ALIS is full of timesaving features and utilities that gives the laboratory personnel greater control and quicker access to information. Here are some examples:
ALIS does Windows tm. The program is written to operate in the Microsoft Windows tm environment. The user will soon be comfortable navigating around the program because it will feel and act similarly to other Windows applications. It has been tested under Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000 and now XP. Easy input screens guide you intuitively through the process. Pre-defined customizable group tests make it quick to select a particular package of tests for each sample.
ALIS is organized. As the sample is entered initially, ALIS creates a place to record all the tests to be run on that sample. When the batch is ready to process, lab sheets can be printed for each testing method with the appropriate elements or tests on each one and a place to record each sample's results along with a place for blanks, house reference materials and duplicates if so desired.
Instrumentation like balances, pH/EC meters, spectrometers, turbidimeters, atomic absorption units, etc. that have RS232 interface ports may be connected to a computer network and ALIS will receive and store the measurements from the instrument. This saves a data entry step and helps cut down on transcription errors which comes into play when the lab technician writes the result down and then a data entry person attempts to interpret hand-written results from the lab sheet into the computer. Also available within each module is a wizard procedure to step you through setting up imports for equipment that produces data files. ALIS can easily import that data directly.
ALIS provides accuracy and control through built-in utilities that run behind the screens to help check for errors as information is recorded and to assure safe keeping of stored data. Manager defined parameters verify test results and flag results that are out of range. Standard deviations for house reference materials are calculated and compared to test results in real-time. If results are out of range ALIS notifies the lab technician and manager.
ALIS does imaging! Windows compatible imaging devices can be used to record soils nematodes, plant pathology, water bacteria, manure cultures and other images that need to be tracked with a sample.
The versatile security system gives management multi-level control over who is allowed where within the system.
ALIS has an inventory control function that keeps track of supplies reducing the chances of unexpected shortages. It also tracks the aging of standards, references and reagents.
There are dozens of reports already formatted and ready for use. If desired, a report writer program (such as SoftVelocity's ReportWritertm) can be used to create reports and forms unique to the particular laboratory, or Desert Oasis Software Company is available to create customized reports at reasonable programming rates.
The ability to export data increases the testing lab's efficiency in today's fast moving work place because results from tests can be directly submitted electronically to the grower, ag consultant, or fertilizer company. Reports can be printed or sent by fax, or e-mailed to various destinations. Billing information can be exported directly into an accounting package such as Quickbookstm. If you work with the Agvance folks, you will be happy to know that ALIS has the native Agvance file format progammed and ready for you to use as needed.
GALP (Generally Accepted Laboratory Practices) compliance is a very high priority and every effort is made to follow these high standards.
ALIS was written in SoftVelocity's Clarion 5.5 tm in order to take advantage of the speed, data security, and the immense number of records allowable.
Imaging Support. ALIS records images of your sample for nematode analysis, and similar needs. The image is recorded with the sample's information in the database, for easy retrieval later.
ALIS does Environmental Samples. If you are dealing with environmental samples, ALIS can assist you by watching for specific assay values or circumstances that you define, and then making appropriate recommendations concerning techniques or products for remediation, again, as you define them. ALIS is flexible, and leaves YOU in control.
ALIS does fertilizer recommendations for agriculture. The soil scientist is provided with an interactive fertilizer recommendation database and utility that allows customized results for any number of crops. Once the crops database has been set up, ALIS produces the recommendations based on test results, the proposed crop, yield goals, soil type, and previous crop. All the soil scientist has to do is review and approve the recommendations and send them to the grower and/or fertilizer company. Agvance's native file format is already programmed into ALIS to make it easy for you to send them the information necessary if you are working with those fine folks. There is also a "What If..." function to allow you to sit down with your client and try out different potential crops. Add expected harvest prices/acre, costs of fertilizers, and try different crop yields while ALIS automatically calculates the potential profits less fertilizer costs. Great for consultants!
Samples from the same hole are tracked together. ALIS makes it easy to keep track of soil samples taken from various depths of the rooting zone. Growers and soil scientists want information from different levels in the soil profile so samples are taken from the same hole at various depths. This makes it so plant nutrients quantities in each level can be considered for fertilizer recommendations, or for determining the most productive crop to grow, or even to see if fertilizer has leached past the rooting zone due to applying too much fertilizer or water. All samples from the same hole are kept together on one report for easier billing and reporting.
Soil samples can be set to be weighed to an exact weight or to a variable weight with high and low limits, in which case ALIS corrects the results according to the quantity of sample material being tested versus amount expected. This saves a great deal of weighing time.
Tracking field names and GPS (Global Positioning System) coordinates allows growers to accumulate a history of test results for each field. This gives the testing lab a better opportunity to provide timely information that will help the grower's decisions concerning crops to be planted, fertilizer application before planting and during growing cycle. Such accuracy in tracking sample locations is becoming increasingly requested. There are currently 7 soils report formats available to all ALIS users, some are simple text, others show test history for the field, with graphing. Each of your clients can be individually set to receive different report styles automatically, and ALIS will then fax, print and/or email the report to your clients. Automagically.
QA/QC may be selected for each soil sample which requires extra accuracy assurances.
Soils Grids Module:
This module offers a quick way to record samples taken in a grid. Just enter the client, grower, field, tests to be run on all the samples and other information pertinent to all the samples and how many samples just like it you have. Then, ALIS creates all the records you need to process all the tests required.