Workflows are an integral part of the LIMS system, so it is important that you understand how they work before entering any data.
Workflows represent the path that an extraction takes through the lab, for a particular locus. A workflow is limited to a single extraction, but can have any number of other types of reactions. The only restriction is that each reaction in a workflow must have the same locus. Workflows are useful for tracking the progress of work, and for troubleshooting problems in the lab. Information from workflows is also taken by the assembly module to aid in the assembly and analysis of your sequences, so it is important that they are set up correctly. The diagram below describes an example workflow.
You should note the following points:
- One extraction can belong to many workflows (as extractions are often used as stock for many reactions)
- You can have any number of failed reactions in a workflow, and you can have any number of passed reactions in a workflow. The passed or failed status of a workflow for a given reaction type is taken from the most recent reaction of that type.
- While each workflow can only contain reactions of a single locus, each locus can have any number of workflows (useful if multiple people are working independently on the same locus for the same extraction).
Workflows are created with reactions. Any reaction (apart from extractions) that has an empty workflow field when saved, will have a new workflow created for it. That means that it is particularly important that you fill in the workflow field correctly for all reactions that you save. Fortunately, this is easily accomplished in the bulk-editor. Clicking autodetect workflows in the tools dropdown will automatically fill in the workflow field for any reactions that have an available workflow (i.e. one with a matching extraction and locus).
If no matching workflow exists, the workflow field will remain blank, and a new workflow will be created when you save the reaction.