Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Coming soon: DBDOC 10.5.1, with NEW error sharing and improved SPlus/PGP and PG2 support

We're now in the home stretch for getting the next DBDOC release out the door.  DBDOC 10.5.1 includes major expansion of some of the new features introduced in DBDOC 10.5, as well as general bug fixes and feature improvements

There is good news for users of SPlus/PGP graphics.  As we receive feedback and gain experience from client systems using DBDOC 10.5,  support continues to be solidified, especially for systems converted from PPB and Conductor NT.

In addition, there is a whole new approach to 800xA graphics.  Using tools created for DBDOC by  ASSYST (included with your DBDOC installation) it's easy to extract more comprehensive PG2 or VB data for better integration of 800xA graphics into the DBDOC snapshot.

The other major new feature for DBDOC 10.5.1 is the introduction of error sharing.  Really this is just the first step along the road of allowing Hyperview users to share data in general.  Right now, each Hyperview user is relatively isolated, making independent annotation notes on projects, bookmarking significant items, creating and configuring Watch Window groups, and, as of DBDOC 10.5, managing and reviewing system errors in the new Error Browser.  The vision, however, is for all these activities to become more collaborative.  A whole group could take advantage of a predefined set of bookmarks, or view notes made by others.  It takes time to set up Watch Window groups, configured appropriately for monitoring particular situations.  Ideally these groups (and the data collected in them) could be easily shared among multiple users if desired.

So this is the direction Hyperview is heading, and the first example of this sort of sharing actually implemented is the sharing of error information, i.e. the stars and checks added to errors displayed in the Error Browser.

User data is shared via a shared folder accessible to multiple Hyperview users.  Usually this folder will be specified in BuildPlus, when a project is built, and will show up automatically in Hyperview.  To start sharing data with other users, all you need to do is "register" in this shared data folder.  Go to the Options menu in Hyperview, choose the Sharing tab, and (if a shared data folder has been built into your M14), just hit Apply and you're done.  If not, you can manually choose a data sharing folder.


When you open the Error Browser in 10.5.1, you will notice a new list on the left, listing all the users that have registered to share their error information.

By checking and the boxes next to the names of other users, you can cause their stars and checks to be displayed in your Error Browser.   By setting various filtering options, you have control over which errors you display.  For example, you could display only the errors starred or reviewed by a particular user.  Once the errors are displayed, you could select them all (for example) and hide them, or mark them as reviewed yourself.
This functionality is simple but powerful, because for the first time, it really makes it easy and convenient for groups of users to collaboratively review and manage errors.  A typical system will have hundreds of build errors, many of which are not serious in context, but all of which should be reviewed for safety.  The ability to split up and coordinate this error review process is extremely useful, and was requested by a number of early Error Browser users.
DBDOC 10.5.1 will be released and available within the next few weeks.  For an early look at the new features still under test, you can download DBDOC 10.5.1 Beta from the GMCL website.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

DBDOC Visits the Peak District

Geoff and I are visiting clients in England for the next two weeks. On Monday we visited our first client, a cement works (Hope Works) in the Hope Valley, Derbyshire, a very pretty place. The villages are beautiful, set among large hills and occasional rock outcroppings rather than mountains. Of course, there are sheep everywhere. The weather was warm, approaching 28 degrees C with blue skies and sunshine as we started work in the morning.

The stone house is the B&B where we spent Sunday night. At several hundred years old it is an historic site, as the oldest of many similar ones are in the village. The ceilings are supported crosswise with large thick oak beams. In all very charming for our first night in England.

The sunshine, however, was not to last. By afternoon clouds had come up, and as we drove away in the late afternoon the rain started. Fog blurred the landscape and a picture of the rock outcroppings was not possible. The rain followed us to our next stopping place, Happy Guest Lodge at Warrington, Cheshire. Here we are today, with a day off, until we start visiting with clients for the rest of the week. Next week we will be visiting clients in the London area.