Changelog

Latest updates and improvements to Colabra.

2022-03-28

Display options, expiring file links, callout & quote blocks

Display menu

Experiment list display menu

Experiment lists now have a new Display menu which let you customize the view to your liking.

You can change the attribute used to group the experiments, change the ordering, and even enable or disable individual columns.

For example, you can now hide experiment priority if you're not using the feature, or group the view by assignee for your weekly team progress meeting.

Quote & callout blocks

We've added two new blocks many of you have been asking for.

The quote block lets your quote information from other sources, or just emphasize a paragraph within other text.

The callout block goes even further, letting you highlight improtant messaged with an emoji of your choice.

Expiring image and file links

We've improved the security of Colabra even further by incorporating an expiring links functionality.

Any image or attachment URLs will now expire after a few hours. This ensure that links to sensitive data shared outside of Colabra don't inadvertently make it to people outside your organization.

Fixes and improvements

  • Removed slow page transitions
  • Improved in-app changelog
  • Titles now same size & style when edited
  • The correct workspace now opens after accepting an invite
  • Removed editor toolbar within protocol block
  • Made it impossible to add two of the same tags
  • Added descriptions to protocol version tree
  • Fixed revoking invitations
  • Fixed file upload bug
  • Fixed misaligned table columns
  • Fixed minor embed block XSS vulnerability
  • Design polish and numerous UX improvements

2022-02-28

Fixes and improvements

  • Completed migration to Microsoft Azure
  • Text editor polishing
  • Added human-friendly ID column to Project list
  • Added human-friendly IDs to protocol version tree
  • Removed social login support and migrated old social accounts
  • Various typography improvements
  • Fixed font issue with numbers on some operating systems
  • Fixed bug where some users had to go through onboarding twice
  • Delete workspace option in the settings panel
  • Numerous performance improvements and bug fixes

2022-02-01

Signatures, human IDs, milestones, typography

Witness & review

Signatures

You can now set experiment status to In review to collect digitally encrypted signatures from your collaborators, Principal Investigator and other stakeholders. This is crucial for your experimental notes to be admissible in court in case of an IP dispute. Read more at FDA 21 CFR Part 11 compliance: How to protect your scientific IP.

Milestones

Experiments can now be assigned to a milestone. You'll soon be able to group and filter experiments based on their milestones, and even more powerful functionality is coming later this year.

Typography

We've revamped Colabra's typography to make your documentation more readable, and less prone to errors. Better yet, the web app should now load even faster!Fixes and improvements

  • Added smoother transition after onboarding
  • Removed workspace name step from onboarding
  • Fixed emoji selection modal layout
  • Tooltips now show correct shortcuts on OSX
  • Various bug fixes and significant performance improvements

2022-01-14

SOC 2, tasks, active editors, image tags, protocol comments

ELN/LIMS compliance

SOC 2 Type 2 compliance

Security has always been top of mind in how we work, treat customer data, and develop our product. Now, we’ve completed the SOC 2 Type 2 audit to prove it! You can read more about what that means for you in the announcement post on our blog.

Collaborator presence

Active editors

When editing an experiments together with other collaborators, you can now see who's online and active on the same page in the avatar stack in the top right corner. The stack now also supports an unlimited number of people (collapsing after the first five).

Experimental tasks

Tasks

Based on popular feedback, we're returned and improved on a dedicated Tasks section within each experiment. You can assigns tasks to other team members, set deadlines, then manage them in the new My bench section below.

My bench

To make it easier to quickly view all your outstanding tasks, as well as all experiments, protocols and inventory items you are responsible for, we've created a new My bench section that collects all your research in one place.

Fixes and improvements

  • You can now add tags to individual images in the experiments
  • Workspaces can now have multiple Admins (formerly one Owner)
  • Notification when an experiment priority is changed to Urgent
  • Notification when someone reacts to one of your comments
  • You can now add comments to Protocols
  • Admins can now edit the workspace slug (name in the URL)
  • All navigation items now support Open in new tab
  • Replaced In review with Paused status for projects
  • Deleted experiments no longer show up in bookmarks
  • Long titles now wrap correctly instead of overflowing the page
  • Removed slide transition from tabbed content
  • Fixed invite email HTML injection vulnerability
  • Numerous performance improvements

2021-12-18

Fixes and improvements

  • Project list redesign
  • Added status selector to projects
  • Changelog notifications within the app
  • Fixed adding tags without value/unit
  • Design polish and various bug fixes

2021-12-03

Fixes and improvements

  • Improved project/experiment share dialog
  • Grouped protocol list by status
  • Improved signup and login flow security
  • Reduced password reset token expiry to 24h
  • Fixed display of protocols with many steps
  • Widened sidebar to fit longer project titles
  • Removed back button form breadcrumbs
  • Autofocused reaction selector search field
  • Autofocused name field when creating a new template
  • Added tooltip with absolute date in template settings
  • Numerous performance improvements and design polish

2021-11-22

Protocols, tags, mentions, image editor, bookmarks

Protocol version tree

Protocols

One of the top-requested features is here — in additional to regular experimental templates, you can now create step-by-step protocols shared at the workspace level, and embed them within your experiments.

Protocols are versioned and cannot be edited after publication. This makes it easy to keep track of the changes made to them over time, and find experiments using a particular version of the SOP.

Project and experiment tags

Tags

You can now add tags to your projects, experiments and even individual images. What's more, these tags can be assigned a colour, unit and value, and all three can be governed at the workspace level to ensure data consistency across the whole lab.

Drag & drop experiment blocks

Drag & drop editor blocks

You can now drag and drop any block within your experiment, making it easy to organize and present your research insights with maximum clarity.

User mentions

Mentions

You can now mention other workspace member within your project and experiment summaries, as well as in comments. This will send them a notification and subscribe them to future updates.

Bookmarks

You can now bookmark frequently accessed projects, protocols and experiments for one-click access from your Colabra sidebar. Bookmarks are personal to your account, not shared across the workspace.

Full-screen image viewer and editor

You can now click any image to view it full screen, check its metadata, add a caption, or tag it. Click the edit button to open a full-fledged editor that allows you to crop the image, adjust its colours, and even annotate it with additional information.

New integrations

Based on popular requests, we've added two new embed integrations:

  • Tableau charts
  • Deepnote Jupyter notebook cells

Penetration test

We've completed a third-party penetration test as part of our SOC 2 Type 2 certification and implemented solutions to potential security vulnerabilities found by the third-party audit firm.

Fixes and improvements

  • Pasting cells from Excel now correctly inserts a table, not an image
  • Improved typography across the app for readability and performance
  • Improved timestamp block
  • Recent history tab for special character input
  • Pressing Delete before an equation now correctly removes it
  • It is now possible to remove an emoji reaction by clicking it a second time
  • Equation input no longer starts with an error message
  • Moved project summary into a separate tab
  • Improved inline code formatting
  • Disabled spell check in code blocks
  • Alphabetic ordering of projects in the sidebar
  • Updating name in Activity logs when the user changes their name
  • Collapsing an embed blocks to a link now works as expected
  • Activity log now respects the user's preferred date format
  • You can now press Ctrl + Enter to submit a comment

2021-10-11

Sidebars, emoji, LaTeX, Updates, comment improvements

New user experience

Redesign

We've redesigned the full core user experience of Colabra based on your feedback! You can now quickly access all of your projects in a familiar sidebar on the left, and review and edit project & experiment metadata in a new sidebar on the right of the editor.

Science emoji

Emoji and reactions

Just because it's work, doesn't mean there shouldn't be any fun! You can now insert emoji anywhere in Colabra by typing : or /emoji. You can also react with emoji on any comment to let others know how you feel or that you've read their feedback.

Updates inbox

We've moved notifications from a popup into a separate Updates view which gives you a birds-eye view of everything that happened since you last accessed Colabra.

Comment improvements

In addition to reactions, comments now support full styling, as well as image embeds and file attachments.LaTeXWe've added support for KaTeX inline and block equations for all your mathematical needs.Fixes and improvements

  • Embed blocks can now be resized (short, medium, tall)
  • Added YYYY-MM-DD date format (now default)
  • All tooltips now follow user's date format setting
  • Relative dates <1min now display correctly
  • Timezone is now automatically set during onboarding
  • Numerous bug fixes and performance upgrades

2021-08-22

Real-time collaboration, custom templates, embeds

Real-time collaboration

Real-time collaborative lab notebook

It's been a long time since the last update, because we've been working on something big this cycle — real-time collaborative editing you are all used to from Google Docs!

You can now work on your projects and experiments with your teammates simultaneously, and from multiple devices — with the confidence that you won't overwrite each other's changes, and that your data will synchronize even on intermittent connections.

Experiment templates

Custom templates

A feature many of your have been waiting for is finally here. You can now create custom experimental templates, shared across the whole workspace. These can include any text or advanced blocks, including all integrations, to get you started even faster on each new experiment.

Special character input

Special character block

You can now type /Special character to easily insert your favourite Greek letters and other symbols. Best of all, we'll remember your most used characters, making it a cinch to reuse them in the future.

ELN integrations

New integrations

We've added embed support for a whole range of popular tools, from white boards and flow charts, to databases and printed circuit board designs:

  • Miro and Whimsical whiteboard embed
  • Gliffy chart embed
  • SlideShare and Prezi presentation embed
  • Flux.ai PCB design embed
  • Airtable database embed
  • YouTube, Vimeo and Wistia video embed
  • Loom recording embed

Security settings

You can now enforce the following settings across your workspace:

  • Two-factor authentication (2FA/MFA)
  • Password expiration

Compliance

We've implemented numerous security, privacy and QA process improvements in preparation for our SOC 2 Type 2 audit starting this month.Among many others, this includes:

  • All cloud resources are now behind a VPC
  • Strict SLAs for bug and vulnerability fixes
  • Strict access controls to all cloud resources and customer data
  • Security assessment of all our third-party service providers
  • A responsible disclosure policy

Mobile app

Based on the feedback we've gotten from you, we made the decision to discontinue our Android and iOS apps, with the view of reintroducing them at the end of this year.This was not an easy decision, but one that will allow us to iterate on the core web product much faster over the coming months.You can still access Colabra on your smartphone or tablet by accessing the web app through your mobile browser. This version includes all the functionality you enjoyed in our native apps except document scanning.

Fixes and improvements

  • You can now log out from all our devices from Settings
  • Slash command box now has a fixed size with scrolling
  • Activity log inside experiments no longer repeats the name of the experiment on every line
  • Numbers are now baseline-aligned, sized proportionally with the text
  • We've added a menu for resending and revoking invitations
  • Timezone, date format and notification settings
  • Numerous bug fixes and performance upgrades

2021-06-27

New experiment view & import

New experiment view

New experiment view

When you create a new experiment, you'll be greeted with a selector that lets you choose between an empty page or the default experiment template (Purpose, Equipment, Materials, Procedure). The ability to create custom templates shared across your workspace is coming in the next update!

Experiment import

Word, Google Docs and Dropbox Paper import

The new experiment view also allows you to import project/experiment summaries and experimental templates from your favourite text editor. We currently support import from doc, text and markdown files, with support for more formats and sources coming later.

Embed block

Embed block

Due to popular requests, we've added a universal embed block to Colabra which lets you integrate any link or iframe right into your project or experiment summary. This could be a PDF, a Sheet, a Google Calendar or, say, an Altium PCB design.

Note: Please consult with your lab's compliance department to make sure your embeds are in line with FDA CFR Part 11 requirements.

2021-06-07

Settings & printing

Combined settings panel

We've completely revamped the settings UX, and unified account and workspace settings under a single modal that won't take you away from what you're working on. This update also allows you to set your default view (to last accessed workspace or project), auto-assign new experiments, and turn off email notifications. On the enterprise plan, you can also disable project archive export, or regularly auto-expire password for all workspace members.

Preferences panel

Printing and PDF export

Many scientific workflows still rely on pen and paper. For example, to avoid contamination, you may only be allowed to bring printouts to your wet lab experiments. With this release, you can hit Ctrl + P, or click Print summary in the three-dot menu to print out a project/experiment summary and activity log, or export it as a PDF.Fixes and improvements

  • Faster loading times
  • Smoother transitions between views
  • Trimming leading & trailing spaces in titles
  • Pick user role before inviting a collaborator
  • Version number in the settings modal
  • Hiding notifications during onboarding
  • Fixed redundant redirects

2021-05-08

Project status tracking, notifications

Experiment status and assignee

Research project management

This week, we're excited to introduce our first step towards building a project management software that understands scientific workflows. The new project view lets you get a bird's eye view of all the experiments, track their status, set due dates, and assign them to team members, all in just 2 clicks.

Notifications

Notifications

Whenever someone edits or comments on a project you're collaborating on with your team, you'll get a ping about it right within the Colabra UI (desktop and mobile). If you're offline at that time, you will also receive a summary email with all the notifications since the last time you've logged into Colabra.

Fixes and improvements

  • Faster loading times
  • Disabled project archive export for guests
  • Fixed paper document scanning on iOS
  • Numerous other bug fixes

2021-04-24

Code syntax highlighting, file uploads

Code block syntax highlighting

Code syntax highlighting

We've always offered a simple code block in Colabra, but some of you who do more computational work have asked for more power and customization. With the latest update, you get syntax highlighting support for a whopping 193 programming languages! You can let us choose the right one automatically based on your snippet, or pick the right language yourself.

File upload

File uploads

In our last update, we let you drag and drop images directly into your experiment and project summaries. Now, you can do the same with any other file type (as long as it's under 15MB). Expect further improvements, such as previews for popular file formats, over the coming months!

Fixes and improvements

  • Open original image block menu item
  • Download original image block menu item
  • Replace image block menu item
  • Fixed onboarding bug

2021-04-11

Slash commands, image upload, activity log

Slash commands

Slash commands

Type / for a world of integrations! We've added a convenient menu to your ELN that lets you add both basic and advanced blocks in just a few keystrokes. Office documents, molecular drawings, DNA sequences, microscope photos, LaTeX formulas, lab inventory, scans of physical notes, and so much more coming soon!

Image upload

Image uploads

Pictures truly are worth ten thousand words in science — whether it's a quick sketch on the back of your glove, a photo from your trusty microscope, or output from the MRI scanner. You can now drag and drop images in all the common formats (JPG, PNG, TIFF, and even iPhone's HEIC/HEIF) right into the experiment notes.

Activity log timeline

Activity log and comments

Based on your feedback, we've deprecated discussions in favour of a new commenting feature combined with a detailed activity log under each experiment.

Fixes and improvements

  • Offline status bar
  • Copy experiment/project link menu item
  • Combined user and workspace menu

2021-03-23

Workspaces

Workspace selector

Workspaces

Many of you have told us that you need to work on projects across multiple teams. This release introduced a Workspaces feature which allows you to create self-contained Colabra teams with different members and collaborator roles, and quickly switch between them from the navbar.

Fixes and improvements

  • Copy experiment/project link menu item
  • Fixed image preview resetting on uploading failure
  • Various ELN design improvements
  • Countless bug fixes