A Data Table is an enhanced table that enables structured capture and automatic extraction of data from an ELN or Workflows Stage entry. Data recorded in data tables can be searched for across entries. In this tutorial we'll show you how to configure the assay result schemas, or data table templates, that allows for a set of assay results to be captured consistently.

Important Considerations

Who Can Configure Assay Result Schemas?

Only organization level admins are able to configure data tables.

When Should I or Should I Not Configure a New Data Table? 

As part of your enterprise package implementation, you'll be working with our Customer Success team in order to configure the initial set of assay result schemas. 

In order to ensure database clarity and also to prevent the proliferation of "data silos," we recommend creating new assay results schemas only when:

  • You want to capture data for a new assay that is not addressed by existing assay result schemas
  • You want to create a new version of an existing assay results schema in order to: permanently remove a field from a data table schema, change the data type of a field.
  • For an assay result schema configured to capture results against batches, you would like to create an identical table that captures results against entities (or vice versa).

Conversely, you should NOT create new assay result schemas when:

  • You want to add new fields to an existing assay results schema. You can simply  add the fields to the schema.
  • You want to rename an assay results schema. Please contact your Customer Success Manager, who can arrange for the schema to be renamed.
  • You want to remove a field from an assay results schema in certain contexts. You can simply remove the field from the notebook entry/template, workflow stage entry/template that the data table lives in.

Best Practices

  • If you are creating a new version of an existing assay results schema, please name the new version with a "v#" (i.e. the second version of the "Cellometer Results" schema will be "Cellometer Results v2").
  • Notify members of your organization of the updates you are making immediately, so that they can update any related notebook entry templates or workflows templates with the updated data tables.

Step-By-Step Instructions 

Step 1: Accessing Assay Result Schemas

From your Benchling workspace, click on your avatar (bottom left corner) and select Feature Settings → Assay Schemas. This will take you to the assay results schema page

Step 2: Creating a New Assay Result Schema

In the assay results schema page, please click on the create icon to initialize your new schema. In the draft page, you will be required to input the name of your new assay result schema prior to clicking on the final create icon, which will formally create your data table. Do not touch the JSON Spec Box.

Make sure to DOUBLE CHECK YOUR schema name prior to clicking on create. Once a schema is created, you will not be able to change the name.

Step 3: Add Fields to your Assay Result Schema

Now that you've created your assay result schema, it's time to add fields! To do so, click on the configure data table icon, which will open up the data table configurator. Do not touch the JSON spec box. 

For all configuration options, just right-click on the column header named "Untitled"

  • To add a field, just click on "Insert column left" or "Insert column right"
  • To rename a field, just select "rename column"
  • When naming fields please make sure to omit special characters (i.e. %*@) or integers from this view. You will be able to change the display names from the JSON spec box.

Step 4: Edit Data Types of your fields

To edit the data type of your fields, click on the edit type... option after right-clicking a field column header. If you are trying to make a field a DROPDOWN data type, you will have to do this in the JSON spec box. A brief description of the some available non-standard data types below:

  • Datetime: Allows you to select a specific time in a clock interface
  • Entry Link: Link to an ELN entry
  • Blob Link: Allows you to upload an external file into the designated field
  • Storable Link: Link to a container, box, or storage location

Step 5: Publish the INITIAL DRAFT of your data table

Once all desired fields are added and data types are set (with the exception of dropdown fields), please click on the PUBLISH icon to save your changes.

Step 6: Change the data type in the JSON Spec for dropdown fields

  • Open a separate tab in your browser, and retrieve the backend dropdown ID of the dropdowns that you would like to use for your dropdown fields by clicking to the dropdown list of interest in the dropdowns tab of the Bioregistry. The dropdown ID will be located in the browser address bar.
  • After you've obtained the dropdown ID of the desired dropdown list, please click back to the browser tab containing your assay result schema. 
  • In the JSON Spec Box please scroll to the line of code containing the field that you would like to make a dropdown data type.
  • In the "type" line, please replace "text" with "dropdown" and under that line, please add the following characters: "dropdownId": "sfs_DROPDOWNID" (animation below)

Step 7: Change Display Names, Designate Required Fields, & Toggle-On Multiple Select

  • To customize the display name of a field, make sure to edit the value for the "displayName" line.
  • To designate a field as required, set the value for "isRequired" to true.
  • To designate a dropdown or link-type field as multiple select, change the value for "isMulti" to true

Step 8: Update and Finalize your Assay Result Schema

Once all edits are made, click on Update to finalize your Assay Result Schema. It can now be used in workflows, entries, or templates!

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