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IndySoft Pipette Data Collection Extension

pipette-data-collection

With this post we’re announcing a new sidebar product line and service available to users of IndySoft Version 9.2.12 and above called simply enough, extensions. Extensions can be thought of as plug-ins that extend the functionality of IndySoft for very specific tasks. If you have ever worked with our services group you know they have low-level scripting capabilities in the product but what you may not know is that hidden under the hood is also a full-blown GUI development environment based on the same technology. It is through this mechanism that we are adding expansion opportunities to the product line. Our first project now available is the Pipette Data Collection Extension.

The Pipette Extension allows for assets to contain pipette data collection parameters which then feed into your calibration event. Within the calibration event a series of windows become available allowing you to connect to common RS-232 scales and perform pipette data collection per common industry accepted procedures all the while automatically performing the calculations and generating your final results. The following is an overview of the initial release of the extension.

Asset Setup

Initial setup for assets is broken down into configuration of the attributes, test points, and design of the certificate.

Configuration

You can add a link to the Pipette Setup dialog within the equipment view for simple configuration.

launching-pipette-setup

Example Pipette Setup Link in Equipment View

After launching you are presented with a set of default setup options.

pipette-method-setup

Asset/Default Pipette Method Setup Screen

Testing Criteria

When you commit the values they are then stored with the asset record as a Pipette extended attribute.

pipette-method-saved-settings

Setup Method as Stored with the Asset or Template

Test Points

Test points are setup almost the same as any other asset in IndySoft however we utilize the following fields for additional data storage related to the Pipette findings

pipette-test-point-setup

Example Test Point Setup (Asset Level View)

 

Accuracy (Extra Num 1) should be the desired percent accuracy (between 0 and 100%)

Precision (Extra Num 2) should be the desired percent precision (between 0 and 100%)

pipette-test-point-results-view

Example Test Point Setup (Results Level View)

As Found Accuracy is stored in Custom 1.

As Left Accuracy is stored in Custom 2.

As Found Precision is stored in Custom 3.

As Left Precision is stored in Custom 4.

Actual findings and pass/fail status are handled by the outcome of the pipette procedure and calculation of final results.

Certificate Design

The extended data associated with the data collection is stored in the IndySoft database but is not shown by default on the certificates. If you wish to show the extended data modification or creation of a new certificate can be accomplished to expose those additional fields.

Calibration Process

Once an asset has been configured the technician simply launches into the calibration event configured for pipette data collection. Once in the pipette calibration, the user is asked to confirm the environmental variables.

pipette-environmental-variables

Environmental Prompt with RS232 Setup and Data Collection Triggers

They are then given the option to configure the scale.

Scale Setup

The scale setup contains all of the standard elements of any RS-232 based scale in terms of communication settings. Simply set the options to match the device settings then commit the changes and proceed to the data collection screen via the as found or as left buttons.

rs232-pipette-scale-settings

RS232 Communication Setup Screen

Data Collection

The data collection screen will load setup relative to the information previously defined at the asset-level.

pipette-data-collection

Pipette Data Collection Screen with Example Results

Final Certificate

After the event is complete, the data will feed into the test point grid like any other calibration.

pipette-event-results

Final Results Pumped into the Calibration Event

resulting in a completed certificate to be distributed to the end customer.

pipette-cert-example

Rudimentary Extract from Cert Showing Results and Collected Data

IndySoft Sales is currently accepting feedback from the user community on ideas for additional data collection extensions. If you would like to purchase the existing system, or talk about extensions that would help your business, please feel free to contact the IndySoft US Sales office.

IndySoft Version 10 Technology Preview

Version 10 is nearing release! We have just posted a brief technology preview on the official IndySoft website. The newest release contains a great set of features and new technologies:

  • Web based platform announced
  • Three tier connectivity replaced with HTTP/S solution
  • Spreadsheet data collection built into the product
  • Location based user profiles
  • Cloud based data exchange between labs and end customers

You can check out the technology preview at http://www.indysoft.com/version-10-release

Calendar Scheduling of Work Orders in 9.2.6

order-system-timeline-view

The release of MR 9.2.6 comes with an added bonus in the form of significant enhancements to the Scheduling Calendar. In versions previous to this release, schedule administrators could only assign work order items to techs or groups and place them on the calendar. This latest release builds upon that core function to allow much greater functionality:

  • Schedule start and stop times for entire work orders
  • Assign an entire work order to a user or group, not just line items
  • View the entire year in the Calendar View
  • View the entire schedule with the new Timeline View
  • Create custom layouts for the Calendar View to include additional details about the scheduled work
  • Export the calendar views to popular formats
  • Synchronize the Calendar with Outlook, or import/export ICS files
  • Easily navigate through months, weeks, or years with enhanced calendar navigators
  • Create color schemes for items shown in the calendar view
  • Add ad-hoc events not related to the Order System
  • Span scheduled events across multiple days complete with drag and drop editing

Do we have your attention now? We thought so. Let’s take a look at most of these mentioned features, then we’ll send you over to my.indysoft.com to login and download the latest release.

Scheduling Work Orders

Of all the feedback from our customers, the ability to schedule an entire work order to a staff member or group along with start and end dates for the job was among our top requests.

Work Orders and Individual Line Items Shown On Schedule

Both Work Orders and Individual Line Items Can Be Scheduled

 

Scheduling of a work order is found on the bottom left of the Calendar view right alongside the scheduling of work order line items. Simple select a tech or group from the top right, then drag the order into the calendar view.

View of the Order System showing the scheduling options

Unscheduled Work Now Shows Both Orders and Line Items

 

You’ll also notice, you can now access and display schedule related information in the Work Order layout screen. You will find the scheduling options in LayoutBuilder for the Work Order layouts.

Order system layout screen showing additional layout information

Information about an Order Schedule now shown in Layouts

Calendar and Timeline Views

Along with the Month, Week, and Day Views in the Calendar, you can also view the entire production year with the timeline view.

View of schedule timelines

The New Schedule Timeline View

 

Views have also been enhanced with expansion buttons when more events are present than will fit into the view along specific navigation controls related to the selected view. Also, selection of an event will retain that selection as you navigate between views.

Finally you can also span scheduled events across multiple days complete with drag and drop editing. This will likely be used for overall work orders rather than individual line items, but the capability is there if you need it.

View of month calendar showing work crossing days

Scheduled work can now cross multiple sequential days

Custom Layouts for Calendar View

You can now add detailed information to the calendar views, providing a much better overview of the operations using data that is important to your organization.

Scheduled Task Layout Editor

Scheduled Tasks can show detailed information in the title or mouseover hint

Calendar Export/Sync

Tucked away on the far right menu you will find new options to export the calendar views to any one of multiple popular formats along with the capability to synchronize with Outlook or export/import ad-hoc events from .ics files. You can now also add ad-hoc events to the calendar at any time, no work order, asset, or other IndySoft-related data required.

Calendar Export Options

Calendar Export Options

Calendar Sync Options

Calendar Sync Options

Ad-Hoc Calendar Events

Ad-Hoc Calendar Events

Color Schemes

Finally… you now have control over the display color of task status to ensure your view is providing at-a-glance information about your workload.

Task Status Color Editing

Task Status Color Editing

So that’s it! If your company is a current support holder, 9.2.6 is awaiting your download in the my.indysoft.com latest releases section. Not under contract? Contact IndySoft Sales to re-establish your service. Want to get the most out of your system or just close some knowledge gaps with upgrades? Contact IndySoft Sales to discuss your training options.

IndySoft 9.2.5 Released

Version 9.2.5 of IndySoft has been released. Along with additional corrections and enhancements, please note the following primary items:

  • Commercial Lab Management support for Quickbooks finalized. Integration schemes are constructed as scripted operations through our services group. Please contact your sales representative to begin the process for your Quickbooks implementation if desired.
  • Enhanced labeling for custom search columns that follow company label schemes
  • Custom field captions based on company selection now supported in filterbox routines
  • Custom field captions based on tracking statuses now supported in filterbox routines
  • Email preview dialogs enhanced with support for copy and paste across address fields
  • Ability to customize the delivery address for test emails sent from workstation setup
  •  Uncertainty calculations (when using the uncertainty upgrade) now supported in ganged calibration routines
  • Ability to add new employees on the fly in employee group operations
  • Alternate address contacts can now be selected from a pulldown list
  • Enhancements to, and finalization of, NT Authentication, LDAP/AD, and SSO routines. Integration schemes are constructed as scripted operations through our services group. Please contact your sales representative to begin the process for implementation if desired.

Customers with valid IndySoft support contracts can download the latest release via my.indysoft.com and review change lists with more detailed information.

Version 9 SP2 License Pooling

License Pooling – 9.2 Standout Feature

With the release of 9.2, IndySoft now allows for license pooling scenarios. Our long-standing and popular concurrent licensing model per database is still in place, this only extends the functionality slightly by allowing customers to enforce some rules on exactly how the licenses in a database environment are distributed within their organization.

Rewind: Concurrent Licensing Explained

Let’s take a step back and review the existing license structure and how it works. Concurrent licensing is based on the idea that there is a peak number of simultaneous users your system will likely support at any given point in time during the business day. With concurrent licensing, you can install your software on as many networked computers pointing to your licensed database as you desire. You can also add as many users as you want. Users come and go throughout the day but once all allocated licenses are in use, additional users attempting to access the system are told to try again later after licenses are freed up in the system.

Timezones, Management, and Divisions

One of the largest benefits to concurrent licensing is that in multi-shift, multi-timezone, or multi-country operations, you experience a great deal of license re-use. If your operations are not 24/7 and are national/international, licenses are freed up as countries, shifts, etc change, and get repurposed by those coming on-shift.

On the other side of concurrent licensing, three common side effects of concurrent licensing exist. They are license-squatting, divisional quantity needs, and emergent issue access.

License Squatters

IndySoft combats license-squatting by incorporating session timeout controls as part of the deployment scheme. System administrators can set a maximum idle time for the system before the user is considered absent, and they will be logged out of the software, freeing their license for use by others.

The Need to Own Fixed Licenses

In some rollouts there is simply no way to calculate or plan for your maximum license usage. Imagine a rollout where you have 25 licenses and expect no more than 20 operators on a manufacturing floor and 5 users in the lab using the system at the same time. If more than 20 operators happen to access the system at once, those additional users will consume any unused licenses in your pool of 25 licenses. So if there is a boost in usage, some of those 5 lab users may find themselves without access to the system. If you consider your 5 lab users as more crucial than your 20 shop floor operators, this causes problems.

The other issue in divisional quantity needs comes in with multi-facility rollouts. If you expect 5 max users at Facility A and 5 at Facility B, you purchase 10 concurrent licenses. Facility A starts to discover more features in the software and usage/access rises. Now Facility A is robbing Facility B of licensing and Facility B productivity is affected because less staff are not able to log in and work.

Emergent Issue Access

The final potential problem with concurrent usage licensing deals with critical needs. If all of your 10 concurrent licenses are in use and a manager, or system admin, needs access to address a dire need you can only boot someone through a system-level utility, or search out users independently and ask them to log out while you gain access to use the system. In either case, you are affecting productivity in one way or another.

License Pooling

The answer to all of these scenarios comes with the 9.2 License Pooling features and it addresses all of the previously mentioned scenarios. With pooling you can:

  • Setup exclusive access for licenses
  • Assign rights for users to one or more pool groups
  • Leave spare licenses in a global pool for others not in the pool

Let’s walk through the new features for an overview on the functionality.

Adding License Pools

License pool allocation begins within the IndySoft Registration Utility, the same application used for adding your licensed products. Open IndySoftReg.exe and you will find an interface similar to the one below.

Clicking the plus icon next to IndySoft Calibration Management, for which we have 8 concurrent licenses, we can see that we currently have no license pools created for the product. This means that up to 8 of our total users have access to the system with no pool restrictions whatsoever.

The registration utility with no license pools created

The registration utility with no license pools created

 

Clicking the Edit Pool Details button will launch the following dialog.

The license pool window with no allocated pools

The license pool window with no allocated pools

From this screen we can begin to setup the pools for users. In the top right corner you will see your Total License count and as pools are constructed, the total number of licenses allocated to pools.

Clicking new allows us to create a pool. Let’s call this pool ADMIN, set the allocated licenses to 1, set Exclusive to checked, and then click OK. This pool will allow us to setup a dedicated ADMIN level account which keeps system owners from being locked out of the system due to max concurrent usage limits.

Creating the ADMIN license pool

Creating the ADMIN license pool

We now create a set of alternate pools based on our requirements. In this example we are effectively locking down two licenses for exclusive access to department 123 then creating a non-exclusive pools for our Cal and Maintenance Techs, leaving 1 license with no assignment to any pool. We leave one license “free” which simply allows any user not in a pool to gain access to a license.

Our final list of license pools

Our final list of license pools

After completing the pool allocation we click ok and our licensing pools are shown with the associated product.

Registered licenses with license pooling in place

Registered licenses with license pooling in place

Now we exit the registration utility.

Assigning Users to Pools

Now we launch into IndySoft and click the link to enter Profile Manager so we can assign our users to our pools. Our first pool was called ADMIN and was set for exclusive access. Double clicking one of our System Admins from the users list will load the edit user interface.

A user with no licensing pools assigned

A user with no licensing pools assigned

In the lower portion of the screen we find the Registration Pools tab. Clicking the New icon will prompt us to associate this user with a license pool. For now we’ll select ADMIN, click OK, and return to the Registration Pools tab.

Adding the user to the admin pool

Adding the user to the admin pool

Now at this point we have set one system admin to be able to have a license gaining him access at any time. If we add a second user to that pool using their user Registration Pools screen what we have essentially done is created a concurrent ADMIN licensing pool of 2 users. If we want exclusive access to the pool, we should only add the one user and select the “Only Allow Login Using the Pool(s) Below” option.

Using the same method we can now select other users from Profile Manager and add them to one or more license pools. Adding a user to more than one pool, then setting the pool priority is essentially creating a cascading approach to pool assignment. For instance as a user logs in if his 1st priority pool is in the Cal Tech group but those are all in use and he also has 2nd priority access to the Maintenance group, his license will be pulled from the maintenance pool.

Adding a user to more than one pool with priorities

Adding a user to more than one pool with priorities

We continue this process, adding users to pools as required based on our needs. Based on our pool example after additionally configuring some users, the following best explains the pool operations.

 

License Pool Usage Example

License Pool Usage Example

As you can see, License pooling provides an extremely flexible way to still gain all the benefits of concurrent licensing while still offering a practical approach to locking licenses for specific business needs. Please feel free to explore this new feature and contact your sales representative if you would like additional information on IndySoft’s training programs or consultation/services related to making the most out of your IndySoft system.

 

 

 

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