Frequently Asked Questions about LDMS

About LDMS Development and Frontier Science

Q: What is the difference between LDMS and Frontier Science?

A: LDMS is a computer program; Frontier Science is the company that created and maintains LDMS.

Q: Can I request a change or new feature for LDMS?

A: Yes. Many features are added to LDMS specifically at the request of an individual laboratory or group. For more information, see the section called Getting Help.

Q: How often is LDMS Updated?

A: New versions of LDMS are released, several times each year. Small incremental updates, however, are made available to laboratories several times each month. These small updates (sometimes referred to as "deploy files") are downloaded and installed during an export. For more information, see the section called Exports and Updates.

Administrative Issues

Q: What are the minimum computer requirements for LDMS?

A: For guidance on what hardware to select for using LDMS, see the section called Computer requirements and recommendations for LDMS.

Q: What Operating Systems does LDMS support?

A: LDMS is only compatibly with Microsoft Windows. LDMS is not compatible with Home Editions of Windows, OS X, Linux, or other operating systems at this time. For a list of supported versions, see the section called Computer requirements and recommendations for LDMS.

Q: How long are LDMS licenses issued?

A: LDMS licenses are typically issued for up to one year. When the license expires, you will be prompted by LDMS to contact LDMS User Support. The re-licensing process will vary, depending on the research groups with which you are affiliated.

General LDMS Usage

Q: I received a message telling me to contact LDMS User Support to unlock LDMS. What happened?

A: LDMS is automatically locks under certain conditions. For example, if you recently performed an upgrade or if LDMS shutdown unexpectedly, LDMS will lock. By calling LDMS User Support, this allows them to verify that there are no database problems. Certain features are also locked to users and require approval to access. For more information, see the section called LDMS and Challenge Passwords.

Q: I locked myself out of LDMS on a weekend. How can I unlock LDMS?

A: While LDMS User Support has regular hours, they are available on-call 24-hours a day, every day of the week (including all holidays). See the section called Getting Help.

Q: I made a mistake—does LDMS have an undo button?

A: No. When you make a change in LDMS and save it, that change is permanent. If you made a change to a screen but have no yet saved it, you can sometimes clear you entries by clicking the Refresh button from the LDMS toolbar.

Q: I'm creating a query statement or executing a search, and I see >< listed as an operator. What does this mean?

A: The operator >< in this case means "not equal to". This is Pascal-like syntax, and is used throughout LDMS.

Q: How can I get help on using LDMS?

A: Frontier Science offers a number of resources to LDMS users, including trainings, video tutorials, documentation, and 24-hour user support. You can also request See the section called Getting Help.

Specimen Management Questions

Q: What is the difference between a specimen ID and a global specimen ID?

A: While both can be used to identify a specimen, the global specimen ID will always be unique for each aliquot. The global specimen ID will also show the relationship between primary and aliquot, since they will share a predictable ID number. For more information on these two identifies, see the section called Specimen Identifiers.

Q: How can I ship a primary that hasn't been processed into aliquots?

A: You have two options: use the ambient ship feature or create a single aliquot that is identical to the primary. For instructions on shipping primaries, see the section called The Primary Grid.

Q: We need to correct some specimens that we've already entered into LDMS. How do you make these types of changes?

A: It can vary. Certain groups want LDMS users to make changes for their data one way; other groups will want it done another way. Consult with the data center or group for specific instructions. For general instructions on how to change specimen records in LDMS, see the section called Correcting a Specimen Entry Error.

Q: What do all those letters on the button in the Details column mean?

A: They are codes that indicate that certain properties have been set for that specimen row. If you click on that button, you will see a key that explains what each code means.

Q: I have a specimen that was drawn for two different studies. How do I enter this in LDMS?

A: This is referred to as a co-enrolled primary. In the participant grid in the top portion of the Specimen Management screen, enter one enrollment in each row. When you are adding your aliquots, select the appropriate study from the group/ID field in the aliquot grid. For more information, see the section called The Patient Grid.

Q: We have two tubes of blood drawn from a participant with the same additive from the same visit that were collected at the same time, and both tubes were collected at the same time. Since they are essentially identical, can we pool them together in LDMS?

A: Yes. For example, if you have two blood primaries with the same additive, and both tubes are 10 mL, you can enter one primary with a volume of 20 mL.

Shipping Questions

Q: How to I update the shipping information for our laboratory or our shipping contacts?

A: You can request a change to your contact information by using the Submit Contact Changes link on the Frontier Science web portal. You can use this tool to view and update contact information for your laboratory.

Q: All of the specimens that I want to ship are in the same box, and I already have their storage location in LDMS. Can I just ship the box?

A: Yes. In fact, many users find this to be the easiest way to setup shipments in LDMS. For instructions, see the section called Finding Containers to Ship.

Q: I marked a storage container for shipment, but it was the wrong container. How do I un-mark it for shipment?

A: In Storage , select the storage unit that you need to un-mark and click the Details button. Now, click the Unship button.

Q: I shipped some specimens that were in storage at out laboratory. Those specimens still appear in storage, even though they are no longer in our possession. How can I remove them?

A: There is a special feature in Storage to remove these specimens. See the section called How LDMS Storage Handles Shipped Specimens.

Q: What is the difference between a shipment batch and an export batch?

A: A shipping batch refers to a shipment that has been prepared in LDMS, but you have not yet generated a shipping file to send to another laboratory. An export batch reports to data that has been sent to Frontier Science for groups that utilize Frontier Science as a central data management center.

Q: What does it mean when a shipment has the status received disk?

A: A shipment with the status received disk means that the shipment was imported from another laboratory.

Specimen Storage

Q: Our laboratory performs work for a group that requires all specimens to have a storage location documented in LDMS. Is there an easy way to find out what specimens were entered into LDMS using Specimen Management, but not Storage?

A: Yes. LDMS has a built-in report for getting this information. Click button from the LDMS toolbar, and then run the Specimens Not In Storage report under the Storage Reports category. For more information about finding these specimens, see the section called Locating Specimens not in Storage.

Labels and Printing

Q: Why do my labels look strange when I create them?

A: LDMS pulls information about paper size directly from the printer's driver when generating the preview of the labels. Since the preview is pulled directly from the printer, the preview should look just like the actual results when you print them. However, if you don't tell LDMS what printer you are using, it will generate labels for the wrong printer. See the section called Setting the Printer Used to Generate Labels and Reports.

Q: Is it possible to print labels in bulk instead of individually (e.g. printing labels for all of the specimens for a particular shipment)?

A: Yes. Use the Labels feature. For instructions, see the section called Advanced Label Printing.

Assaying Specimens

Q: I've already setup an assay in LDMS to read the output file, but now I see that I missed a specimen when setting it up in LDMS. How do I add another specimen so that LDMS will read the output file correctly?

A: Open the assay run, just as you would to run it. Once you have clicked the Select Assay button, change back to the Assay Selection tab. Now, search for the specimens that you need to add. Once this is done, click the Add to Run button and continue to read the assay as normal.

Q: How do I set up the blinded controls on a DNA assay?

A: In Assays, on the Preview tab, right-click on the control and select Modify Control. For more information see the section called Roche HIV DNA PCR.

Q: How do I add a VQA200 control to an RNA assay run?

A: For instructions on how to do this, see the section called Abbott Realtime and COBAS TaqMan.

Q: When I click the Run Now button to run an assay, I receive the following message: "Please define a default device for each assay." What does this message mean?

A: This message will appear if no assay reader device has been associated with the assay. Without this information, LDMS doesn't know where and how to read your assay. Every assay that reads an input file must have an associated device. For instructions on associating an assay with a device, see the section called Associating an Assay with a Reader.

Q: I'm trying to add a specimen to an assay run. I know that I entered the specimen in LDMS Specimen Management but I don't see it in LDMS Assays . Why can't I find it?

A: To add a specimen to an assay run, you must assign it the assay first; simply adding the specimen to LDMS is not enough. For instructions on assigning assays, see the section called Assigning Assays to Aliquots.

Q: Our laboratory is having trouble adding results for a specific assay to LDMS. What can we do?

A: LDMS User Support or the LDMS Training Team can assist you with specific assays. See the section called Getting Help.

System Configuration

Q: When configuring users, what does System Administrator Capabilities give a user?

A: It allows the user to reset and change passwords for other users, lock out users, delete users, and designate other administrators. Your laboratory must have at least one user with these capabilities. See the section called Adjusting User Permissions.