When do I use a fixed property?

First, what is a fixed property?  It’s an attribute of a resource that is permanently associated with that resource no matter where it gets used. For example, the make, model and serial number of a piece of equipment are all fixed properties, so too is a barcode ID.

Fixed properties can also be handy for attributes you might not normally consider fixed, simply because that attribute becomes visible everywhere the resource goes (like a global variable). There are two situations where this is useful:

  1. If you prepare a stock solution of glucose, you would like that stock concentration value to be visible anywhere you use the solution. In that case, use the fixed-property variant of concentration instead of the non-fixed concentration variant.
  2. If you will need to use the property data in a formula on a downstream step. For example if you need to calculate the needed volume of the stock solution in the next experimental step based on its stock concentration and other factors. Also note, this particular use-case will no longer be needed in a few months when Riffyn releases the cross-step formulas feature set - which is kind of like doing a v-lookup in Excel.

Other than these two situations, it’s generally best to use a non-fixed property because non-fixed properties can handle multivalued data (like time series or repeated measurements) whereas fixed properties cannot. Thus non-fixed properties are the most versatile and accommodating for complex measurement data.

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