. For example, you cannot delete an inactive project if at least one sample exists for the project. Only after you have archived all related data can you delete the item from your production database. In the meantime, you can help avoid confusion with inactive items by developing a naming convention that sorts inactive items to the bottom of the pick list. For example, when inactivating an item preface its name with a lower case “z”.

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