Release Notes: Volume IV, 2021

  • Updated

Welcome to the fourth volume of our product release notes in 2021! We have been working hard to bring you some much requested features. Read along to learn about our new product features and enhancements released March 2021 - April 2021.

Molecular Biology

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

Update bases via spreadsheet import

Previously, when updating entities via spreadsheet, bases could not be changed. Users can now update DNA sequences and DNA/RNA oligos in bulk via spreadsheet import or CSV by selecting “update entities” from the global create menu.

Render chemical structure image previews from SMILES strings

We’ve added a computed field that can read a SMILES string contained within a schema field and render an image preview of the chemical structure in a blob field. Contact to enable this feature.

Import MacVector file metadata as custom tags

MacVector keeps metadata in an “annotations” tab associated with each file. You can now bring this metadata into custom tags in Benchling when you import MacVector files.

Registry and Inventory

Benchling 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 entity, while the Inventory provides an interactive digital window into the physical storage system of your lab.

Solid units in Inventory (limited availability)

In addition to volumetric units, the Inventory now supports other types of quantities like masses. This allows users to track solid materials in Benchling. Contact to enable this feature.

Set registry ID and entity name based on name template

Users can now add a naming option which uses a name template to generate both the entity name and the registry ID. This is distinct from other naming options in Benchling that use name templates, which currently only modify the entity name and not the registry ID. Contact to enable this feature.

Lab Automation

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

New DUPLICATE processingStep

Benchling processingSteps can be used to transform output configuration files into an acceptable format for Lab Automation. The DUPLICATE processingStep permits a user to copy the contents of a specified column to a new column that will be appended at the end of the file (to the right of the right-most column). This processingStep accepts the following arguments: “columnToDuplicate”, the name of the column to duplicate, and “newColumnName”, the name of the new column where the contents of “columnToDuplicate” will be copied.

Allow columnTypesByName to be used with files where columns have duplicate names

The run configuration “columnTypesByName” maps a column header to a column type. Now, “columnTypesByName” can be used on a file where more than one column has the same name.

Look up values in FILTER processing step

The FILTER processing step can now use a lookup value as the comparator (a value used as the standard of comparison, i.e. for greater than or less than filters), in addition to numeric values.

Application Platform

Capability management

Benchling admins can now enable provisioning for applications that customers have purchased to allow customer admins to control access to those applications (except for Notebook). Both Benchling and customer admins can now manage access to applications for individual users and set default access policies for teams and organizations.

Disable email address changes

Users may no longer change the email address associated with their account. Note: This was added to the release notes as of 5/12/21.

Developer Platform

The Benchling 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.

“Name” filter is now a parameter on list endpoints

The “name” filter gives users the ability to list folders, label templates, label printers, projects, and Registries that contain the specified name.

.anyOf decorator supported for certain list endpoints

The “names.anyOf” parameter accepts a comma-separated list of names and filters results to those that match any of the specified names, aliases, or entity Registry IDs. This feature is now available for the following endpoints: Box, Container, Location, Plate, Entry, AA Sequence, Sequence, Oligo.

Listing endpoints that support the “name” filter now support “nameIncludes”

Listing endpoints for AA sequences, DNA sequences, and DNA oligos now support the “nameIncludes” filter in addition to “name”, which retrieves entities with names, aliases or entity registry IDs that include the provided substring.

New GET Registry endpoint

The new GET Registry endpoint accepts a Registry ID parameter and retrieves the name and owner of the specified Registry.

Added v2.request.updated.status event

Users of Benchling’s events system can subscribe to receive an event whenever a request’s status is updated. See the events reference for more information and the full JSON of what is sent.

Added v2.entry.updated.reviewStatus event

Users of Benchling’s events system can subscribe to receive an event whenever an entry’s review status is updated. See the events reference for more information and the full JSON of what is sent.


Access execute button without scrolling

The request execution modal is now set at a fixed height. For large executions, users can access the “Next” button at the bottom of the modal without scrolling.

Add blob links to task schemas

Request task schema fields now support blob_link type fields.

Updated terminology in fulfillment tab

The terminology in the fulfillment tab now better represents the status of the sample in a request.

Bug Fixes

The following bugs were fixed in this release:


  • In the Results table spreadsheet importer, users no longer need to zoom out to see the complete listing of dropdown menus

  • Crash when submitting transfer table with custom barcodes of an unexpected data type

  • Show displayLabel instead of entity name in old results/transfer tables when we “Add sample”

  • Oligo bases were not updated when submitting a Registration table with a modified sequence

Developer Platform

  • Fixed “names.anyOf” filter on all listing endpoints to support commas in names

  • All endpoints with pagination now properly return a “400” error code when a malformed “nextToken” is submitted. It previously returned a “500” error code under certain conditions

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