Release Notes: Volume 2, 2023

  • Updated

Welcome to the second volume of our 2023 product release notes! We’ve been working hard to bring you performance improvements that add value to your work. Read on to learn about the product enhancements and bug fixes released from February-mid March 2023.


Benchling Notebook helps users log their experiments, create protocols, and capture results against their samples.

Refresh enhancements [2023.2.N.1]

Users now have multiple refresh options: Refresh all and Refresh lookup values.

Team-based reviewers for review processes [2023.2.N.2]

With team-based reviews, admins can now assign review steps to a member of team. When an author is ready to send their entry to a team for review, they must select one member of the team as the reviewer.

To enable this feature, contact a Benchling representative.

Notebook live editing [2023.2.N.3]

With Notebook Live Editing, users will experience the following changes to the Notebook platform:

  • Presence: informs the user of other users viewing/editing that entry. The user actively editing the entry will be denoted as such
  • Entry Locking: When a user is making edits to an entry, that entry will be ‘locked’ until the user is finished editing, and no other users can make edits until the user is finished. If another user tries to edit the entry during the entry locking period, then they will receive a message that the entry is locked and no one can edit for the time being
  • Auto Sync: Edits to an entry will auto-sync to every user that has the entry opened. Users no longer need to manually refresh an entry in order to see the latest version

To enable this feature, contact a Benchling representative.


Export audit logs for folders [2023.2.N.4]

Users can export audit logs for folders by selecting the Folder settings menu or by expanding the view.


Molecular Biology

Benchling’s Molecular Biology is a cutting edge in silico design tool that supports the latest scientific workflows.

New organisms added to codon optimization [2023.2.MB.1]

Users can now select these organisms from the codon optimization tool:

  • Fusobacterium nucleatum subsp. nucleatum ATCC 25586
  • Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron VPI-5482
  • Issatchenkia orientalis
  • Cryptococcus curvatus
  • Borrelia burgdorferi B31
  • Meloidogyne incognita
  • Aspergillus niger

MAFFT alignment algorithm version update [2023.2.MB.2]

The MAFFT alignment algorithm has been updated to version 7.505.

Version history with timestamps indicating seconds [2023.2.MB.3]

DNA, RNA, and AA sequences version history now display seconds in their timestamps. 

Small Molecule

The molecule entity in Registry helps users model and interact with chemical compounds throughout the platform, enabling users to draw, visualize, store, and search chemical structures.

Monomer Library Management [2023.2.SM.1]

Tenant admins can now create, edit, and archive their own monomers via the Monomer Library. A tenant’s monomers define the nucleotide modifications that users can make to their DNA/RNA oligos and their RNA sequences. Previously, users needed to request changes to their Monomer Library through Benchling Support.

To enable this feature, contact a Benchling representative.

Registry and Inventory

The Registry and Inventory combine to form an extremely powerful solution for life sciences R&D samples. The Registry can be used to model and log any biological entities while the Inventory provides an interactive digital window into the physical storage system of your lab.

Sample control roles [2023.2.RI.1]

With sample control roles, users can find samples more easily, clearly see who owns a sample, restrict sample usage and grant access to other users, regulate sample handoffs via Workflows by auto-assigning tasks to a sample’s owner, and performing Inventory actions directly from a Workflows task.

If this feature isn’t enabled on your tenant, contact a Benchling representative.

Revised rules for column mapping via Entity Spreadsheet Import [2023.2.SM.2]

When importing entities via a spreadsheet, the spreadsheet column names are now matched to the schema field. Column names like container barcode, volume, etc. now map to their respective schema fields instead of custom fields. 


Workflows are a sequence of processes that are performed to answer a research question or synthesize new material. For example, synthesizing a new set of proteins from supernatants, or improving the transduction process.

Task details page indicates task archival [2023.2.WF.1]

Users can now see that a task was archived on the task’s detail page.


Insights enables users to query, visualize, and share high quality, structured data that resides in Benchling.

Copied to clipboard message [2023.2.IN.1]

When copying an Insights block to your clipboard, the notification now says “Copied to clipboard” rather than a non-human readable string.

Block submitting whitespace dashboards [2023.2.IN.2]

Users cannot submit a dashboard if the name consists of spaces exclusively.

Typing performance improvements [2023.2.IN.3]

Benchling has made improvements to the typing performance in the SQL editor

Lab Automation

Benchling for Lab Automation enables seamless integration of Benchling to liquid handlers, plate readers, imaging instruments, and more.

Input file transforms [2023.2.LA.1]

Users can now leverage Transform steps to perform calculations directly in Benchling. Lab Auto Input files are commonly used to provide instructions to liquid handlers about volumes to be transferred between wells. Often those volumes need to be adjusted based on some other parameters, such as desired concentration.

Prevent archiving runs with unarchived results [2023.2.LA.2]

To remove a run from an entry, users must now archive the results via its Outputs table before they can remove the run from the entry.

Developer Platform

Our developer platform is fundamental to centralizing and standardizing all your R&D data. Benchling’s APIs and Events are built to match the flexibility and speed of modern life science R&D.

App status [2023.2.DP.1]

Users can now view an app’s status to know when apps are experiencing issues or a request has failed. In the App Admin, a new Activity tab displays all app status updates and messages. In App Canvas, an app can post status messages and a current status for the Canvas session. 

[beta] App Canvas now available in Lab Automation runs [2023.2.DP.2]

Lab Automation runs can now talk to an app via the App Canvas, which is an interactive UI that takes inputs and renders the response inside the Canvas. If an app uses the Run Canvas feature, then it can initiate the run, define the inputs needed to perform an action, and leverage Lab Automation to perform the action itself.

Array Support on App Config [2023.2.DP.3]

For apps where an unknown number of objects need to be mapped to an external system's data, Config Arrays now let the app developer specify the shape of the object while the admin gets to choose how many such objects they want to link to Benchling. 

Developer-defined drop-down menus in App Canvas [2023.2.DP.4]

Developers can now define the drop-down options in the App Canvas.

Access Management

Access management is the way customers control who is able to access which resources, and includes things like project permissions, access policies, and admin roles.

Revoke active user sessions for suspended users [2023.2.AM.1]

Suspending a user causes Benchling to revoke all their active sessions.

Improved error messaging for expired SAML certificates [2023.2.AM.2]

When a customer’s SAML certificates expire, they now receive a more detailed error message describing why they can’t use SSO to login.

Compliance Controls

With Compliance Controls, gathering required information for compliance is simple, intuitive, and performant. The team’s primary focus is on our auditing platform but we also own exporting and archiving.

Audit events for worklist creation [2023.2.CC.1]

Users can now view audit events for the creation of worklists.

Export audit logs for worklists [2023.2.CC.2]

Users can export audit logs for worklists by selecting the Worklist settings menu or by expanding the view.

Audits for warehouse login creations [2023.2.CC.3]

Warehouse logins are now audited so users can view when warehouse credentials are generated.

Audit events for plates and boxes [2023.2.CC.4]

Audit events are now created after changing a box’s or plate’s height and width.

Bug Fixes

The following issues were fixed this month:


  • Copying and pasting into a text box no longer shifts formatting by 1 character
  • When an Entry schema is required for entry creation, a red asterisk now displays next to the schema selector drop-down menu
  • Benchling no longer requires the entire team to be added to a project when selecting members of a team to review
  • Authors can no longer send entries for review to users with None permissions on a project
  • Benchling now displays a warning if a review team does not have explicit permission to a project

Molecular Biology

  • When attaching RNA primers to a DNA sequence, U-A bonds are no longer treated as a mismatch
  • Attaching primers now properly accounts for degenerate bases when counting total mismatches
  • Users no longer receive an error when translating bases with spaces in a DNA alignment
  • Importing .ab1 files previously caused traces to misalign with base pairs in alignments
  • A blue focus box no longer displays around AA sequences
  • The Abs 0.1% biochemical property was not properly accounting for an oxidized protein causing  a discrepancy of ~0.001 between computed fields and the Abs 0.1% property.

Registry and Inventory

  • When toggled over, archived containers no longer display as available
  • Inventory transfers no longer round quantity values to 6 non-zero digits
  • Moving containers within and between boxes didn’t retain the designated position


  • Added an “is not empty” option as an entity field filter
  • Users can now change the owner of a saved search
  • Users can properly search for the registry ID of a registered entity


  • Node names are no longer hidden by status count
  • Calendar feature no longer obscures the bulk Scheduled on option in Requests

Lab Automation

  • Users can now access nucleic and amino acid residues using Lab Auto lookup tables without a license to the Molecular Biology suite

Access Management

  • Academic tenant profiles are now hidden by default rather than public. Users are blocked from making profiles public if their account isn’t verified.
  • Users can no longer add URLs to their names
  • Benchling has improved the loading performance of thousands of teams in the Tenant Admin Console

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