Agilent Technologies Inc. has announced that it will host a meeting at Pittcon 2009 to measure interest in launching an industry-wide initiative to develop an open standard for chromatography instrument control software. All chromatography instrument and software suppliers are invited to the meeting.
 
Labs using instruments from multiple manufacturers must cope with limited connectivity because the manufacturers and their software developers currently must negotiate individual agreements between each other to adapt instrument control software. Typically, software suppliers develop instrument-control drivers based on instrument-control codes provided by the instrument manufacturers. This is inefficient, time consuming and often causes delays in availability and even loss of functionality.
 
“The intent of this initiative is to open up multilateral coordination between chromatography software and instrument suppliers,” explains meeting organizer Tony Owen, program manager, Agilent Liquid Phase Analysis Division, and work towards software-instrument interface standardization. “We envision a ‘printer driver’ type model in which the instrument manufacturers develop the instrument drivers. This way, the drivers for third-party software could be available immediately after release of new instruments, and the functionality of the drivers would be complete and consistent across all software.”