What's New in Columbus 2.3

This is a description of the major changes in Columbus 2.3 and contains some guidance for users upgrading from a recent, previous version. For information on how to use Columbus please see the online help within Columbus 2.3.

Columbus 2.3 is supported on SuSE Linux Enterprise Server version 11 SP1 (SLES 11.1 64 bit)  and Red Hat Enterprise Linux version 5.6 (RHEL 5.6 64 bit).  The Columbus web interface is supported on the following browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 8 and 9
  • Firefox 8.0
  • Safari 5.0 and 5.1

For Internet Explorer version 8 and 9 ensure "compatibility mode" is disabled. Chrome and Opera are not supported.

Columbus 2.3 is available with a new installer which will simplify system maintenance.

Connecting to Columbus

No client is required, connect via your browser, simply type the URL of your Columbus server. Use your Columbus user name and password at the login screen to gain access.

Login Screen for Columbus 2.3

Once connected users are taken straight to the Columbus system and may immediately start working.

Navigation and Menu Bar

Use the icons to navigate through the high content screening workflow.

Menubar for Columbus 2.3

From the menu bar users may:

  • access the "Job Status" page
  • administer their own account, administrators may manage all user accounts
  • access Help
  • sign out

Columbus Helper

Operations which involve upload and download of files to and from the Columbus server will require the use of the Columbus Helper.

For increased security operations which involve upload and download of files to and from the Columbus server will require the use of the Columbus Helper.  This application must be downloaded to the client computer and installed before the first time of use and a connection file downloaded each time a connection is to be made.  A dialog will provide the necessary links. If you already have the Columbus Helper installed locally download the connection file straight away.  Administrator privileges for the local machine are required to install the Columbus Helper.

Helper for Columbus 2.3

STAR Morphology

The calculate morphology building block has enhanced set of algorithms characterizing morphology named ‘STAR morphology’, increasing the parameters that may be measured for a phenotypic fingerprint.

Columbus 2.3 Star Morphology

For more details on STAR parameters please see the Columbus online documentation.

Secondary Analysis

The ability to create and edit plate layout, or assay, definitions has been added. Assay definitions specify the ingredients, treatment and purpose of wells in plates and enable important parts of the HCS workflow such as  summary of parameters in regions on the plate and across plates, generation of dose response curves and the measure of quality z’.

Assay Definition for Columbus 2.3


The popular building block interface is used to make secondary analysis tasks available.

Secondary Analysis for Columbus 2.3

Assay layouts from Operetta (Harmony 3.0 or later) are now also supported and, if present, will be imported with the data.

Image Display

All Image display settings are remembered per screen during the current Columbus session.

Modes for coloring images have been rationalised.

Coloring Image Modes for Columbus 2.3

Highlight is ideal for assessing information in large numbers of images from a screen. Enhanced may be preferred if the white color of very bright regions is disturbing. Standard is useful for qualitative visual comparison of images.