The Allotrope Foundation, an industry consortium specifically focused on the development of technology solutions for data handling in research, has developed the Allotrope Data Format (ADF), an advanced data structure that marks a major step forward in its efforts to harmonise laboratory data formats.
To read the full story of the development of this research, and the development of the Allotrope Foundation, read the full article: ‘A portable data format for laboratory data’ in the August/ September issue of Scientific Computing World.
With an initial focus on analytical chemistry, the Allotrope Foundation aims to standardise laboratory data formats through the development of a comprehensive framework consisting of metadata dictionaries, data standards, and class libraries for managing analytical data throughout its lifecycle.
Following extensive evaluation of technologies and standards, the Allotrope Foundation brought forward a design focused on the data itself – creating a unified, common data representation that can handle output from any laboratory instrument, and that is portable, allowing use by software applications independently of those instruments.
The end result is an advanced data structure called the Allotrope Data Format (ADF). It features the ability to store machine-generated datasets of unlimited size in a single file, organised as n-dimensional arrays to ensure that the details of the most complex data are recorded. The ADF is capable of storing the metadata describing each test and measurement event as well. The ADF is portable, allowing easy file transfer and use across operating system and vendor platforms.