SPC Office Buddy got a newer look and a lot of new technology under the covers. The new look includes larger, more standardized icons, newer screens, and collapsable panels.
This new version includes the ability to run exports and Excel Jobs without the need to have MS Excel on the same computer. This is the first Excel independent version of Office Buddy. The only limitation in Excel Jobs is the inability to run macros and preview the Job while it is running (since those two things require Excel). However, the setting up and running of Excel Jobs and exports no longer require Excel.
The new export to Excel now runs roughly 15x faster than SPC Office Buddy 4.0 which represents a massive speed increase.
This is by far, the largest change to the software in our history. We have replaced the QCC file with two new options; the QCQ file and Microsoft SQL Server. You now have the option of choosing either (a) the file-based option (default) or (b) the server-based option allowing QC-CALC to read and write directly to SQL Server. Overall, SPC Office Buddy should behave the same as before, but with support for QCQ files and SQL Server throughout.
Direct Access to SQL Server
The database is now directly accessible from QC-CALC, SPC Office Buddy, QC-Gage, Enterprise Report Scheduler, and QC-Mobile (SQL Server only) without the need for data transfer through Enterprise Data Loader. This means there is no time lag waiting for EDL to update the database.
If using SQL Server, location and categories have been added for improved grouping and categorization of part files in a multi-user environment.
Powerful Enterprise Report Scheduler record filtering was ported to SPC Office Buddy giving greater access to the data than ever before.
Named Factors in Excel Jobs
In previous versions of the Buddy, Excel Jobs were more generic and you could place lists of factors on your Excel report using the ordinal position (i.e. Text Factor 1). In 3.4, you can now also use the name of the factor (i.e. Text Factor Named Operator) regardless as to its position. When you run the Excel Job, the Buddy will look for the factor with the name specified. If found, it will use it. If not, it is skipped.
Non-Normal Data Management
This important new feature allows you to manage non-normal (single sided) dimensions in Minitab. Based on your preferences, you can tell the Buddy to automatically fit your non-normal data to a series of distributions and choose the highest P-Value for use in your final report. For instance, you highlight several dimensions of data and ask to run Sixpacks. The Buddy automatically fits them to the best distribution in Minitab (if they are non-normal), memorizes the correct distribution for each dimension, and then runs the Sixpacks with the appropriate distributions.
In addition to the existing available reports, we have added the Boxplot, 1-Sample T, 2-Sample T, and Individual Distribution Identification reports.
New Filter Governors for Improved Performance
The new Buddy allows you to govern the number of results returned in your record filter so your query does not continue to run after a set of results has been returned. This helps with performance when filtering large QCC files.
A new column selector was added to the main data screen to allow users to filter what is shown on screen (in addition to dimension filters).
Prolink Charting Now Included in Regular License
Rather than offer two versions of the Office Buddy (with and without Prolink Charting), we have decided to offer it as one product that includes Prolink Charting. You can also choose Minitab as the charting tool.
The new Office Buddy can optionally be leased for a monthly charge rather than purchased.
The new look includes all new icons that are easier to distinguish with added toggle buttons for showing/hiding Excel Job and Batch Job panels.
You can now optionally share filtering with QC-CALC. This allows you to create filters in either QC-CALC Real-Time or QC-CALC SPC and use them in the SPC Office Buddy.
Email Ability in Excel Jobs
You can now email the resulting Excel reports when the job completes. This furthers the automatic reporting capability if you run Excel Jobs or Batch Jobs from the Windows Scheduler or from QC-CALC Real-Time.
New Batch Job Functionality
This new functionality allows you to set up several Excel Jobs to run in a batch without having to run them through a DOS file (this functionality is still supported). This makes it much easier to build complex Excel reports that include data from multiple QCC files and/or filtered multiple ways (grouped).
Separate Excel Job and Batch Job Files
Excel Jobs and Batch Jobs are now stored in separate files that can be shared on the network with other Buddy users. This also makes it easier for importing and exporting jobs.
Improved Importing/Exporting of Excel Jobs
Exporting Excel Jobs now creates a ZIP file with all the necessary Jobs and template Excel spreadsheets. When imported, the importer is smart enough to understand where to put the template spreadsheets so you can run the jobs immediately without worrying about the correct file paths.
A myriad new fields can be sent to your Excel reports including all QC-CALC notes, record counts, and subgroup counts. In addition, you can output statistics directly from the QCC file such as upper and lower control limits for XBar, Range, and Sigma.
True Position Reporting Including 3D True Position
You can now run both 2D and 3D True Position charts from within the Buddy. If running the 3D True Position chart, it is interact in the Prolink Charting tool allowing you to move, zoom, and rotate the chart data in 3D space.
Improved Charting with Mouse Events
All charts in the Prolink Charting package now support mouse movements over the data itself. This allows you to move your pointer over a data point and see the value in the tray of the window.
When running charts in either Minitab or Prolink Charting, you can now choose to stack the columns of data being sent before running the chart. This allows you to aggregate multiple columns of data with the same nominals and tolerances into one chart.
When using Prolink Charting, you can choose to remove outliers from the resultset. When the chart is being drawn, outliers will be removed in successive rounds until no more outliers are found.
You can now choose to clean up unused tags in your Excel Job. This is useful if you put extra tags into the template to accommodate large data sets and then run it on a smaller data set.