In-House LIMS Vs Commercial LIMS : Which Option is Best For Your Lab

A Women Lab professional in a  laboratory brainstorming about LIMS options.


Choosing between building or buying a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) is a crucial decision for labs. Many labs go through a progression in technology utilization before considering a Lab Information Management System. They often start with paper-based workflows and manual documentation, then move on to using spreadsheets for sample tracking and inventory management.

However, as the lab grows and faces challenges such as lost information, time-consuming report generation, regulatory compliance, security issues, and the need for instrument integration, they realize the limitations of spreadsheets and seek a better solution.

Before deciding whether to build or buy a Laboratory Information Management Solution, it's important to define the lab's requirements in detail. This involves understanding the lab's testing needs, instrument connections, and other specific requirements.

When considering building a Laboratory Management Software in-house, several factors should be taken into account:

Catching up with commercial systems

Internal development will always be behind commercial systems because vendors have spent years developing and improving their products. Vendors have dedicated teams to implement changes based on user requirements and market demands.

Agreement among labs

If multiple labs within the organization plan to use the same Proprietary Laboratory Information System, it can be challenging to align their user requirements. Developing a core product adaptable to different labs may be possible, but deployment delays and support issues can arise.

Limited expertise and resources

In-company development often lacks the outside expertise available through commercial vendors. Maintaining a development team solely for the project can be difficult, especially when employees leave, taking their knowledge with them. Long-term support and resource availability may become challenges.

Project management and documentation

Project management skills, successful project completion history, and training/support capabilities are crucial for an In-company development team. Documentation, both at the system and user level, is essential but often neglected. User training should not rely solely on manuals but include in-person or online training to ensure effective system usage.

Instrument connections and regulatory compliance

Organization-managed developers may lack understanding and experience in integrating instruments with the Laboratory Information Management Solution. Instrument connections are a crucial aspect of laboratory informatics and require expertise. Additionally, compliance with regulatory requirements from organizations like the FDA, ISO, etc., is vital. Understanding terms like validation and qualification is necessary to meet regulatory standards.

On the other hand, opting for a Commercial Laboratory Management Software offers several advantages:


By opting for a Commercial Laboratory Informatics Solution like Revol Laboratory Informatics Solution, labs can leverage the expertise and ongoing development efforts of the vendor. Vendors like Revol have dedicated teams focused on improving their Lab Information Management System products based on user requirements and market trends. This ensures that labs using Revol Laboratory Information Management System have access to the latest features, enhancements, and support.

When considering the build or buy decision for Laboratory Information Management Systems, it's essential to weigh the advantages of a commercial solution like Revol Lab Information Management System. Its flexibility, extensive functionality, instrument integration capabilities, and ongoing vendor support make it a compelling option for labs looking to elevate their operations and streamline their workflows.

In conclusion, while in-house development may be tempting to cut costs or utilize available resources, it often comes with challenges and limitations. Commercial Laboratory Informatics Software Solution provides expertise, support, and continuous development to meet your lab's needs effectively. Considering the long-term benefits, buying a commercial LIMS system rather than building one in-house is often advantageous.

A laptop showing the REVOL LIMS software and a button to request a demo