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SimplyPats Portable Appliance Testing Software
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:59 am 
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Location: bristol
Hi there..

I wonder if this could be considered in a future update..

We have a single database with around 7000 items, spread between a few dozen Sites, and subdivided between many dozens of Locations. We need to be able to regularly print a listing of all the Sites, together with their related Locations (On the same print). Each Engineer would have a copy, thus standardising the Sites and Locations entered across all the PAT Machines, and saving a lot of time at the download stage. If this print could be done within SP, it would save many hours of ‘cut and paste’.

Thanks to the guys at RSR for the latest update..I have only had a few minutes to evaluate it, but the ‘Last Appliance plus 1’ function, in the ‘Manual Entry Mode’ does not appear to work for us, as our id tags all commence with a letter..eg: P12345. I wonder if this would be relatively easy to overcome in a future update….please..

Thanks as always to the guys at RSR for their support. The end result, I’m sure, will be SimplyPats being considered as the benchmark in PAT software… if it’s not already!!

Regards.. John R. Bristol

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:16 pm 
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Hi John

Quote:
We have a single database with around 7000 items, spread between a few dozen Sites, and subdivided between many dozens of Locations. We need to be able to regularly print a listing of all the Sites, together with their related Locations (On the same print). Each Engineer would have a copy, thus standardising the Sites and Locations entered across all the PAT Machines, and saving a lot of time at the download stage. If this print could be done within SP, it would save many hours of ‘cut and paste’.


I am sure a report listing all sites together with their related locations is something that we can certainly look at adding and will put this on the board of things to look at.

I wouldn’t like to give a timescale on this as we are extremely busy at the present time working on the SimplyPats V5.2.9 update.

Quote:
Thanks to the guys at RSR for the latest update..I have only had a few minutes to evaluate it, but the ‘Last Appliance plus 1’ function, in the ‘Manual Entry Mode’ does not appear to work for us, as our id tags all commence with a letter..eg: P12345. I wonder if this would be relatively easy to overcome in a future update….please..


The feature allowing you to Manually add PAT Test Results saw a bit of a makeover in V5.2.8. One of the new additions gave users more options to increment the Appliance ID, however this only work really works as intended if the Appliance ID’s are numeric.

I don’t know if this is something we can or will address in the future, as I know that the logic and code involved is quite complex.

Quote:
Thanks as always to the guys at RSR for their support. The end result, I’m sure, will be SimplyPats being considered as the benchmark in PAT software… if it’s not already!!

Regards.. John R. Bristol


Thank you for your kind comments regarding our support and the SimplyPats software.

We are very proud of the achievements we have made with SimplyPats over the last 10 years.

We are a small company and don’t have the financial or human resources available to some of the bigger PAT Testing manufacturers that offer their own PAT Testing software. However I believe that we do offer a very capable product and our support can certainly be considered a benchmark for other companies to aspire to.

As you know, we are very pro-active in the development of SimplyPats. The forum and web site are generally kept up-to-date (time permitting) and users currently enjoy around 4 free updates to their software over the course of a year.

Regards Carl


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:03 pm 
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Hi John

Thanks for your post. Regarding the Site and Location report I have had a quick look at this and think I may have created a free custom report for you which just lists the Sites and with each site their locations. I have asked Carl to send you a PDF export of the results to see if it meets your needs.

This report will be made available free of charge to all users with the next upgrade 5-2-9 Due in April / May, however if you don't mind having a beta version of the current SimplyPats Pat Testing Software 5-2-9 then I will ask Carl or Ron to email a link where you can download it.

Regarding the incrementing of manual entry numbers, the issue with this is that your Appliance Id's are alphanumeric and when I ask SimplyPats to evaluate what number it is, so it can increment it, the poor computer can't do it!

For example with numeric Appliance Id's the computer can easily recognise appliance id 00000027 as numeric value 27, and so can add 1 to it for the next number. However the computer recognises W000027 as numeric value 0 as the W makes the computer not understand it as a number.

There are a couple of ways around this, first is to use purely numeric appliance id's, this obviously may be impossible if you have a large site already labelled! The second way - which will involve quite a bit of code on our part, is to have a setting in SimplyPats which describes the template for your numbering system e.g. LLLNNNNNNN where L represents a LETTER and N represents a number. I can then tell SimplyPats to evaluate just the NNNNNN part of the Appliance Id.

Of course if not all the Appliance Id's follow rigidly the same format, or it encounters something along the lines of LNNLNNlNL then the poor computer (or my logic!) is going to suffer a migraine!

Hope this helps explain it - but I will look at implementing a solution if at all possible.

Finally thank you for your kind comments, although we don't always get it right, we try where possible to offer the best customer support we can.

Regards Richard


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:24 pm 
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Hi Guy's,

I'm currently having a good read of the forum and this post is of interest to me as we also use a prefix for the appliance id (ie, AA0000123). What was your conclusion with regards to this matter?

Currently, we are manually entering all the results, once all the results have been entered, we then go back to the main screen to then add the prefix (ie, AA) to all the individual appliance id's. Rather than change the numbering sequence, would it be feasible to add an appliance Id prefix box maybe?

Rgd's

Terry


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:41 pm 
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Hi Terry

Sorry for the delay in replying, we seem to be snowed under with work at the moment (which is good!).

Adding the prefix must be a complete pain for you!

As I explained previously, adding a prefix for the manual entry is possible but will take me some time to write the code. To solve your problem more quickly in the short term, I could add to the bulk replace screen an option to automatically add a prefix to the appliance Id's you have already added.

You could then select a series of items, choose bulk replace and enter a prefix e.g. AA, the bulk replace would then automatically add the AA to the start of each of the Appliance Id's.

Does this sound like a better solution than what you are currently doing? Im not sure if all your apliances have AA infront of them or whether you are using lots of different prefixes?

This won't take me too long to implement, although I would rather do it to Version 6 as this is the code I am currently working on.

Regards, Richard


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:20 pm 
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Hi Richard,

That sounds great, it would be quicker this way. It's not too bad at the moment, but something worth considering for the future, the current prefix that I use is SP. And yes I'm using V6 at the moment (good job by the way!).

Rgd's

Terry


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:24 pm 
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Ok Terry, I will try and put that feature in. Im just finishing some extra features for putting a unique number on the Portable Appliance Testing Certificate (like an Invoice Number, so that each certifcate has its own unique number).

However as soon as that is done I will have a look at adding a prefix to the bulk replace. It shouldn't take more than a few hours to code and we can send you a beta Version of SimplyPats 6.0.1 so that you can test it.

Regards, Richard.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:34 pm 
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Hi Terry - I have managed to have a look at this adding prefixes to the appliance id's today and think I have it working.... famous last words!

I have posted a topic in the Version 6 Feature Requests section to relect this new feature as it makes sense to have it there rather than at the end of this thread.

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=269

I will try and do the help page on the Bulk Replace screen today and let you have a beta test build of 6.0.1 in the next couple of days so that you can try it out and see if it meets your needs.

Please hassle if I dont get your beta test build. I will ask Carl to remind me to send you a link where you can download it.

Regards, Richard.


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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 4:15 pm 
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Hi Terry and John

Despite having been sidetracked by Windows 7 and other issues (e.g. trying to release SimplyPats Version 6) I hadn't given up hope of getting some time to revisit this issue of alpha numeric appliance id's, e.g. those with letters prefixing the number.

After a long friday evening (saturday morning) I think I have finaly written something that tries to tackle the issue. It involves the computer doing a load of work checking the text part and numeric part of each appliance id in order to find the numbers, however as someone said, "you don't have a dog and bark yourself"

I have written a post in the SimplyPats version 6 feature requests, that hopefully explains the two new options for calculating the next appliance id in the manual entry screen where alpha numeric appliance id's are being used.

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=269&p=784#p784

Also.......

Quote:
There are a couple of ways around this, first is to use purely numeric appliance id's, this obviously may be impossible if you have a large site already labelled! The second way - which will involve quite a bit of code on our part, is to have a setting in SimplyPats which describes the template for your numbering system e.g. LLLNNNNNNN where L represents a LETTER and N represents a number. I can then tell SimplyPats to evaluate just the NNNNNN part of the Appliance Id.

Of course if not all the Appliance Id's follow rigidly the same format, or it encounters something along the lines of LNNLNNlNL then the poor computer (or my logic!) is going to suffer a migraine!


Im hoping that the new routines maintain the format of the maximum alpha numeric appliance that it finds, without having to specify any template. (it uses the layout of the maximum alphanumeric appliance id to set the layout of the new one.)

So if the max appliance id is AB007 the new one becomes AB008, also ABCD0000035 would become ABCD0000036 and so on... well that's the theory at least......

I still have a load of testing to do on it, however if you would like a beta version of it to try, please give me a shout.

Regards, Richard.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:25 pm 
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Location: Leeton, NSW Australia
Hi Richard,

Seems to me that you are being asked to produce something because the initial research hasn't been done by the end user on what certain types of PAT testers can do.

I use an Alphapat machine with a dedicated printer that allows me to print the label for each appliance used.

The Alphapat allows me to use up to 10 alpha-numeric characters. I generally setup an appliance number starting with alphas and at one recent site I ended with 0001 as the start number eg I*IYAI0001. I dont always use the full 10 character facility/ability. When I tested the next item it automatically incremented to 0002, being the last 4 characters. Overall it allowed me to test up to 9999 items. Unfortunately the memory capacity of the test machine does not allow me to test more than 1000 units before I have to download.

If a number of businesses have been visited during the day I can recall specific results using specific alpha numeric characters related to that company prior to downloading into SP. This can be of a benefit where there are a nuber of sites some distance apart and other testing is carried out between those sites.

In summary I don't have a problem with automatic numeric incrementing when using a mixture of alpha numeric characters and I dont have a problem in the recalling of results using the same methodology when using this PAT machine. Perhaps it is unique because the machine firmware has been modified for AUS/NZ testing requirements.

Cheers

Glenfer


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:18 pm 
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Hi Glenn

Thanks for your post. As you say, all the PAT testers offer different features, some like the Metrel AlphaPat seem to be more flexible in the way the Appliance Id is entered.

Over the past 12+ years I have seen lots of companies using Alphanumeric Appliance Id's as well as Numeric only. I think with the latest upgrade to 6.0.1 I have managed to get the manual entry screen to calculate the next appliance id where it is prefixed by alpha numerics.

Certainly it seems to work for LLLNNNNNNN where L represents a LETTER and N represents a number and SimplyPats remembers the template (ie how many Ls and Ns) when creating the next appliance id.

I did have a very wierd bug shown while going through this where SimplyPats was interpreting some alpha numerics as being numbers in hexadecimal and throwing up an overflow error. (See bug 13 on the revision History.)

Hopefully at the end of the day we have a workable solution whichever method user.

Regards, Richard


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:04 am 
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Location: Leeton, NSW Australia
Hi Richard,

Thank you for your comments.

Hopefully you don't have to spend a lot of additional time in trying to solve the problem within SP when there is an alternative simple solution which may cost a little in the beginning but could have a financial long term benefit.

Regards

Glenn
(Glenfer)


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