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Frequently Asked Questions about MSC-LIMS Off the Shelf

What do you mean by "Off the Shelf"?

We use this term to refer to the MSC-LIMS system installed as-is, straight out-of-the-box, without customizations. Most other LIMS are available ONLY "off-the-shelf", but because MSC-LIMS is also available with customizations, we offer two distinct license options:

The Annual Subscription (or "off the shelf") license is an inexpensive, non-source code license - installed in the lab as written by our programmers. The system is fully configurable, but may not be customized.

In contrast, MSC-LIMS' Full System license includes all Visual basic for Applications (VBA) source code for pre-installation and/or on-site customizing (see answers to Customizations FAQs) and is therefore not considered "off the shelf".

Both options are available in single- or multi-user licenses. See our complete "no surprises" Price list to compare costs between licensing options.

How can a software company afford to offer a system at the Annual Subscription price? Can it be any good?

It is extremely good. MSC-LIMS is a tried-and-true product. It has been refined and improved over the course of 15 years. The user interface is extremely intuitive, and all version updates have incorporated helpful suggestions from experienced users. Finally, the product is thoroughly documented in the Users Guide, complete with a Quick Start chapter to get users off to a good start.

For all of these reasons, we have found that even labs whose staff is not entirely comfortable with cutting edge technology can utilize MSC-LIMS effectively and with minimal hand-holding. Therefore, we can afford to offer an exemplary product at an affordable price.

Nevertheless, is hand-holding available?

Yes. Each MSC-LIMS license includes a full year of unlimited technical support. Optional on-site installation and training is also available.

Can we upgrade to a Full System license if necessary?

Yes, this is a cost-effective solution to increasing the productivity in your lab while minimizing the initial investment. See "Amortize Costs Using the Annual Subscription" for more information.

What are the configurable essentials that our lab can specify?

Configurable elements are built-in, user specified options. Both MSC-LIMS license options are fully configurable.

Configurable elements include lab-specific variables such as analytes, projects, sample types, locations, units, preservatives and containers, customers and their contact information, information on outside labs, sample test locations, analysis prices and multipliers, sample turn-around requirements, sample completion warnings; also lab personnel certifications, login names, passwords and security levels, etc.

How do we go about configuring our LIMS?

When "configuring" a LIMS, you control the behavior and appearance of the system without modifying the program's source code, so the process is fairly foolproof.

During initial setup, the lab's designated "LIMS Administrator" configures much of the system's operating parameters for the sorts of variables listed above. The Admin progresses through a series of user-friendly data entry screens, entering the requested information. The variables thus configured are referenced by the whole system.

Configuration options at each individual workstation include enabling/disabling automatic detection of sample warnings and schedules, and automatic label and report printing.

Typically, the first day of optional on-site installation and training is devoted to configuring the system. Alternatively, labs may choose the self-training route: MSC-LIMS' Users Guide includes a detailed, step-by-step Quick Start chapter. Quick Start introduces system configuration screen by screen in logical order, using examples and screen captures at every major step.

What additional technical assistance is available?

Every MSC-LIMS license includes a full year of unlimited technical support services and version updates. Technical support includes telephone support, fax and email correspondence, report and spreadsheet templates and examples, code excerpts and other technical assistance, and access to our online Customer's Only pages.

With the Annual Subscription license, labs renew their license annually, and each renewal period includes the current subscription year's Technical Support and Version Updates.

What exactly is included with the Annual Subscription license?

All Annual Subscription licenses include non-source code versions of MSC-LIMS, MSC-LIMS Archiving, and MSC-LIMS Messaging software, and a one-year license to install the system on a specific number of workstation(s).

Each Annual Subscription licenses also include the on-line documentation set MSC-LIMS User's Guide, MSC-LIMS Messaging User's Guide, and Installation Guide and Release Notes, and one-year unlimited Technical Support and Version Updates.

With the Annual Subscription license, labs renew the license annually, and each year's subscription renewal period includes all of the foregoing components; see the Price list for details.

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