Image Database Software: Image Archiving & Retrieval


Quartz PCI includes a full-fledged database to track your images, as well as other documents and job, task, session and sample information.

Workgroup and Enterprise Databases

PCI comes standard with our Workgroup Database, which is suitable for groups of up to approximately 10 users and instruments. Our optional Enterprise Database is based on Microsoft SQL Server and is suitable for virtually any size of organization. The Quartz LIMS systems integrate with our Enterprise Database.

Enterprise Database Map

Database Structure

The PCI Workgroup Database has four levels – Job (for project or job related information), Sample (for each sample that is examined), Session (a contiguous time when a particular analyst works on a particular instrument on a specified job) and Document (which contains images and other data acquired during a session). The Enterprise Database inserts two more levels – the Task level, which allows Jobs to be subdivided into multiple tasks and the Project level which allows jobs to be grouped into long running Projects.

Database Structure

Data Manager

You access your data in PCI using PCI’s Data Manager function. The Data Manager shows thumbnails of the images and documents in your database. The display is conveniently divided into tabs and each tab allows you to create and save a custom database query. You could, for example, create a query for all data where Failure Mechanism is “Corrosion”, which would cut through all of your jobs looking for data that matches this criterion. Within the Data Manager, you can carry out batch functions on data, such as printing and exporting.

Data Manager Window

“Send To” and Virtual Printer Driver Functions

In addition to images, your lab likely produces non-image data and other documents, such as reports. PCI includes a “Send To” function that adds a “hot folder” icon to your desktop. Any files, of any type, or entire folders dragged into this hot folder will be added to the PCI database.

Send To Screenshot

Users of the Quartz LIMS systems also benefit from our Virtual Printer Driver. This allows you to “print” data from any Windows application into the PCI database.

Virtual Printer Window


The PCI Enterprise Database allows security settings to be made for individual records in the database. Different privilege levels are available which permit individual users and groups to have No Access, Read Access, Change Access and Full Control. Access to database records and documents can be controlled so that users can only see and change records for which they have permission to do so. PCI allows you to create Security Templates that permit predefined security settings to be applied to newly submitted Jobs and to other records in the database.

Database Security

Import Functionality

PCI can scan entire drives or folders, import any images that are found and add them to the database under the Job, Session and Sample that you specify. Most standard image file formats are supported.

Import Window

Custom Fields

In addition to the standard fields in the PCI database, you can create your own database fields in each of the Job, Task, Session, Sample and Document levels to track information that is important to you.

Users of the Quartz LIMS systems can also rename any of the existing fields to match their lab’s terminology.

Custom Field Window