Using MyLabBook in the Azure cloud brings you many benefits when building your research website, as listed below (Please click on a link to find out more about that benefit).

Try comparing these features to other ELNs and we think that you will be surprised by the unique set of benefits that is provided by hosting MyLabBook in the Azure cloud.

Open Source

Open Source is another distinct advantage of the MyLabBook approach. And Drupal is a very mature open source project with a thriving community of hundreds of thousands of users and developers. They are continually working on improving usability, reliability, security, and transparency.

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You Always Own Your ELN Website and Data

If you choose to develop your research platform with us, then we will be hosting your ELN website using our standard MyLabBook ELN platform. All of the code for your basic ELN website is owned by you under the GNU GPL 2 license. You are free to take the code at any time and host it on your own servers or another hosting service. You will also be able to export your data as CSV files for importing into your website, or using it for analysis by other tools. This is an advantage that is unique amongst ELN vendors or services to our knowledge.

No Lock-in to any Vendor

Because Drupal is a mature and popular CMS, there are over 1100 service organizations who can help you design, build and maintain your Drupal websites. Different organizations have different strengths and emphases in their clientele. Our organization is relatively unique in emphasizing social networks combined with ELNs and research projects. But you should feel comfortable in knowing that should you be dissatisfied with us for any reason, you will still have numerous alternatives for building, extending, and maintaining your Drupal based website.

Possibility of Utilizing Local Expertise

If you are part of one of many higher educational institutions that use Drupal (71 out of the top 100 higher educational institutions do), then you may be able to leverage the expertise in your organization for Drupal maintenance and site modifications. The same can be said for many other high tech, governmental, and other large and small organizations. Educational environments may also be able to train students in a short time period for maintenance and site modifications and have them possibly incorporate their original expertise in their research work and publications.

Note that while we will take care of the routine maintenance activities for the site itself, the maintenance and modifications that we are speaking about here involves the data on the site and how it is collected, used, and analyzed. The Drupal platform allows the creation of custom content types, taxonomies, and other features independently of our involvement. The only prerequisite is a basic competence with the way that the Drupal platform works.

Leverage the Momentum of FOSS

The free and open source software (FOSS) movement has brought many benefits to research. It has been instrumental in creating the world wide web, free operating systems, and many research tools. You can leverage the same benefits in your own research by always being able to fall back when needed on hosting this software on your own. Find the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you are in control of your data while you utilize the advantages that come with an ELN.

Also, we are committed to giving back the source code that we develop for the MyLabBook ELN app to the Drupal project or other appropriate communities. By supporting our endeavors, you will be supporting the acceleration of the robust MyLabBook ELN app for research platforms and make the software more available to other research organizations.


Azure Cloud Benefits

The are numerous benefits from being hosted in the Azure Cloud. It has the most widely used Identity and Access Management (IAM) system in the world. It offers the best compliance coverage of over 50 compliance offerings and is the most trusted cloud platform by the U.S. government institutions. Azure also has a robust offering of cognitive services that can often be invaluable for research purposes.

For MyLabBook, this translates to the following benefits.

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Enhanced Security

Enhanced Security

Automated Backup

Automated Backup

Elasticity

Elasticity

Scalability

Scalability

Identity Management

Active Directory integration, third party identity integration (OAuth)

Access Management

Active Directory integration, third party identity integration (OAuth)

Speech Services

Speech to Text, Text to speech, Speech translation, Speaker recognition

Language Services

Entity recognition, Sentiment analysis, Question Answering, Conversational language understanding, Language translator

Vision Services

Computer Vision, Custom vision, Face API

Decision Services

Anomaly Detector, Content Moderator, Personalizer

Open AI

Open AI Service

Statistics

Easily and quickly run sophisticated statistics on your data.

Custom Content Types

Custom content types in Drupal give you the flexibility to more precisely match the content types for the data that you collect. This is one of the strongest features of Drupal and is well suited for research studies.

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Fields

The following are a sample of some of the field types that can be added to custom content types. (see a list of custom field types here).

Standard Field Types Custom Field Types
Number Fields (decimal, float, integer) Image Geolocation Address
List Fields (boolean, float, integer, text) File Color Field
Text Fields (test, long text, long text with summary) Boolean
References (to Taxonomy, to other Custom Content Type) Email
Date Link

Uniquely Match Your Research

Most other Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELNs) usually require you to conform your research data collection to their turnkey solution. The MyLabBook approach instead lets you conform your solution more precisely to your data collection needs. This is accomplished by building custom content types that contain the specific field types that you may need (e.g., HTML content, addresses, integers, to name only a few).

Evolve Your Platform with Your Research

As your research and experiments evolve over time, your custom content types can evolve with you. You can tailor your forms for data collection to match your desired data and evolve your custom protocols according to your specific needs.

You Can Always Export Your Data

You can also export the data from your research data at any time via CSV files and your uploaded files.

You Can Also Import Your Data

You can also import your research data in many cases via CSV files.


Social Networking Features

Social Networking is available through the mature Open Social platform. The core of Open Social is released as open source and has numerous valuable social networking features like full profiles, messaging, email notifications, and groups. There is also a commercial offering of Open Social that offers more features and is used in over a thousand organizations around the world. The MyLabBook approach is to integrate the core of Open Social into every installation. This creates opportunities for more seamless collaboration and communication concerning research activities.

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Mapping and GeoLocation Features

Mapping capabilities are robust and varied in Drupal.

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