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Open Marketplace of Apps, Plugins and Add-Ons
For all of the many apps available in® there is an endless supply of additional features and functions in the form of plugins, as well as add-on modules that introduce whole sets of additional usefulness and value. Anyone can develop them, and users will adopt the ones that help them the most, are the most reliable and the most cost-effective.
The community is a ready-made marketplace for natural selection in a free market, and if an app or plugin/add-on has value, then everybody wins. Lesser concepts fall away in favor of better ones, and the industry is advanced as a result — efficiently, effectively and continually.
Global Marketplace of Solutions

In addition to the apps themselves and the many related items, there are of course the solution providers and consultants who help the acquisition and maintenance processes. That can include everything from helping identify needs and solutions, to actually implementing them — configuring, setting up servers if necessary, validating, interfacing, etc. — and keeping them running.

And the web-based nature of the community means that anyone can participate from anywhere, any time. That means that maximum options are available to both consumer and producer, and to those who facilitate the processes.

Similarly, equipment and supplies are easily bought and sold through the® marketplace. Whether its stocks, standards and reagents, instruments and devices or general office supplies for your lab, medical facility, agency or office, you're able to easily search for and order stocks maintained using the free marketplace, where you can comparison shop and find your best value, whether it's new or used. And you can list your own items for sale — or trade!

The effects of all of these® community-based platform features are that the laboratory, scientific and medical community benefits. Some of those results are:

  • Lower Total Solution Cost: It's a free market, and that means all the natural laws of supply and demand and real value-based competition work to provide the community with the very best quality goods and services at the very best prices. And all of the processes are made more efficient through availability and easy comparison shopping, which means lower costs and shorter time frames for implementations and project completions. And that's a lower overall solution cost.
  • Future-Proof Solutions: The fact that solutions are continually used and thus tested in the real world by the® community means that feedback and resulting updates are also continuous. That means maximized responsiveness so that the risk of obsolescence is reduced to the point of near-negligibility. And even as some apps may inevitably reach the end of their potential, there are always new ones being generated to perform the same functions better and/or more efficiently. The® matrix is the best hedge against future irrelevance or non-competitiveness there could be.
  • Increased Value for Users: All of this means the users win. In a flat, even marketplace with the free flow of information and availability of apps and resources, the best value propositions win. And that means you, the user, win with your free membership in®.

The equation looks like this:

Solution = (Edition + Services)Community

This expression illustrates the fact that the total data management solution for the customer is a function of the® edition chosen, the vendor services employed to set up/configure, train etc., and the community contributions. While the first two are simply additive, the vast range of community involvement makes it a multiplier. That involvement can include any of:

  • Identifying requirements
  • Testing and validation of individual functions
  • Testing and validation of full solutions
  • Providing feedback, driving iterative development
  • Creating peer discussion, exchange of ideas and experiences regarding the apps/solution (and service providers)
  • Offering competitive alternatives
You get the idea. So many aspects of community-based development that involve end-users combine to build value in a given solution; it functions as a multiplier of that value. And that can greatly surpass the legacy model of closed development in efficient, speedy and effective advancement. And by its nature it is as closely allied to the end users' needs as it is possible to be, ultimately providing maximum customer satisfaction in continuously innovative ways.[1][2]
  1. Lorenzo-Romero, C.; Constantinides, E.; Brünink, L.A. (2014). "Co-creation: Customer Integration in Social Media Based Product and Service Development". Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 148 (8): 383–396. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.07.057. 
  2. Lagrosen, S. (2005). "Customer involvement in new product development: A relationship marketing perspective". European Journal of Innovation Management 8 (4): 424—436. doi:10.1108/14601060510627803.