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A database is a database—right? Maybe not.

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Data in everyday life

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FEATURE STORY:
A database is a database—right?
Maybe not.

Since the days of manual navigation of linked data sets in the 1960s, dependence on databases has grown increasingly both more sophisticated and more useful. In the age of the “cloud,” it may be hard to recall that most data was once stored on magnetic tape, or that searching a navigational database was a monumental, time-consuming task. As computers have become more reliable and infinitely faster, reliance on database systems has become commonplace, not only in business but even in home use. The average fifth grader takes Access for granted these days.

Larger, multi-national organizations are discovering that enterprise-wide databases are essential to the integrity and accessibility of data, and have turned to SQL Server as a way to assure widespread, concurrent access to essential data in an organization.

A new release of GAGEpack Enterprise, a powerful gage calibration software that saves time and enhances accuracy in gage management and measurement systems analysis, is now available for use with SQL Server, maintaining complete histories of measurement devices, instruments, and gages throughout large organizations.

SQL Server is a more robust database management system than MS Access. That is, it can more comfortably handle enormous databases with many concurrent users. In some cases, SQL Server is faster than MS Access because database query questions are executed server-side rather than across a network connection by the client-side computer.

As with any software investment, it is essential to understand an organization’s needs before determining which program to purchase. Among reasons for a preference of SQL Server to Access databases are performance issues, reliability in the face of slow network connections (such as company-wide area networks), or approval of IT departments. In addition, if power is lost, Access databases can be damaged if the connection is lost while GAGEpack is writing to the database, but this is not the case with SQL Server.

David Shattuck, PQ Systems analyst, points out that an organization should assess its constraints and needs before determining which program will serve best. He notes that the newest release of GAGEpack 9.0 provides the same essential tools as those offered in GAGEpack Enterprise. To ensure timely calibration, the software provides a variety of tools, such as:

  • Calibration schedules and reports;
  • Alerts about gages coming due for calibration, R&R, or maintenance;
  • Alerts about failed and past due calibrations;
  • Gage location and status tracking;
  • Gage repair records;
  • Audit trail for traceability;
  • A task tab with a to do list.

A “to do” list in the newest release of both GAGEpack 9.0 and GAGEpack Enterprise indicates items requiring attention for a user-selected period of time. The choice list can be filtered by action and ordered with a simple click of column headers, and can be sent via e-mail to designated receivers.

Other features and improvements to the popular calibration device program include predictive searches through choice lists and ease in editing these lists. The choice list can be edited directly from the gage form, saving time by eliminating clicks.

Since GAGEpack has been revised as a .NET program, it will continue to evolve and improve using the newest available technology, according to lead program developer Jeff Aughton. Current users will find the transition to the new program seamless, he adds.

 
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