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Info Sheet: The E-WorkBook Label Printing

The E-WorkBook platform is designed for enterprise deployment.

Researchers expect that data can be transferred between systems, to reduce the overhead of transcription and to ensure consistency and quality. With E-WorkBook Integrations, IDBS provides frameworks to seamlessly connect the data management platform with your research systems, leveraging feature-rich APIs and extension points to facilitate integration to instruments and third-party data systems.

Barcodes are widely used in scientific environments to label and track samples. The Label Printing integration component is integrated with E-WorkBook Advance using Bartender™ technology and E-WorkBook Inventory using Zebra™ technology, allowing end users to easily create labels from within the applications.

How is the tool used in practice?

In E-WorkBook Advance, templates can be configured to amalgamate the relevant data fields that will be included on the label. Key information such as a sample ID can be converted into a 1D/2D barcode using a font provided by Bartender™. The administrator can configure the layout of the label using a Bartender™ design tool. From the spreadsheet action panel, the user can trigger the label printing event.

In E-WorkBook Inventory, pre-fixed designs are provided containing the name, system ID and barcode in 1D format. Administrators can edit the layout of the label using ZPL command language. Clicking on the print icon sends the data directly to the Zebra™ printer.

label-printing-database-polling

How does it work?

In E-WorkBook Advance, administrators can configure printing templates which specify the data fields that are required from the spreadsheet content. This data is used to create a CSV file output, which is then consumed by a polling task in the Bartender application to generate the label. Printer control headings can be added to the CSV file, which are used to specify the number of copies, printer location and the design template to be applied (to format the fields on the label). To facilitate usage, lists of Bartender™ printers and templates can be configured in the centralized E-WorkBook catalog for easy availability for selection from within the spreadsheets.

In E-WorkBook Inventory, administrators can configure the printers available to users for printing labels for inventory items. The name and system ID are sent directly to the printer
as a command in Zebra™ Programming Language (ZPL), which is interpreted to match the pre-fixed design. The administrator can edit the default template using ZPL to adjust the label size and positioning of information fields. Multiple printers can be configured, as well as multiple commands for the same printer, all of which can be selected at the time of printing.

How is it deployed?

The label printing integration components are deployed within the E-WorkBook infrastructure and can be installed on either Windows or Linux operating systems.
For E-WorkBook Advance cloud environments, the formatted CSV file is then sent to a S3 bucket, from where it is downloaded to the customer network and consumed by the Bartender™ application in the customer network and passed to the label printer. In an on-premise deployment, the S3 bucket is not required.

For E-WorkBook Inventory, the ZPL data files are generated and passed directly to the Zebra™ printer. For cloud deployments, this transfer occurs over a VPN connection.

What services/software does IDBS provide?

  • The IDBS Professional Services team will deploy, configure and test the software on the customer site.

What does the customer need to provide?

  • Availability of the system administrators who manage the E-WorkBook instance (if on-premise) and the label printing applications
  • For E-WorkBook Advance: Bartender Automation/Enterprise edition software, label printing hardware that is supported by the Bartender software
  • For E-WorkBook Inventory: Zebra label printing hardware, to provide a VPN connection or to open ports for the ZPL communication
  • GxP validation of the integration component is to be addressed by the PQ process.

bartender-zebra-log

The Bartender logo is a copyright of Seagull Scientific Inc. The Zebra logo is a copyright of Zebra Technologies Corporation.
The S3 logo is a copyright of Amazon Web Services Inc.

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