Instrument booking system


I am looking into different booking systems for multiple instruments, including microscopes, and I just wondered what is your preferred booking system, and why ?

I am looking for something that would allow to implement usage rules (e.g., max amount of hours booked per week/month), and make usage reports. And if it is a free system it would be great.

Thanks a lot!


you can consider OpenIris (, please contact Dean Flanders from FMI for details.
Best regards,


Hi @StuartMerrill

At the Liverpool Centre for Cell Imaging, we implemented Booked Scheduler running on a local Virtual Machine.

It’s an open source project so it’s as customisable as is your skill with PHP / SQL / HTML / CSS but with that said, it pretty much works out of the box. We’ve been very pleased with it overall.

Highlights for us:

  • Customisable schedules
  • Great reporting system (by group / user / equipment, etc)
  • Can authenticate on our Active Directory
  • Email notifications of bookings / can add equipment calendars to your outlook calendar
  • Custom accessories (we have objectives / specialist stages as part of the the bookings)
  • ASIDE: being on a VM, snapshots make system backup and recovery really easy. You can also dump the DB if you want daily/hourly backups.

There is a fairly flexible quota and credit system built in. See the help page for details.

For balance, if you need automated integration with a billing system or a process monitor you will need to do some work or outsource a bit of development.

Happy to answer any specific questions, we have no commercial interest, but are very happy users!


Thank you very much,
I will look into both systems.