Instrument Management System
Sharing instruments between a group of users in a laboratory setting is a pain. We spend a lot of time running back and forth to a calendar pinned up on the wall next to the instruments seeing what times are available, who we might be able to swap with and how we should best plan out our experimental schedule. (And we are not alone with this problem!) After the machines have been used, we have to charge our users for the time they have used. This means that someone either has to spend lots of time adding up these data from the abovementioned calendars then putting it into excel to calculate the bills.
How inefficient does that sound?
The Bumblebee project has created a simple to use booking and billing system that draws these two functions together.
The Bumblebee Instrument Management software is based upon: MySQL + Apache httpd + PHP + GPL. This provides a free, flexible system that allows users to book instrument time and then prepare invoices for subsequent charge-outs.
- users are able to view the booking sheets in a calendar format for a month or a single day
- users are only able to view booking data for the instruments they are permitted to use.
- users can make bookings or alter their own bookings.
- instrument administrators are able to modify anyone's bookings on an instrument and make bookings on behalf of other users.
- the use of consumables can also be recorded within the system
- system administrators are able to create new instruments, users, billing categories, etc
- data for bookings and consumable use can be exported in a variety of formats (CSV, tab delimited, HTML or PDF)
- various views and summaries of the booking and consumabe data are also available in the above formats (e.g. summary of all instruments used by a research group; summary of all users of an instrument)
- presentation of data and the business logic of the application are separated through the use of templates and CSS
The Bumblebee software is licenced under the GPL and deployed at the University of Melbourne. Bumblebee is now available through SourceForge.
Anyone interested in helping out on this project is welcome to contact me to offer help.
Last edited: Monday September 5, 2005
Copyright © 1996-2014 Stuart Prescott