Database handling and interactions with databases are key areas in laboratory automation. Often it is easy to generate large amounts of data, but less easy to automate its storage and handling.  Overlord ™  allows integration with a range of database formats, e.g. Microsoft SQL, Oracle, and PAA works in close collaboration with each customer to understand and deliver the required solution.

Data handling

Data handling in laboratory automation workcells

The following are some examples of key functions to be discussed at the outset of a new project:

  • Receive instructions for sample preparation/analysis from external source
  • Collect data from the automated instruments
  • Archive runtime data
  • Perform data manipulation or reduction to get key results
  • Report key results to external source


Often the data from the analytical step (usually a plate reader) is in a format decided by the instrument manufacturer.  Overlord allows the user to employ  scripts to extract the required information and restructure it, ready for integration with the next level of data processing.  The script can either be written by the customer, or by PAA as part of the solution, depending on the complexity involved.


The external data source can be a database or a flat file repository.  Overlord can handle a range of data formats.

For data and method input, Overlord can receive information from flat data files or database tables. For data output, Overlord can send information directly to flat data files or database tables.

An example of a flat file would be a comma-separated values file, or csv (each line relates to the information of one sample, multiple information per sample is separated by commas, see below).



….. , ….. , …..

….. , ….. , …..

<sample name>,<data point 1>,<data point 2>


  • Overlord’s enhanced tools for data exchange allow you to work with a wide range of sources
  • Overlord works with your existing data systems
  • Help and advice from our experts

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