Key iLab Terms

Role: All users

Below is a glossary of key terms used in iLab, organized by topic:


Entities:

  • Institution: the overall customer organization, which contains the various entities described below. 
  • Core Facility / Shared Resource: an entity that offers services or access to resources for customers. In iLab, each Core Facility / Shared Resource (Core, for short) has an online store-front that customers can use to identify the offerings available and directly order products/services. For core administrators and staff, iLab provides workflows to help deliver services, manage resources, complete billing and generate reports.
  • Lab/Group: A group of users, supervised/managed by a Principal Investigator and/or Lab/Group Managers (see below). In iLab, Labs/Groups are typically used as the primary way to organize access to Funds (see below) and manage financial approvals for purchases at Core Facilities. 
  • Department: Institutions can choose to organize their Labs/Groups into Departments. This allows for financial approvals to be escalate to the departmental level and allows for reporting at this level. Note that the use of departments is optional. 
  • Center: A grouping of Labs/Groups and/or Core Facilities, possibly across institutional boundaries, which can be used to define special price types and subsidies. 

User roles in iLab:

  • Institutional Administrator: Someone within an organization using iLab who is responsible for supervising the overall usage of iLab. Institutional Administrators have certain rights within iLab that allow them to report at the institutional level and allows them to manage users and groups within their organization. 
  • Principal Investigator (PI): Primary leader of a lab or group within iLab. Has certain rights to manage users in their lab/group and control financial access / approvals.
  • Lab/Group Manager: Administrator of a lab or group, typically a delegate of the PI, with rights similar to the Principal Investigator. 
  • Lab/Group Member: Any member of a lab or group that does not have any special administrative rights.
  • Core Administrator: Managers of a Core Facility/Shared Resource, who have special permissions in iLab to modify the workflow of their core and the ability to generate billing events and reports. 
  • Core Member: Staff at a Core Facility/Shared Resource, with the ability to performs workflow functions (i.e. complete orders, deliver services, etc.) but without the administrative permission available to Core Administrators.
  • Core Customer: Not a role separate from the roles described above, but "Core Customer " describes any user of iLab that is in the process of ordering services or securing resources from a Core. 

Other terms:

  • Fund: The general term used to describe a way for users to pay for services in iLab. In your organization, a Fund may be known as a "Grant number", "Chart Field String", "Speed Code", "Account Number", "Project ID" or any other identifier. In iLab, Funds are allocated to Labs/Groups, and from there assigned to individual Lab/Group members by the PI or Lab/Group Managers. When a user orders a product/service from a Core, or looks to make a reservation, they will be able to choose from the Funds made available to them.
  • Service request: A customer request for a Core to perform various services.
  • Charge: An individual "line item" that corresponds to a specific product/service provided by a core.
  • Resource / Equipment: Something that a Core customer can make a (time-based) reservation against. Often represents a piece of equipment, but can also refer to other resources such as specific facility or time with specialists. 
  • Schedule / Calendar: A collection of the available and reserved time slots for a specific Resource / Equipment.
  • Reservation: A claim on a specific time slot on a Schedule / Calendar.
  • Financial Approval: When services are ordered or resources are reserved, typically a financial approval step needs to be completed before the transaction can be completed. The Principal Investigator or a Lab/Group Manager designated as a financial contact will need to provide an explicit approval, unless the amount is below a configurable Approval Threshold (in which case the approval is performed automatically). For more information on request approvals, see Request Services‍.
  • Financial Integration: During the implementation process, iLab can be integrated with the customer's financial system. The two key areas that are most often integrated are the automatic allocation of Funds to specific Labs/Groups and the automatic upload of billing data to the customer's internal and/or external billing systems. 
  • ID integration: Another common integration point is between the customer's authentication system and iLab. If an ID integration is in place, the customer logs in using their own institution's credentials, rather than obtaining credentials from iLab.
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