Why upgrade to 4.0?
Reasons for upgrading from 3.40 to 4.0
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written: 09/06/2018
last modified: 04/08/2024


Why should I upgrade to the 4.0 version of QC-CALC, QC-Gage, and SPC Office Buddy?


There are many things that are changing with the release of 4.0 (CALC, Buddy, Gage). Of course, the main change is the database moving from an older proprietary format (QCC file) to a more standardized database platform with the option of choosing either a file-based format (QCQ) or a server-based format (Microsoft SQL Server). This change means the following changes will either now be possible or have already been added.

  1. The database is now portable without the need for extra files (QCN, NTS, P11, etc).
    Details: This means that there are no longer extra files that can cause data loss when separated from their related qcc file. It also means emailing files becomes easier because you only need to have one file.
  2. The database is now directly accessible from QC-CALC, Buddy, Gage, ERS, and Mobile without the need for data transfer through EDL. This means there is no time lag waiting for EDL to update the database. In addition, EDL may not need to be purchased.
    Details: This means that the writers and readers are talking to the same database. In the 3.4 world, we copied the data from QCCs to SQL and there was a lag between the original data collection and the time it was available for reporting. This lag was the timer in EDL. In 4.0, once it's written, it's available immediately.
  3. The database (SQL Server) is now more secure for Part 11 users as there is Microsoft security.
    Details: In 3.4, it was easier to find and disable P11. In 4.0, SQL Server allows you to use Microsoft security making it a more secure solution.
  4. The new database design allows Prolink to add features directly into the database within the same software version without the backward compatibility issues of the QCC file.
    Details: In 3.x, the QCC was locked which is why we ended up with so many external files. We were unable to change the QCC without breaking older versions of QC-CALC. As of 4.0, the versioning is built into the database allowing us to change the version and fail gracefully in cases where the database gets ahead of the software.
  5. There is now a direct scalability solution if the customer outgrows the QCQ file. The software can simply be switched to the server-based option (SQL Server).
    Details: In 3.x, you were stuck with the QCC no matter what because that's what RT could write. You could add EDL and SQL Server, but that was more of a workaround. There wasn't a way to go directly to SQL Server. Now there is.
  6. Powerful ERS record filtering has been ported to QC-CALC and SPC Office Buddy offering increased functionality.
    Details: In 3.x, we literally had to write our own internal SQL to query the QCC file and loop through record by record. This caused less options and slower performance to return the results. In 4.0, the database types are fully SQL compliant. As such, filtering that used to only be available to ERS is now available to QC-CALC. For instance, up to 10 latest values (dependent and independent), more powerful date filtering, and smarter factor filtering are now available to all products.
  7. Auto Exporting and Auto Reporting can now be set through the Administrative Tools
    Details: This was not available in 3.4 and has been added to 4.0.
  8. A new feature called Snapshots that allows the importing of 2D/3D drawings in order to mark characteristics for display.
    Details: This is one of the first examples of direct collaboration between ERS and QC-CALC. You link 3D CAD drawings in ERS directly to part files and take pictures of the various features. Those images and features are then made available to QC-CALC through dimension pictures.
  9. Additional categorization using location and category concepts.
    Details: Since SQL Server is meant to be a multi-user environment, location and categories allows you to organize your part files into logical groupings based on your preference. In 3.4, you only had folder trees in Windows Explorer.