ABC Analyzer and ABC Viewer can share analytic setups via templates. The templates do not contain the data needed to apply the analytic setup; the data needed have to be accessible for your users.
Data file format
Please see our guide: Import guide: Create project file
Adding extra columns
When adding extra columns to the data file always put them in the end of the file. Otherwise, all the users will have to make all their analyses again from scratch.
Extracting data for use in templates is an important task to automate. We recommend that the extraction of data is done either daily or at least weekly to provide fresh and up-to-date data that will suit not only the need for periodically recalculating ABC codes but also for the day-to-day ad-hoc analysis.
In order to ensure a smooth integration with templates, the data needs to be accessible for all template users. This includes both ABC Analyzer users and ABC Viewer users. The template includes the analytic setup and a data link. The data link is a full path to the data file as well as a definition of how the data should be interpreted (e.g. format, column types and column names). For this document we are only interested in the path of the data file. When opening a template, the data is automatically fetched and loaded from this location.
A possible location could be on a shared network device, FTP server or even a web server. These three options have one thing in common; the path is identical for all users:
NB! The shared network device requires the use of UNC-paths and not network drive mapping.
Please consider data security when determining the location of the data. This means that web server approach might not be a viable solution. Consider marking the data file, read only, such that altering becomes impossible. When updating the data file, the old file should be replaced by the new file. This will insure that the data link is still correct and the template users will automatically get the latest data.
Before replacing the data, it could be a good idea to take a back-up of the old data file. This is a good idea for two reasons:
- Historicity – Analytic users might want to compare analytic results over time
- In case the new data file contains errors, the old data file can replace the faulty one
To recap: implement a backup procedure before replacing the data file and timestamp old backups for ease of use for the ABC Analyzer users interested in progress.
In case the data link is broken, e.g. the exact path can’t be found, an "Open file" dialog is shown. This is an unnecessary annoyance for the template users, which should be avoided. The feature is implemented solely to support the scenarios, where the shared location is unreachable. For instance, the server has crashed or the template user is outside the normal network location.
ABC Analyzer and ABC Viewer stores a cached template project, which can be used by other template users. This is done, such that each template user is not forced to wait for calculations to be done. The cached template project is renewed each time the data file is renewed (or if the template changed). Per default the cached template projects are stored in the same directory as the data file(s). If the user does not have write access to the folder, no cache is stored. Furthermore, the cached template project is only stored, if the data link is not broken.
Please contact support for assistance, if a different location should be used.