Searching Freezer Subdivisions

Freezerworks Unlimited

Searching for Aliquots in Numeric Freezer Subdivisions

When performing an Advanced Search for Aliquots using Freezer Subdivisions, you may have noticed that Freezerworks Unlimited does not locate all of the appropriate aliquots.

Let’s look at an example.  We would like to find all aliquots that are stored in Freezer 1,

Rack B, Boxes 5 – 12.  Each Rack in this freezer contains a maximum of 12 Boxes, so we would expect to be able to create the Advanced Search like this:

Freezer Name is equal to Freezer 1

and Subdivision 1 is equal to B

and Subdivision 2 is greater than or equal to 5

If there are aliquots in all boxes, we would expect to see aliquots from Boxes 5 – 12.  However, Freezerworks only locates aliquots contained in Boxes 5 – 9.  Why?  The reason is due to the way these data are stored.  Despite the fact that the boxes are labeled as numbers, the values are stored as alphanumeric data.  Here’s what this means:

During the above search, Freezerworks looks for all boxes that start with “5” or above.  Remember, these are not numeric values, they are just characters.  Therefore, Freezerworks does not find Boxes 10, 11 and 12 because they start with a “1”.

A workaround is to create the following Advanced Search:

Subdivision 2 is equal to 5

or Subdivision 2 is equal to 6

or Subdivision 2 is equal to 7

or Subdivision 2 is equal to 8

or Subdivision 2 is equal to 9

or Subdivision 2 is equal to 10

or Subdivision 2 is equal to 11

or Subdivision 2 is equal to 12

and Subdivision 1 is equal to B

and Freezer Name is equal to Freezer 1

The Box subdivision must be listed first, then we narrow down the search to a specific Rack and Freezer.

Enter and Search for Barcodes

When scanning barcodes to enter data in Freezerworks, have you ever noticed strange or extraneous characters such as “=”, “|”, or “¨”?  Do you ever have difficulties searching for data that was scanned into Freezerworks?  These issues may be related to barcode formats such as ISBT or Codabar that contain control or start/stop characters, or may result from the scanner itself inserting a <TAB> or other character after the scanned barcode.

To search for scanned data:

In any search dialog, use the “contains” comparison rather than “is equal to”.

For example, if a Codabar barcode such as D1234567 was scanned into Freezerworks but you were not aware that the “D” existed, then searching for “Barcode is equal to 1234567” would not produce any results.  Instead, use “Barcode contains 1234567” to locate the record.

Similarly, a <TAB> or other character may not even be visible after scanning a barcode.  If you scanned such a barcode into Notepad, you might notice 12345¨, but you would never see the “¨” in Freezerworks.  Again, search the field using “contains 12345” to locate this record.

To parse scanned data in Freezerworks Unlimited:

Create a Calculated Field that will parse out the unwanted characters.

Create a User Defined Field to accept the scanned barcode (i.e., ISBT Barcode scans in as =W123456789012).
Create another User Defined Field and enable the “Calculated Field” property (i.e., ISBT Parsed should display 123456789012).
In the User Defined Field for ISBT Parsed, switch to the Calculated Fields tab to define how the data should be parsed.

  1. Double-click “Parse” in the Operators column.
  2. Select “ISBT Barcode” from the Field list.
  3. Enter Starting Position as “3” and Number of   Characters as “12”. This will remove the first two characters from the scanned ISBT Barcode.
  4. Place both the ISBT Barcode and ISBT Parsed fields onto your Samples Entry format.
  5. Scan the ISBT Barcode into the ISBT Barcode field, and when you leave the field, ISBT Parsed removes the first two characters.

To parse data while scanning:

Some scanners can be programmed to remove unwanted characters when scanning a barcode.  This involves locating a Programmer’s Guide for the specific scanner model, and programming a rule.  The rule will parse the unwanted characters during the scan, and then only the wanted characters would appear in Freezerworks.  Dataworks has some experience doing this with the Symbol scanners.  Be sure your institution’s QA procedures allow for adjusting your scanner in this manner.

Backing Up to a UNC Path

Backing up Freezerworks Server to a UNC Path

Freezerworks Unlimited Server (versions 3.1.x – 4.0.x)
Freezerworks Basic Server (version 6.0.x)

The Freezerworks Server user interface does not provide a method to backup to a UNC path (Universal Naming Convention), but there is a workaround. If you have used a mapped network drive once for the backup, then you may edit the Freezerworks “Backup.XML” file to use the UNC path in place of the drive letter.

The “Backup.XML” file should be located in C:Freezerworks*ServerServer DatabasePreferencesBackup (where * is “Basic” or “UL”).  If the Preferences folder does not exist, then you must run a Backup in order to create these folders and the XML file.

Configure and run an initial backup

  1. In the Freezerworks Server software, open Edit – Preferences, and click on Backup.
  2. Place checkmarks beside Data File and Structure File.
  3. Click the <…> button within the Backup File Destination Folder section.
  4. Locate the mapped network drive where you would like to store the Freezerworks backup.
  5. Click <OK>.
  6. Select File – Backup, and click <OK> to run an initial backup.
  7. Place a checkmark beside Use Log File in the Log Management section if you would like to track all data changes since the last backup.  Click the <…> button and locate the Server Database folder.  Click <New> to create a log file, and <Save> to store it with the data file.
  8. Use File – Backup again to create another backup.  This will ensure that the log file will be included in all future backups.

For additional information about the Backup module, see the   System Administrator’s Guide that came with Freezerworks.  This Guide can be downloaded by logging into the Customer Care section of our web site at .

Change the backup path to a UNC path

  1. Open the Freezerworks*ServerServer DatabasePreferencesBackup folder.
  2. Right-click Backup.XML, then select Open With Notepad.
  3. Replace the network drive letter with the UNC in the following locations:

<Destination Folder>

For example, if I configured Backup to store all Freezerworks backups on the mapped drive called G:FreezerworksBackups, the Backup.XML file would contain the following:


<DestinationFolder> G:FREEZERWORKSBACKUPS</DestinationFolder>

On my server, G: is a mapped drive pointing to Server1Database, therefore I need to replace G: with Server1Database in Backup.XML as follows:


<DestinationFolder> Server1DatabaseFREEZERWORKSBACKUPS</DestinationFolder>

  1. In the Freezerworks Server application, the Last Backup should now be displayed as Server1DatabaseFREEZERWORKSBACKUPSFreezerworksUL4[0003].4BK
  2. Select File – Backup and click <OK> to ensure that the backup is saved to the UNC path.

Import Tips

Perform small, practice imports before importing hundreds of records.

When you are perfecting an import file using Excel to work with an import format, be sure you save the file. If you change an Excel file, but don’t save it, the unsaved file will be the one that is imported.

When testing an import file, copy a small portion of it (a few rows) to a new file. The test file will import faster, and you will be able to locate problems faster than if you import the entire file.

As you are testing a format, don’t use “Add to List” for importing fields with drop down lists until you are certain the import format is importing that field properly. Otherwise, you may end up with a lot of bad entries in your library for that field that you will have to delete, one at a time.

The import file must be in a text format (comma or tab delimited); it cannot be an application-specific file. For example, do not import files in the traditional Excel “.xls” format. Select File-Save As, and choose “.csv” (comma delimited) or “.txt” (tab delimited) from the “Save as type” dropdown prior to importing. Choose “.txt” when importing data that already contains commas, such as a notes field containing text or a field such as “Last Name, First Name”.

All fields in the import file must also exist in Freezerworks prior to import.

Field lengths in the import file must be less than or equal to the destination field in Freezerworks.

Field types must match the destination field (alphanumeric (e.g., a b c & @ # + ) data will not import into a numeric field).

Numbers imported into the Internal Bar Code ID field must be unique.

Date and time formats must be taken into account. Your import file may contain dates and times that are formatted differently from the computer’s system date and time. Indicate these formats on the Properties tab of the Import format. Freezerworks will convert the dates and/or times into the system format.

Note: The import file cannot contain multiple date and/or time formats. Convert all dates and times to one format before importing.

Can we create our own reports?

Freezerworks Unlimited and Freezerworks Basic both include several pre-defined reports as well as the option to create User Defined Reports. The User Defined Reports can be configured to your specific needs and can include any of the data you have stored in Freezerworks. For more information consult the User’s Manual, watch our training videos on reports, or contact our support staff.

Does Freezerworks meet GMP standards?

Freezerworks is written and tested in according to FDA regulations and guidance documents, including GMP Quality System Regulation (21 CFR Part 820), Electronic Records – Scope and Application (21 CFR Part 11), and General Principles of Software Validation (FDA Final Guidance for Industry). Click here for ore information.