SECTION 9 -
THE STORE MODULE
(Covers: Introduction to report storage, Store facilities, Step by Step use, Security of files, Direct entry to Store, Printing out ALL Ti-Hi reports from STORE)
Many users naturally wish to keep a computer based record of PALLETMANAGER solutions for subsequent recall. The STORE module provides an efficient and effective set of tools for the storage and retrieval of this information. It is also possible to use the Webbase Module to produce a set of specifications which can be viewed using a web browser. This is fully described in Section 14 of this manual.
There clearly are a number of ways in which computer based storage might be achieved without using the STORE module. For example this release allows any of the printer reports to be copied as a complete page to the Windows clipboard for saving in your chosen graphics format. Alternatively selected parts of any screen report could be copied to the clipboard and pasted into a company pro-forma document, perhaps using Microsoft Word..
Whilst such techniques might suit your needs, both would require significant disk storage to hold the necessary graphics, especially when details of thousands of products need to be stored. Also, when specifications change (e.g. case material, pallet size etc), complete re-keying of data would be required in order to re-solve using PALLETMANAGER.
The STORE module allows you to save PALLETMANAGER specifications so that they may subsequently be retrieved for on-screen display and/or output to printer (in English, French or German languages). It also provides and automatic data link to PALLETMANAGER when you need perform a re-run of a previously solved problem in the light of product / packaging / pallet size changes.
The STORE process creates a compact numeric based database of each solution. The current release accommodates up to 5000 product entries. The display and printing actions from STORE can carried out on the same PC as originally used to solve the problem, or another (remote) PC using a 'stand-alone' STORE display configuration. A file with 5000 entries is unlikely to exceed 10Mb of disk space.
9.2 STORE Facilities.
In order to save details of a particular PALLETMANAGER solution for subsequent re-printing, or re-running, the Save option is selected from the bottom line buttons on same screen from which printing and screen view of reports is carried out (Screen 7).
The selection of Save will, in any PALLETMANAGER work session, save up to 20 specifications to a temporary file. When you then select to Exit from PALLETMANAGER the STORE module will automatically be loaded and these saved specifications will be merged with those already held in the Master Storfile. In Collation mode specifications involving a case make-up of up to 999 units can be stored. If a collation exceeds this (e.g. 1*1*2000) then you will need to utilise Webbase to save this specification.
Those users with the Webbase module will find an additional row of (white) buttons available. This is described in Section 14 of this manual.
9.3 A Step by Step Guide.
When you have solved a problem using any of the PALLETMANAGER modules you will be presented with the above screen from which screen and printer reports can be selected. The Save option will be active if you have this module enabled. Selecting Save from this screen will capture to disk all information relating to the solution currently being examined. The message below will be shown.
(Note: all solution details including reports you may not have viewed / printed are automatically saved to disk.)
In this version up to 20 palletisation specifications can be saved in each PALLETMANAGER session. If you attempt to save a result which has an identical case code to another result saved during the current PALLETMANAGER session then the following screen is displayed.
The options available to you are clear from the screen presented above. Abandon will not save this latest record, NewCode will request another code for use with this entry.
Master File Updating.
At the end of your PALLETMANAGER session, when you select to Exit from the software, the fact that you have saved specification(s) will be detected and the STORE module will be entered. You will be alerted to this as shown below:
Following the above screen the results saved in the session will be merged with existing specifications saved previously so as to form a Master Storfile.
If, whilst merging saved records to those already on file a duplicate product code is detected within the database (as shown earlier any duplicates within an operating session are detected before they are Saved), then the following screen will be displayed.
You may wish to replace the old entry with the updated one. However if you choose not to replace the old entry with the new one an alternate code for the new entry can then be input.
When update of the database is complete the main STORE database screen (Screen 9) will be displayed. All the entries in the database (up to 5000) are displayed in sorted order (of case code) in a scrollable window.
As described on the screen mouse and keyboard keys can be used to move though the database and the left mouse button can be used to highlight any particular entry. Before selecting most of the buttons on this screen you should highlight an entry which you wish to examine further.
As suggested from the labels on the buttons the functions available from this screen are:
Print report(s) for a particular product (for the currently highlighted entry).
Inspect on-screen the product specification held in the STORE database (for the currently highlighted entry).
Produce a file containing tabular details of all reports which are held (in a format which could be imported into a spreadsheet).
Find a particular entry in the file. In this release the user provides a search string and all records matching that string are listed. Any of the entries can then be selected to Inspect / Print.
Delete a redundant report (the entry highlighted).
Select the re-run of a product on file (the entry highlighted).
End the Store session.
The Print and Inspect buttons lead to the exactly same screen - shown below (Screen 9p - both buttons are included to be compatible with earlier releases). As described above these options are selected after using the mouse to highlight a particular entry in the database.
You will see that this screen is very similar to that used to print and view reports following a PALLETMANAGER run. Details of the database entry which was highlighted at the time when the button was selected are shown at the top of the screen. The language to be used for the screen / printer reports can be selected (English is always the default), and any or all of the reports can be viewed on screen or output to the printer. Once again there may be additional row of (white) buttons shown to provide for the Webbase Module. Once again this is described in Section 14 of this manual.
When viewing reports on screen two methods of copying graphics to the Windows clipboard are available (if required). Any rectangular region can copied by placing the mouse at the corner of the required rectangular region, depressing the left mouse button and then moving the mouse to enclose the region to be captured - then releasing the left mouse button. A screen message will be displayed. Alternatively the whole of a report (2 screen pages) can be copied to the clipboard by just pressing and releasing the right mouse button whilst viewing the report on screen..
The List button produces a file on disk containing summary details of the specifications held in the database. A file storeout.prn is produced in the installation folder. This file is suitable for importing into a spreadsheet if required. (It does not matter which database entry is highlighted when this button is selected). The file contains all the most frequently recorded product details for ALL the products in the database in a comma separated form and has column headings that provide an insight into the contents of each field. The file created does NOT contain every detail (for space reasons), but users who would like additional fields added can contact Miralis Data to see if this might be possible.
The Delete button allows you to delete the highlighted entry. Naturally you are asked to confirm the deletion before it is executed.
The Re-run option provides a direct link to the PALLETMANAGER calculation modes.
Suppose you have a specification in the STORE database which was calculated some time ago. A re-examination of the solution in the light of some change is required (e.g. a change in packaging specification, a dimensional change etc). By highlighting the entry in the STORE module and selecting Re-run the dimensional details of the product, the pallet originally specified and the packaging material originally specified will be recalled. You will then automatically enter PALLETMANAGER with all these details already completed on-screen. You will simply need to make any changes required and re-solve.
It is important to note that the pallet and the pack style details originally saved may be ones which no longer exist in your files of pallet and style details. The original values at the time of creation will be utilised and, in Collation / Tertiary mode, if Style is selected then the style for this re-run may be viewed. Normally only styles 1 to 28 are used in PALLETMANAGER runs. In the case of a re-run, Styles 29 (the Collation Style) and Style 30 (if applicable, the Tertiary Style) - both temporary Styles - may be viewed and edited.
9.4 Security Copies.
As with all other information stored it is important to maintain security copies of important information. In the case of the STORE module several files with the name STORFILE and having various extensions (e.g. .DAT) will be created either on the hard disk (in the PALLETMANAGER directory) or on floppy disk. Security copies of these should be made - please see Section 2.
9.5 Direct entry to the STORE module.
STORE can be used to list, browse, view, re-print and delete palletisation specifications without having first to save results in a PALLETMANAGER work session. This is achieved by selecting Retrieval from the opening PALLETMANAGER menu.
One should also mention a more recent utility BATCHPRINT1 which allows users to output ALL their Ti-High reports to their default Windows printer (or a pdf printer file). This is described at the end of Section 14 (Webbase).