The NOAA Virtual Lab (VLab) provides an environment where collaboration and innovation among geographically diverse NOAA scientists and developers can thrive.

The Virtual Laboratory (VLab) is a service and an IT framework, lead by MDL/DSB and hosted within IDP, which enables NOAA employees and their partners to share ideas, collaborate, engage in software development, and conduct applied research. The VLab enables NOAA to:

  1. Reduce the time and cost of transitions of innovations to enterprise operations,
  2. Minimize redundancy and leverage complementary, yet physically separated, skill sets,
  3. Forge scientific and technical solutions based on a broad, diverse consensus, and
  4. Promote an NOAA culture based on collaboration and trust


The VLab is comprised of two main components:

  1. Virtual Lab Collaboration Services (VLCS)
  2. Virtual Lab Development Services (VLDS)



VLCS provides collaboration tools within communities including:

- Document libraries - - Workflow - - Dynamic forms -
- Wikis - - Forums - - Blogs -
  - Web content management -  


VLDS provides services and a framework supporting development to NOAA developers and partners.  Services include:

  • Project management 
  • Issue/Bug tracking
  • Revision control (git and subversion)
  • Code review
  • Continuous integration


The VLab operates under the following set of guiding principles:



The VLab and its staff are open and transparent in all communications and decision-making


The VLab and its staff facilitate and support collaborative teamwork


The VLab and its staff adapt to different and/or changing user needs


The VLab and its staff respond quickly to user needs


The VLab and its staff are accountable to its users through meaningful metrics


Contact VLab

For further information about NOAA VLab, please contact the VLab Support Team at vlab.admin@noaa.gov.