I’m in the process of installing various liquid handler softwares across as few instruments as possible. I know Venus and Biomek don’t play well together, but between Venus, Biomek, FluentControl, and VWorks, has anyone had any luck with multiple softwares on the same device?
If not, what’s the best practice for utilizing multiple software types, simply separate computers?
I knew about Venus & Biomek but something to also consider with Fluent Control is that it can also use SQL if you use Sample Tracking. Without Sample Tracking, it won’t have issues with other software I believe.
With that said, you could also VM’s locally or through the cloud (altho the cost might be insane here). I know some companies used separate servers as well which made it easier to protect IP when service folks came onsite. Some folks may use Docker but IDK.
For VM’s, VMware and Parallels are two of the best.
Thank you both. That seems like the better path. I am currently looking to uninstall Venus’ SQL server as it does not allow me to download Biomek even after doing so. I’ll update this with any fixes I find.
I have found that I can run Tecan Evoware (without Sample Tracking) as well as Venus on my own Windows 10 PC without issues. Biomek I ended up running on Windows Server 2016, although it is past end of life at this point.
And if I’ve downloaded Hamilton first, attempted an uninstall (SQL server and all) and then attempted Biomek, any ideas as to why it wouldn’t work? My error is a SQL server one, and I’ve removed the previous Hamilton instance.
It’s been a minute since I installed and went through the same trouble, but I recall that the Biomek installation suggested that I install SQL Server Management Software, and in that I think I just had to delete the Hamilton stuff first then the install worked well after that. If I’m being 100% honest, I fumbled and lucked my way through a lot of the SQL setup. Did you use Hamilton’s “RemoveHamiltonSoftware.exe” or did you use a different method? I think @EricSindelar_Hamilton shared that on their dropbox.
The only other caveat is that I have my version of Biomek/Method Editor running on a development computer - so all in simulation for both programs. Not sure if connecting to an instrument changes anything.
Another method that works really well is something called RevoUnistaller. What Revo does is use the EXE installer that comes with the software but then tracks every change it makes to the system including the creation of files and databases as well as registry changes.
Once installed it will save this info in a log file that can be used to completely remove the software from the system including things that the OEM installer might miss or purposely leave behind.
This is clutch. One of the benefits of doing everything on a VM is that you can just scratch an entire setup or revert to previous time point if some underlying item is never properly uninstalled/installed.
Agreed. I think the use an creation of VMs is an undervalued skill in this arena. As a service person who has worked on liquid handlers for years, VMs have allowed me to be able to run and interface with a number of different “product revisions” at a moments notice. You can imagine how helpful something like this would be. Also is support for older obsolete software stacks that only run on X Version of Windows or even back to DOS environments like Sunrise (Old AT/AT PLus Software)
I highly recommend that when installing any control software for automation, regardless of the manufacturer, that you use something like Revo Uninstaller to install and track the system changes. Some of these companies have a very bad habit of leaving lots of stuff behind following an uninstall. Sometimes intentional, sometimes not.
Revo keeps track of all of the system changes as well as registry, file additions, modifications and automates the process of uninstalling said software without leaving any traces behind that might be an issue with future installs.
I have Fluent/Biomek/Hamilton all on one computer. Just be sure to install Biomek before Hamilton as they both pull from SQL.
However, I’d still recommend a VM or something just to control the environment a bit more. You can find powershell scripts that can strip windows down to barebones by removing things like edge, cortana, xbox, etc to help reduce the number of factors within VM.