CMS, Custom


CodeIgniter, Doctrine, Raphaël JS, SOAP, Marketo


Strategy, Design, Development, Managed Services




South San Francisco, CA


Automating the assay design workflow

Biotech company Fluidigm needed a partner to automate their complex assay design process and ID took the challenge.

Fluidigm is a South San Francisco based biotech tools company that creates microfluidic-based chips and instrumentation for biological research. One of their main business is the assay design which was handled manually until the launch of D3™: Researchers had to send long Excel sheets of target regions (eg. genes or sequences of interest) to their Fluidigm representative. They would then have to be checked for errors and designability. Going back and forth via email until a final quotation and purchase order was time consuming for both Fluidigm and the researcher. D3™ automates this process in a simple to use web portal. This minimizes the workload so that Fluidigm staff can concentrate on providing better support for complicated designs.

The custom portal was build with modern web technologies with performance and usability in mind. The powerful PHP Framework CodeIgniter in combination with the popular ORM/DBAL Doctrine serve as a solid base for the application. A SOAP server enables the connection between the portal and Fluidigm's internal design process. JavaScript and jQuery cater for a snappy and user-friendly interface that researchers can enjoy using. Raphaël JS is used to draw a visual representation of the coverage regions for Access Array™ designs. An easy to use backend enables Fluidigm staff to manage many aspects of the portal comfortably without having to touch any code files.

These were a few highlights: 

  • use of modern web technologies like CodeIgniter and Doctrine
  • high security requirements for customer data
  • complex mapping of the various Fluidigm products into one simple interface and application model
  • a friendly and bright layout in combination with a lot of JavaScript enhancements