Lab notebooks go SaaS

Stockholm-based Contur Software has unveiled a high-end electronic laboratory notebook system available online. The iLabber SaaS system builds on the company's server-based lab notebook solution, ConturELN, but saves users the cost of hardware and maintenance. It's targeted at individual researchers and smaller groups, for whom high-end ELN systems are inaccessible.

Meanwhile, ArtusLabs has announced the Ensemble electronic notebook for interdisciplinary collaboration, knowledge sharing and data utilization across the enterprise. Ensemble addresses not only the needs of scientists, the company says, but also permits the capture of any intellectual property or concept as an electronic record, regardless of the originating system used.

Contour explains in an announcement that the researcher's notebook has traditionally been a paper logbook for research procedures, notes, diagrams and results. Clearer documentation, and the ability to search and share information, has driven the acceptance of electronic versions. Most such systems are server-based.

For iLabber, users download a desktop client. Operations, maintenance and data storage is securely managed by Contur. The service is available to single researchers and groups of 15 or fewer within commercial and academic organizations. Single researchers use iLabber for free, while the cost is $60 per month and user for commercial organizations. Academic organizations are charged half of that fee.

ArtusLabs, by contrast, says it has "blended" Web 2.0-enabled software technologies with cloud computing software technologies. "We deploy appliances behind your firewall, on your equipment, or we can host data," the company says, and the notebook can be integrated with active directory systems and made interoperable with legacy systems.

- read the iLabber announcement
- here's the Ensemble release
- click here for additional Ensemble information