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LIMS Migration Effort Produces $1M Savings


The need to harmonize QA LIMS systems globally for unified management and reduced costs


A tier one pharmaceutical company built a standard LabWare LIMS configuration and was in the process of rolling it out globally. The data load processes proved to be more difficult than anticipated. As a result of data load problems, significant cost overruns and delayed schedules plagued the global rollout of an enterprise LIMS system. The large integrator running the project indicated that it was not possible to migrate the data from existing systems. A technique was needed to reduce the amount of time and errors with the manual entry of data into the new system.


LabAnswer designed a process to extract information from the existing LIMS, rationalize the data and load it into the new LabWare LIMS configuration. Not all data could be transferred from the existing LIMS and a direct Oracle to Oracle migration was not possible due to the differences in data structures between the two systems. However, the migration allowed much data to be extracted, rationalized to the new system, and loaded in a manner that significantly reduced the amount of time required to define the basic Master Data in LabWare LIMS.

This process defines the data required from each of the existing LIMS tables with the appropriate relationship of the data. Tables include:

  • User
  • Analyses
  • Product
  • Vendor and Manufacturer
  • Product Actives
  • Product Family
  • Versions
  • Location

The rationalization of the existing data was handled through loading the data into spreadsheets where it was then processed through manual and programmatic reviews to ensure compatibility in the new system.

The rationalized data was loaded and tested in the development database. After loading a set of review tests were conducted to ensure that nothing in the data load operation inhibited or precluded the normal and expected use of the system. All master data was reviewed after the migration per the LabWare Master Data Protocol. Upon successful testing the data will be loaded into the production database.


In excess of 15,750 records were successfully transferred with only two errors detected. It was calculated that at one plant the LabAnswer migration technique resulted in over a $1 million dollar savings.