Frequently Asked Questions
What is SiLA?
SiLA promotes open standards to allow integration and exchange of intelligent systems in a cost effective way.
SiLA’s mission is to establish international standards which create open connectivity in lab automation.
SiLA’s vision is to create interoperability, flexibility and resource optimization for laboratory instruments integration and software services based on standardized communication protocols and content specifications.
What is a SiLA Standard?
The SiLA standards define how information is packaged and communicated from one system to another. Setting the language, structure and own data types required for seamless integration between systems, SiLA standards support good laboratory practice and the management, delivery and evaluation of laboratory services. SiLA is recognized as the most commonly used in the world.
What is SiLA 2?
SiLA 2 is the new Standard in Lab Automation. It will change the future of lab technology realizing outstanding and elegant concepts.
The SiLA Organization provides with the SiLA 2 Standard a framework for the exchange, integration, sharing and retrieval of electronic laboratory information.
The SiLA 2 specification specifies interoperabiliy schemes that allow laboratory devices and services to communicate with each other. It is bases on open communication protocols that are well established and defines a thin domain specific layer on top of these, consisting of common concepts and a vocabulary / taxonomy.
For an overview of SiLA 2 visit this page.
If you are interested in supporting SiLA 2, visit this page.
Why SiLA 2?
SiLA 1.x and SiLA 2 are both tackling down the same problems in lab automation. Their solutions however differ greatly.
SiLA 1.x was based on XML Soap, an unpopular technology choice nowadays. SiLA 2 on the other hand is based on a handful of promising new technologies and concepts, including HTTP/2 and “REST-like” communication paradigms.
While SiLA 1.x focused on device types, SiLA 2 embraced a completely service oriented structure. Using Features, SiLA 2 is a configurable and open standard which enables users to choose devices independently of vendors and based on functionality.
Thanks to its self propagating functionality, SiLA 2 allows true plug & play. Break out of closed ecosystems. Reuse, change, adapt and configure already existing systems automatically.
Also, SiLA 2 encapsulates complexity as much as possible. Therefore it is easily accessible for both, end users and developers.
Where can I find more information about SiLA 2?
Apart from our web resources, the SiLA Consortium offers the SiLA 2 Specification:
- SiLA 2 Part (A) – Overview, Concepts and Core Specification (requires free registration as a personal member)
- SiLA 2 Part (B) – Mapping Specification (requires free registration as a personal member)
Also, you can have a look at our GitLab Code Repository (requires free registration as a personal member).
Can SiLA 1.x be used together with SiLA 2?
SiLA 2 is not directly backwards compatible. However, SiLA alllows parallel running of SiLA 1.x and SiLA 2, which means: Yes, of course you can!
How do I get involved?
We provide different ways to get involved with SiLA:
- You can become a SiLA Member.
- You can directly sign up here.
- You can submit proposals and ideas.
- You can ask us questions directly.
- You can help us implement new ideas to our standard on GitLab.
How do I become a SiLA Member?
There exist different forms of SiLA Memberships:
- Personal Member (Free)
- Academic Contributing Member
- Academic Member
- Start-up Members
- Supporting Member
- Core Member
If you want to become a Personal Member, all there is to do is sign up here.
You can also find more detailed information here.
A membership application form is available here.
Why should I become a SiLA Member?
Will Membership increase my sales?
Let’s put this question into a different context: Will buying a gym membership improve your fitness?
Clearly, just paying a membership doesn’t translate into results. However, using your membership typically does! Just like a gym membership gives you access to equipment to help get you in shape, SiLA membership grants Members access to promotional tools to increase company visibility.
These tools include free Member advertising wherever SiLA advertises – tradeshows, press releases, websites, newsletters, and conferences.
Use SiLA as part of your company’s marketing and promotional plan. The more you use your SiLA membership, the more visibility your company will get which will translate into more sale opportunities for your products.
Where does the Membership go?
Nearly half of SiLA membership fees are used to promote SiLA standards and SiLA compliant products in publications, tradeshows and conferences. Through these activities, SiLA increases the adoption and popularity of the standard and brings new business opportunities to our members.
The other half is split more or less equally between our Operation fund, Administration fund and direct work into the standard. This ensures the persistent existence of SiLA as an organization.
What does certification mean regarding SiLA 2?
There will be two types of certification processes to guarantee stable and well functioning SiLA Servers, Features and SiLA Clients: Self-Certification and Accredited Certification.
See Certification for more information.