There is a new version of ABC Analyzer underway. We are currently in the final test phase – and if this goes smoothly without any serious errors we will release the new version through our regular update service. The version number will be 4.3.1 which is the direct update from ABC Analyzer 4.2.8.As the version number implies there have been many changes. Most users will see these in their daily use. In this blog post I will try and point out the most important improvements. A full list with description will be made public along with the software release.
General speed improvements
Everything starts during data import. Therefore the import function has been heavily improved in areas of speed and resource usage. That fact is something the rest of the program will benefit from. All the resources that are not used during data import can now be used to deliver better performance throughout the rest of the program. The visibility of this improvement will vary and is heavily dependent of the system and setup on which the software is running – but to put it plainly the excitement was easy to spot among our testers.
Improving ODBC connection
Although used only by few – we have identified a set of key problems using ODBC connections for data import that we are addressing in this release. There are certain timeout issues when connecting and transferring data. These are now solved by doubling the timeout time (typically 30 seconds – although dependent of the system and database). Furthermore we have made it possible to disable timeouts completely which depends on the database implementation. There is a possibility that this setting will not be respected by the database. This setting is not stored in project files or templates which mean that users will have to update their data through the “Change datasource”-function.
Reports with a memory
The two report views have made it possible to lock columns in the view for a long time. This function has now been expanded a bit which allows you to select multiple columns to lock in one go without having the menu disappear between clicks. This will hopefully allow you to save a lot of clicks. The locked columns are also remembered when changing the content of the reports but not when loading data from project files or templates.
Improved Excel integration
Since the release of Microsoft Office 2010 we have been dealing with some issues regarding the integration between Excel and ABC Analyzer. This has resulted in a new and heavily improved integration solution which will improve the compatibility between ABC Analyzer and Excel (current and future releases) and furthermore make integration with Excel compatible programs (like OpenOffice.org) a reality.
Improved project files
Our project file format has been greatly improved. This fact is unfortunately not visible in any way to our end users but described briefly it is now possible to use the project files for a lot more than previously. This is something that we plan to utilize in the near future and we will keep you informed. The changes are made ensuring the backwards compatibly of the format and will not present any integration problems for our users.