Opinions on TotalChrom [August 4, 2004]

Discussions about chromatography data systems, LIMS, controllers, computer issues and related topics.

2 posts Page 1 of 1
By Helga Integrator on Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - 05:52 am:

We're looking to possibly purchase the TotalChrom
software with our PE GC but aren't sure how it
compares to just collecting data and processing with
Millenium (or Empower). Any thoughts on this subject
are appreciated.

By Joe Daknis on Friday, August 6, 2004 - 01:09 pm:

It depends on what type of environment you're working in. I used TurboChrom & TotalChrom in an R&D setting and found both versions of the PE software wonderfully simple to use.

For GxP applications, Millenium or Empower may be the better choice due to the superior Oracle database and report publisher.

The actual differences in basic data processing/integration methods are minimal.

I found TotalChrom to be a bit more user-friendly, but I worked exclusively with PE instruments and software for 4 years before moving to an all-Waters/Millenium 4.0 lab. TC C/S was the first chrom. data handling software I learned to use, so I'm likely a little biased. Still, the Millenium learning curve seems a bit steeper to me.

The problem in choosing between TotalChrom and Empower is that no new software is without its fair share of bugs. We had a number of problems with TotalChrom C/S shortly after the upgrade from TurboChrom (approx. 2 or 3 yrs ago?)that required frequent instrument/link box/server reboots. It was frustrating to say the least, but perhaps they've sorted many of those initial bugs out by now. (Haven't upgraded to Empower yet, so can't comment on its reliability just yet!)

By ingochrist on Monday, August 9, 2004 - 07:34 am:

I don't share Joe's opinion on the stability. Both software packages worked very stable (for me) and I never had any problems with either one of them. If you look for a less expensive choice you can also check out Clarity from DataApex. They are GMP and CFR21 complient and work with (almost) any LC or GC. The nice part about them is the price, usually for around 2K you have a started package and it doesn't go much beyond 3K if you inlude fancy additions.

By Helga on Monday, August 9, 2004 - 09:42 am:

Thank you both for your input.

Having just went thru an evaluation of many of the different software packages out there (sad to say that the PE product wasnt one of them) I would have to say as far as bells and whistles the Empower product is by far one of the most complete. Two of the functions that really make it stand apart are the integrated custom calculation section within the report generator and an integration tool called Apex integration. Different from the typical integration tools that determine peak liftoff and touchdown from a baseline perspective, Apex integration takes a top down approach. Derivitazing the peak function curve to determine liftoff and touchdown, sort of a handy tool in the GC or gradient LC world.

We were concerned with integrating a Watters product in the lab that solely ran with HP equipment. But in talking with the Watters engineers they were confident that they would be able to "reverse" engineer any vendor chromatography system our lab supported.

So your option of just acquiring and processing data with Empower, may be expanded to instrument control. I would bring this up to your local Watters rep. and see what he has to say about it.

As Joe had mentioned, from a GxP compliance issue Watters goes beyond what most vendors do in assuring this. Based upon your processing and storage capacity the Empower product has the ability to acquire and link data by so much more than just the metadata associated with a file.

And expanding on ingochrist's recommendation of other products, I would seriously recommend you looking at the new Dionex software Chromeleon. Very competitively priced, and super customizable...

Thats my 7 cents worth :D
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