STACS Database

Sample Tracking and Lab Management Software for DNA Databanking Laboratories

The leading DNA database sample tracking software in North America

For high throughput forensic DNA database labs that need to increase productivity while reducing risk, STACS Database improves submission management and forensic system integration to save time, save money, reduce errors and centralize data access.

Unlike general LIMS, STACS Database employs a deep understanding of the DNA process and is supported by STACS white glove services to exactly meet ongoing lab requirements and empower users.

Implemented in national and state databanking labs since 2000, STACS Database‘s convenient barcode-based identification system provides an audit trail of all lab activity. It also helps with hit tracking, resolving troubleshooting incidents, performing peer review, conducting audits—and more—so that you can focus on processing the right samples more quickly.

Features & Capabilities

This diagram shows STACS Database capabilities. Submission Management yields the biggest positive impact on DNA Database labs, shown at the center.

Security: STACS Database maintains security and confidentiality while ensuring that lab staff have access to the information they need; role based access control (RBAC) restricts user access based on their assigned user role.

Configuration: Configure and manage every task in the DNA lab with a flexible and robust configuration system that supports client based control.

Click on topics below to learn what STACS Database can do for your lab.

Submission Receipt and Check-In

  • Track the receipt date of the submission into the lab
  • Assign the STACS barcode to both the submission and sample for tracking purposes in STACS Database

Data Entry

  • Enter and track submission collection information manually, via livescan, PDFs with 2D barcodes, Remote Collection Module
  • Automatically identity missing information and other problems with submissions
  • Set submissions as high priority to expedite processing
  • Track comments specific to the submission

Check for Duplicate Submissions and BOLOs (Be On the Lookout)

  • Check for duplicate submissions
  • Create and track BOLO submissions, setting special instructions on the processing of the submission
  • Match resubmissions to existing problem submissions

Attach files to submissions

  • Attach submission card images, court orders and other pertinent files to the submission in STACS Database

Problem Kits and Missing Information

  • Track missing information and other problems with submissions
  • Generate and track retake letters and notifications to external agencies

Data Mining and Reporting

  • Generate and save database queries on submission data
  • Export query results to Excel, PDF or the clipboard
  • Configure management reports to be automatically emailed to management
  • Complete Audit History of submission data and processing in STACS Database
  • Generate management reports on various submission data received

Expungements, Removals and Destructions

  • Initiate and process legal expungements and administrative removals
  • Configure checklists to ensure that all steps were recorded and witnessed as required

Interaction with third party agencies

  • Integrates with law enforcement information systems such as AFIS and CCH
  • Verify fingerprints
  • Send DNA Flag updates to the state criminal history section
  • Update charges for arrestee submissions
  • Track information requests from external agencies

Kit Inventory

  • Track kit inventory with the kit manufacturer
  • Track kit requests and shipments to submitting agencies
  • Assign barcode ranges to kit shipments and track receipt of those kit barcodes in STACS Database

Sample Tracking

  • Capture and review every detail of a sample’s processing in STACS, including collection, analysis software outputs, technical/administrative review and outsourcing
  • Identify issues requiring attention with sample status flags
  • Track sample extract, concentration and amplicon volumes

Processing Workflows

  • Apply user-defined workflows, sample volume/quantity parameters and plate layout configurations
  • Create and apply technology-specific and kit-specific protocols
  • Reduce calculation errors; STACS performs calculations during processing steps
  • Process batches using cutting-edge PCR, quantitation and amplification technology
  • Expedite processing with automatically-generated worklists and sample sheets
  • Prepare and process multiple sample plates simultaneously

Profile Management

  • Import, compare and verify sample profiles
  • Identify NDIS acceptable values
  • Generate upload files for CODIS or state databases
  • Define and manage control profiles

Technical/Administrative Review

  • Manage and assign review tasks to specific users in the lab
  • Ensure best practices by enforcing a two-step review process for samples; users are prevented from conducting technical review on their own cases/samples
  • Identify and analyze performance issues across a specified date range using the Lab Troubleshooter

Setup and Maintenance

  • Set up and manage instruments, robots and other lab equipment
  • Design, schedule and perform instrument maintenance tasks; record and review maintenance results in STACS Database
  • Automate routine tasks such as allocation, verification and instrument status checks to streamline lab processing
  • Supports the following instruments – if your instruments are not on the list, let us know
Manufacturer Model
Agilent Biocel, Bravo
BSD 600, 600Plus, 600 Ascent, 1000
COPAN CPA200 Puncher
Hamilton MicroLab 4000, MicroLab 4200, MP4800, STARlet, EasyPunch STARlet, 2200MPH
Perkin Elmer 9700, Wallac DBS Puncher
Promega Maxwell 16
Qiagen BioRobot 9604, EZ1, EZ1 Advanced XL, QIAsymphony
Tecan Genesis RSP, Freedom Evo
Thermo Fisher Scientific 310, 3100, 3130, 3130XL, 3500, 3500XL, 3730, NanoDrop, Veriti, RapidHIT

Transaction Files

  • Configure and generate transaction files for use during setup, eliminating redundant data entry

Processing Outputs

  • Import instrument processing results into STACS Database

CODIS Match Tracking

  • Monitor and document matches from the CODIS database
  • Conduct Hit Tracking runs for CODIS matches
  • Generate CODIS Match letters
  • Allow remote labs and agencies to submit case information for a CODIS match via the Remote CODIS Information Collection utility

CODIS Upload

  • Generate sample profiles for CODIS and other DNA profile databases
  • Monitor and track removal of DNA profiles from CODIS for expungements

Post Familial Search

  • Conduct familial searches and perform profile comparisons
  • Import candidate profiles from CODIS
  • Generate Post Familial Search letters

Agency Reports

  • Generate reports based on CODIS turnaround time


  • Generate reports on a wide range of lab performance metrics and comprehensive information on specific lab processes


  • Generate notifications and requests in multiple formats such as PDF, Word and XLS
  • Use email-supported modules to expedite resubmissions, requests or rejections
  • Record legal information such as correspondence with submitting agencies and submission data

QC Management

  • Conduct QA/QC processing and record processing results for consumables, controls and samples
  • Define QA/QC requirements and configure QA/QC processes for specific item types

Ordering and Receiving

  • Generate and receive consumable orders and review ordering history
  • Track consumables by barcode and lot number
  • Receive alerts when a consumable needs reordering

Expiry Tracking

  • Automatically track the expiry date for every consumable in the lab
  • Review nearing expiry dates using consumable reports
  • Prevent the use of expired or unreleased consumables in the lab via the STACS barcode tracking system

Preparation and Release

  • Perform kit breakdown and prepare recipes
  • Release consumables into the lab and associate safe storage and handling instructions with consumables

Storage Management

  • Use the Storage Location module to configure storage units and define storage guidelines based on consumable/sample type
  • Locate and retrieve consumables/samples quickly with the STACS barcode tracking system
  • Maintain secure storage access

SOP Management

  • Upload and manage user-defined SOPs for workflows in the lab

Proficiency Tests

  • Configure proficiency and training tests for lab analysts
  • Conduct and measure test results

  • Create and manage missing person cases, including found human remains, missing persons and relatives of a missing person, as well as their associated samples
  • Process reference samples in STACS Database
  • Optionally, track the processing of human remains samples and personal effects samples that are outsourced or processed in STACS Casework
  • Import and review Mitochondrial DNA results
  • Track the Profile Review and Tech Review processes for the samples of each missing persons case
  • Generate CODIS import files for samples under their associated CODIS Index
  • Generate processing, case and statistical reports
  • Perform data mining as needed
  • Track and manage the purge process of samples from CODIS

  • Optional, fully customizable web-based application that integrates with STACS Database to help forensic laboratories increase productivity and ensure data accuracy
  • Allows sample collection agencies (police stations, jails) to electronically enter information for an arrestee or offender sample
  • Supports labs by decreasing the collection of duplicate and non-qualifying samples
  • Reduces number of lost samples or samples containing incomplete information
  • Eliminates the process of manually entering data from collection cards

Integration with Other STACS DNA Products

Integrates with STACS Casework

Transfer samples and sample profiles between STACS Database and STACS Casework to support different processes and profiling tasks

Arizona Department of Public Safety

Arkansas State Crime Laboratory

California Department of Justice

Colorado Bureau of Investigation

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Florida Department of Law Enforcement

Illinois State Police

Kansas Bureau of Investigations

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Forensic Laboratory

Michigan State Police

Missouri State Highway Patrol

Pennsylvania State Police

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Canada)

Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory Service

U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory, Defense Forensic Science Center

Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Convicted Offender Laboratory (Nevada)

Wisconsin Department of Justice

STACS Database (STACS-DB) customers said:

“STACS-DB saved us $27,000-36,000/year by eliminating the processing of duplicate samples.”

“We wouldn’t be able to handle the volume resulting from the all-felony statute without STACS-DB Enterprise.”

STACS tracks the DNA process from beginning to end. It allowed us to automate our system, and provided cohesiveness to the process.”

“We would need more analysts [without STACS software].”

“We’ve increased the size of our database by 60%.”

“Now I can … import those 20 samples into CODIS within 30 seconds. That means I have two free hours … it is pretty handy; I love that feature!”

“We had an idea of what we wanted and we looked at seven or eight LIMS. When I saw the RCMP system, I knew it would be a perfect fit for us. STACS already worked with CODIS. It just made the most sense.”

“[With STACS DNA,] we were able to customize the program to meet our needs.”

“STACS DNA is willing to work with customers to solve issues that come up.”

“According to my research, STACS DNA has the most well thought out, complete program.”