Learn Workflows Terminology

  • Updated

Note: We're continually improving the Benchling platform to ensure it keeps up with our customers' needs. As of September 29, 2021, we replaced Workflows with an updated version. If you are currently using this version of Workflows and want to learn more, contact your Account Manager. If you are new to Workflows, visit Workflows overview.


A workflow is a sequence of research processes that are performed to answer a research question or synthesize new material, for e.g. synthesizing a new set of proteins from supernatants or improving the transduction process. Think of it as a pipe that helps information flow through all the connected steps.

Workflow template

A reusable template that defines an ordered collection of stages and the connections between them.

Workflow templates are:

  • Fully configurable

  • Versioned so that you can track changes made over time and compare the results generated from different versions

  • Access controlled so that you determine who can see and edit them


A step in the workflow that modifies or analyzes a biological entity. Each stage defines:

  • A default entry template that can be used as a blueprint for entries created for that stage.

  • Results that need to be recorded for that stage

  • Who is working on it

Stage run

One execution of a stage in a workflow. It connects all the inputs that lead to a set of outputs for a given condition.

A stage can be executed multiple times in a workflow.


Result table

An enhanced table that enables automatic extraction of data from a Notebook entry. Data recorded in result tables can be searched for across entries.

Result tables have the following properties:

  • Data shown in search results and the workflows summary dashboard.

  • Data is synced with the warehouse. 

  • Configurable Schemas, enables a consistent set of information can be recorded every time

  • Automatically generated rows for the samples in the entry

Input samples table

Shows the starting samples that are being worked with in this entry. Think of it as an inbox for samples that need to be used. Because the input samples table is linked through the workflow, the output samples marked in the previous stage are automatically filled in as inputs to this stage.

Output samples table

A set of valid samples that will be passed on to the next stage. These can either be new samples generated during this stage, or the list of inputs that were characterized and should be used by a downstream stage. Think of it as an ‘outbox’.

Registration table

A table used for registering entities to the Registry from within a Notebook entry. For each entity, the user can specify the following in a Registration table:

  1. Properties about the entity

  2. Container location

It is useful because it allows users to capture information about the samples they are creating without having to switch context.

Key properties:

  • Each registration table only registers entities of a specific entity type.

  • A Notebook entry can have more than one registration table.

Transfer Table

Transfer tables are used to transfer the contents from the input table or a registration table into containers in Benchling's inventory application.

Workflow dashboard

Aggregated workflow view that shows all the workflows, who is working on them, the project they are a part of, current status, and when the last stage was completed.

Workflow summary view

Workflow Summary Dashboard aggregates information and shows:

  1. Stages and how they are connected to each other

  2. Current status

  3. Inputs and outputs to each stage

  4. Critical data fields, extracted from structured tables

Each stage can be performed multiple times.


Was this article helpful?

Have more questions? Submit a request