The role of the administrator in HRM

To download the latest version of HRM please click here.

Technical features

HRM consists of two main components: a web based interface and a queue manager.

The web interface allows:

  • the management of users by the system administrator;
  • the management of parameter sets that all users can copy or use directly;
  • the creation of deconvolution jobs, including image selection, setting microscopic, restoration and analysis parameters;
  • inspecting the job queue status, and allowing the users to delete their own jobs from it;
  • previewing and analyzing deconvolved images, including a slicer, MIP and SFP renderers, movies and colocalization results;
  • sharing templates among users;
  • visualizing user and jobs statistics.

HRM is equipped with a simple http file uploader/downloader to send raw images from the user’s local machine to the HRM server, as well as to retrieve the deconvolution results from the server. The server administrator can set up a limit for these transactions.

The queue manager, running the background, dispatches:

  • the jobs created via the web interface to any of the dedicated servers running Huygens Core.
  • the emails to inform the users that the job is finished and that the restored datasets are available.

Installation and requirements

To install HRM the following pre-requisites (at least) must be fulfilled:

  • Operating system: Any recent Linux distribution. Ubuntu and Fedora are the recommended distro’s for HRM.
  • Huygens Core: HRM is just an interface and needs Huygens Core to perform deconvolution on the raw images. Note that Huygens Core needs a license.
  • Apache2 web server.
  • PHP version5.3: Both the HRM queue manager and the web interface are written in PHP and need PHP to operate.
  • MySQL or PostgreSQL: A relational database management system is required to store deconvolution parameters, job descriptions and, optionally, user accounts.
  • A file server: To temporarily store input and restored datasets.

The setup is highly configurable, since the file server, the processing servers and the queue manager can either be all hosted by the same machine or be distributed across two, three or more computers.

To follow the steps for a guided installation please see the installation page at the HRM project’s site.

Administrator’s options

Log in to HRM with the credentials of the administrator. Instead of the regular user home panel HRM will display the administrator home panel, like this:


There are a number of extra options that are available to the administrator only:

  • Manage users: Add, remove, edit, enable and disable users. Alternatively, HRM allows for LDAP/Active Directory user management.
  • Queue status: Manage jobs from all users.
  • Global statistics: See statistics from all users and jobs, including microscope types, PSFs, research groups, dates, etc.
  • Database update: Carry out a database update when a new HRM release requires it.
  • System summary: Get an overview of all the versions and configuration options that play a role in HRM.
  • Check for updates: Get automatic feedback on whether you are running the latest HRM version.
  • Create global templates: The administrator can create global templates accessible to all users. This is meaningful for lowering the threshold for those beginning users who need assistance to start deconvolving their raw data. Global templates can be created at any of the states where templates are required: The Image Parameters (2/5), The Restoration Parameters (3/5) and Analysis parameters (4/5).

Version upgrade


Before upgrading HRM please proceed to backup the HRM database, images and source files.

To upgrade to a new version, download the latest version from here. Next, replace the old source files with the new ones. For Linux you can use something like:

cp -r /path/to/newHRM /path/to/oldHRM*

Because the configuration file is not included in new versions, the existing configuration file will be conserved.

For intructions on specific version upgrades please refer to this page at the HRM project’s site.

Database update


The HRM database should NOT be deleted and replaced by a newer version.

The HRM database contains the existing users, statistics, parameter templates, etc. To update these contents to the latest release click on Database Update UpdateDB22x22 from the admin home panel and follow the instructions.

In order for this update to work properly it is advised to upgrade the HRM source code before upgrading the database.

System configuration

HRM can be configured during the installation. The configuration settings are saved in a configuration file. Some settings, as the maximum upload limit, need to be adjusted both in HRM and in PHP.

For example, if the PHP configuration file states a max upload file size of 256MB, this is applicable to all programs using PHP. Suppose the HRM settings state that the max upload limit is 200MB, since 200MB is lower than 256MB, the HRM configuration does not conflict with the PHP configuration and 200MB is the maximum allowed file size.


The PHP configuration file: /path/to/php/php.ini

The HRM configuration file: /path/to/hrm/config/

How HRM communicates with Huygens Core

For each deconvolution task in the job queue the HRM queue manager automatically generates a Huygens Batch template for Huygens Core that

  • loads the raw image from a source directory,
  • applies the microscopic parameters to it as defined by the user or reads the microscopic parameters from the image metadata,
  • optionally loads another image containing the microscope Point Spread Function,
  • deconvolves the image using the restoration parameters chosen by the user,
  • stores the resulting restored image in a destination directory,
  • generates several visualizations of the raw and deconvolved images for the user to see the effect of the restoration,
  • and finally writes a tag in the destination directory to inform the HRM queue manager that the job is finished.

When the job is finished the queue manager optionally sends the user an e-mail announcing the end of the job and its status. The administrator may configure this.

Multiple jobs can be processed in parallel depending on how HRM is configured, the multiprocessing capabilities of the server and the number of available computation servers.

Tips & Tricks

  • Use the global statistics to get an idea on which microscopes are used most, which file formats, PSFs, etc.
  • On the home panel, click on System summary SystemSummary22x22 to get an overview of your current HRM settings. Expand this information with the PHP settings and/or test the HRM e-mails by clicking on LightBulb18x22.
  • When performing an HRM upgrade disable all users first. Upon successfully upgrading HRM enable the users back again.
  • If you experience unexpected behaviour from the HRM queue manager, such as a deleted job which persists in the queue, restart the HRM daemon.
  • Encourage your users to save deconvolved data in ICS or HDF5 formats since the dynamic range and metadata parameters are conserved (unlike in TIFF). Moreover both ICS and HDF5 allow for good compression rates.