Modern materials research increasingly relies on the use of combinatorial and high-throughput synthesis and screening methods in order to shorten product development times and to maintain filled product pipelines. In order to derive maximum benefit from such technologies, an informatics infrastructure, which supports the experimental work, is indispensable. This paper discusses the efforts made at the Dutch Polymer Institute (DPI) to develop such a system. A detailed requirements and workflow analysis is presented, together with the solution implemented at the DPI. In our approach, we have focussed on the use of existing and proven enterprise technologies, based on open standards, such as JAVA, J2EE, XML and SQL. This allows the rapid development of interfaces between applications as required.