A laboratory execution system or LES is a "computer system employed in the laboratory at the analyst work level to aid in step enforcement for laboratory test method execution," according to the 2007 Annual Book of ASTM Standards. The general purpose of the LES is to direct the user to follow specific steps to ensure the rigidity of the test method and and the process' end results, though alternate workflow routes may be applied in specific circumstances. The LES may encompass this functionality and more, including tasks like enforcing standard operating procedures (SOPs), validating calculations and instrument interfaces, and acquiring or importing procedural data from other systems into one common system.
For some, an LES may be considered a sub-branch of an electronic laboratory notebook (ELN) specifically made for laboratories engaging in quality control and quality assurance applications, while others may consider it simply a separate set of functionality which may be found in an ELN or a LIMS. Some in the industry suggest the term "laboratory execution system" is a vendor-led morphing of the "method execution system," which was originally designed "to address the problem of standard operating procedure (SOP) compliance."
In France, the English word "Middleware" is used to define a LES.
- American Society for Testing and Materials (2007). Annual Book of ASTM Standards 2007. ASTM. p. 296. ISBN 0803142765. https://books.google.com/books?id=znlGAAAAYAAJ&q=%22laboratory+execution+system%22&dq=%22laboratory+execution+system%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=YKUiUbHrE4O9ywHH_YC4BA&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAA.
- Metrick, G. (January 2011). "QA/QC: ELNs Have Come a Long Way". Scientific Computing 28 (1): 19. https://www.thefreelibrary.com/QA%2FQC%3A+ELNs+have+come+a+long+way%3A+realizing+the+full+potential+of...-a0272245303. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
- Boogaard, Peter; Pijanowski, Patrick (Nov-Dec 2011). "Electronic Laboratory Notebooks: ELN Means Many Things to Many People". G.I.T. Laboratory Journal 2011 (11-12): 14–16. Archived from the original on 28 March 2017. https://web.archive.org/web/20170328012245/http://www.industriallabautomation.com/attachments/File/201111ELN-Mans-Many-Things-To-Many-People-GIT-Verlag-GLJ11-1211P.pdf. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
- "The Full Life-Cycle Development and Implementation of ELN/LES Systems". LabAnswer.com. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. https://web.archive.org/web/20131012115959/http://labanswer.com/electronic-laboratory-notebooks-laboratory-execution-systems.asp. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
- Jones, J. (January 2013). "Is a Lab Execution System just another name for a LIMS?". LIMSforum. https://www.limsforum.com/forum/is-a-lab-execution-system-just-another-name-for-a-lims/. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
- Hice, Randy C. (May 2009). "Roadmap to a Clear Definition of ELN". Scientific Computing 26 (3): E11. Archived from the original on 14 August 2012. https://web.archive.org/web/20120814161250/http://www.scientificcomputing.com/article-in-Roadmap-to-a-Clear-Definition-of-ELN-051509.aspx. Retrieved 21 March 2020.