Bika Interlab 1.2 GPL release · Web-based Open Source Proficiency Testing Software

October 27, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Technology News
The unique and ingenuous web based inter-laboratory proficiency testing system designed and sponsored by the South African Wine Laboratory Association (SAWLA) and developed locally in open source technologies by Bika Lab Systems, went into production February 2007 and proved very successful, eliminating the 3 week turn around experienced with the spread sheet based system it replaced.

Effective proficiency testing is one of the tools employed by SAWLA towards its goal to improve the quality of wine laboratories in SA, standardise methodology and provide a forum for communication and access to information

The proficiency testing scheme (PTS) runs on a monthly basis, two different wine samples per month. The scheme co-ordinator validates bulk samples as homogeneous in an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory, bottles and distributes the samples. Member labs then have a week to analyse the samples, on 15 different parameters, and submit their results on-line

In the on-line system it works like this: The PTS co-ordinator prepares the samples and creates a testing round on-line at the SAWLA web portal. The system automatically informs members per e-mail and provides relevant information about the sample type, distribution and closing date. Member labs fetch their samples, analyse them and enter their results on-line. A senior analyst or manager verifies the data

After their results were verified, and enough verified results are available to make statistical sense, members may immediately see their comparative stats and performance indicators. They are warned though that these remain dynamic as more labs submit their data. When the testing round closes, members receive their final performances per e-mail

Analysis results are archived and presented to members graphically via distribution curves, method comparisons and chronological Z-value plots. The system delivers immediate turnaround

Since the SAWLA system is built on a Content Management System (CMS) platform, it offers benefits in a dynamic interactive web portal at The SAWLA portal currently offers a Help centre with training videos, member list and statistics explanations

The system's CMS capabilities will now be exploited to the fullest in SAWLA's drive to have the system certified ISO compliant. It will serve as document repository for SAWLA's quality control manual, year plan, complaints register, corrective and preventative action forms and register, internal audits, management reviews and skills development packages

Attention will then be directed at SAWLA's long term PTS objectives, obtaining international participation and making the analysed wine available as certified reference material

Proficiency Testing

The aim of Proficiency Testing - also known as Inter-Laboratory Comparison Programmes, ILCP, or Proficiency Schemes - is to provide laboratories with objective assessments of the accuracy and reliability of their test results. Proficiency Testing also provides the opportunity for laboratories to benchmark their performance within a pooled industry group, nationally or internationally


No license fees

Bika Interlab is licensed on the GNU General Public License and can be downloaded from the Bika Interlab Project centre at Bika Interlab is based on Bika LIMS 1.2.5 and Plone 2.5

On-line demo

An on-line demonstration installation can be accessed at

The Bika Team