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A review of techniques used for rapidly systematizing experimental request processes in NIAID laboratories using Microsoft InfoPath forms and SharePoint workflows

Thursday, November 07, 2013 — Poster Session II

12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

FAES Academic Center (Upper-Level Terrace)




  • N. Weber
  • J. Barnett
  • L. Zhang
  • Y. Huyen


Laboratory organizations at the NIH require technology to stay lean, agile, and organized in today’s fast-paced research environment. Being able to provide a quick answer to operational questions, such as “How many samples have we analyzed this year?”, means spending less time retrieving information and leaves more time to focus on mission objectives. For the past six years, the NIAID Office of Cyber Infrastructure and Computational Biology (OCICB) Bioinformatics and Computational Biosciences Branch (BCBB) has been assisting NIAID laboratories with the creation of online forms and workflows for the management of laboratory processes. We have developed a systemized approach to the creation of Microsoft InfoPath forms and SharePoint Designer workflows that can be applied to a wide variety of processes, including core lab service requests, presentation or publication approval requests, and procurement requests. These techniques and guidelines can be utilized to create powerful forms, reports, and workflows without writing a single line of code and do not require a software development background. An example experimental request form is presented to highlight development techniques used and to showcase some of the many benefits of this approach for laboratory organizations.

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