Prospective Banks Checklist2019-07-17T09:54:48-04:00


New biobanks considering use of ATiM should review the following guidelines to help ensure a successful, and timely installation.

IT Support

ATiM is a web-based and highly configurable application. Someone capable of installation, customization and ongoing support of the application will be needed. The skill set required for your IT staff will vary depending on the level of customization, data audits, and/or porting of existing data. Based on previous experience with other banks, CTRNet recommends the following qualifications for your IT support staff:

  • Experience with server administration. (Only applicable if hosting on your own server).
  • General database administration – Understanding of SQL, backup/restoration, ongoing maintenance.
  • Understanding of PHP, specifically the CakePHP framework and/or Model-View-Controller design pattern.

When bank requirements include complex business rules, new plug-ins, or additional functionality knowledge of PHP and general web-development is imperative

ATiM Hardware/Software Requirements

  • Most banks choose to run ATiM on a dedicated server located in a secure server room environment. Please see the section above to learn about the System Requirements.

Application Configuration

ATiM was designed based on the requirements of multiple bio-repositories all with differing disease-site specialties. In most applications, the base installation will only require minor customization such as:

  • Setting up dropdown lists with local data such as provider names (Doctors, local hospitals, bank staff)
  • Disabling or hiding sections of the application the bank does not wish to use. For example, a bank may only specialize in collecting blood products. All other sample types and related derivatives/aliquots can be hidden from the user.
  • Creating users, groups and assigning appropriate permissions.
  • Basic bank validation rules.

Moderate customization would include:

  • Adding additional aliquot and sample types. See Inventory for a complete listing.
  • Adding new storage types.
  • Adding new disease site-specific events. For example a new lifestyle questionnaire for prostate cancer.

High-level customization:

  • Specific business logic to execute. For example complex bank data validation rules to be checked before any new record was saved.


The process of installation, customization, and loading data from existing data sources (if any) can have a significant impact on timelines for getting ATiM into a production biobank environment. To help banks better understand project timelines, CTRNet has provided a questionnaire to gather information on the prospective installation site. Upon review by CTRNet a general timeframe and project plan can be derived from the responses.

Existing data sources

Objective: Describe all existing data sources that will be ported into the ATiM.

  • Format (Access, Excel, other database types)
  • Data quality – Are fields controlled by constraints and validations rules?
  • Number of records – Small, complex datasets can be re-entered where larger ones must be audited and loaded through scripts
  • Data dictionary and/or ERD – Describe all data elements collected, permissible values for those elements, definitions, etc. A diagram of any database structure would be useful.
Disease sites collected
  • DX Speciality – What types of data are collected for each disease site:
  • Followup
  • Path reports
  • Initial Presentation
  • Treatment
  • Lifestyle
  • Screening
  • Adverse Events
  • Sample types collected + related derivatives and aliquots for each type
  • Storage model described
Users Groups and Banks
  • Define the list of users, what roles they perform and disease site groups they work with.
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