Chromatography data management system
History of the CDMS
The first attempts to automate the analysis of chromatography data through electronics took place in the early 1970s. These analysis tools utilized microprocessor-based integrators, "dedicated devices for measuring chromatographic peaks and performing user-specified calculations" which also featured a printer plotter to output the results.  Limited memory plagued those early systems, preventing more than one chromatograph from being stored at any one time. This became less of problem for large labs with bigger budgets in the mid-70s, as expensive centralized data systems were installed, allowing greater data storage and sharing capabilities.
As computers shrank in size, the personal computer became a viable reality. In 1980 entrepreneur and Hewlett-Packard prodigy Dave Nelson saw the potential the personal computer could have on the field of analytical chemistry, joining with partner Harmon Brown to create Nelson Analytical Inc. That year they developed the first CDMS personal computer software, soon followed by Turbochrom, the first CDMS system for MS Windows. This innovation quickly spread from analytical chemistry labs to the fields of environmental, forensic, and pharmaceutical sciences. At the same time chromatography minicomputers like Hewlett-Packard's 3350 LAS Lab Automation System and Perkin-Elmer's LIMS 2000 CLAS chromatography laboratory automation system were seeing increased utilization, featuring the data acquisition and processing of up to 32 or more simultaneous chromatographs.
In the 1990s, more affordable higher-performance PCs — combined with tighter networking standards — allowed for networks of CDMSs, especially those installed on personal computers. By the late '90s, the CDMS commonly featured the ability to set up a methodology and analytical run information, control some instruments, acquire injection data, process the data in different ways, save the data, and transmit it to other systems like a LIMS.  By 2008, CDMS functions were becoming more enhanced, driven by improvements in liquid chromatographs (LC) and gas chromatographs (GC). The new innovation of high-speed LC and GC instruments meant the potential for faster data generation, improved seperation, and higher resolutions and sensitivities. While these next-generation machines would bring more processing power to chromatography labs, it also meant that vendors would have to improve CDMSs, specifically the analog-to-digital converter sampling rates. Some vendors were estimating at the time that data acquisition sampling rates on the order of 100 to 300 Hz would be needed to keep up with the new wave of speedier chromatography devices. Additional concerns of scalability and remote access were becoming important due to the expansion of pharmaceutical and chemical companies expanding into parts of Latin America, South America, and the Far East.
See the CDMS vendor page for a list of CDMS vendors past and present.
- McDowall, R.D. (1999). "Chromatography Data Systems I: The Fundamentals" (PDF), pp. 1-2.
- "David Nelson to receive the first annual PITTCON Heritage Award" Science Blog. January 2002. Retrieved 05 May 2011.
- Felton, Michael J. (2002). "CDS: Networked and Regulated" (PDF). Today's Chemist at Work 11 (9): 20. http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/archive/tcaw/11/i09/pdf/902felton.pdf.
- Ryan, James F. (2004). "LIMS: From Chromatograms to Computers" (PDF). Today's Chemist at Work 13 (4): 36. http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/archive/tcaw/13/i04/pdf/404ryan.pdf.
- Long, Edward C. (19 August 2008). "Trends in Chromatography Data System Software Development". Scientific Computing. http://www.scimag.com/trends-in-chromatography-data.aspx. Retrieved 06 May 2011.