Frequently Asked Questions provide a great source of information in regard to many aspects of using PowerDB. Inside the PowerDB application, in the Help menu, you can find links to two FAQ documents. One covers the basic operation of the program, while the other relates specifically applies to test form and subform design. We encourage you to review these documents from time to time as they are updated with every new release of the software.
Q: How are external documents printed as part of a job report?
A: PDF documents attached in a job can be printed with the job report using a PDF distiller program, usually available as a free download on the web. For details and step by step instructions on how to accomplish this, click here.
Q: Can I import files created by DTA software?
A: Files created by DTA 5 (xml) can be imported into the power factor test forms of PowerDB. Files created by DTA 6 are not supported at this time. Current plans are to add this capability in the upcoming release of Version 11.
Q: Can I change the logos on the forms?
A: YES! Anything on a form can be modified. Sections common to multiple forms, such as logos, headers and footers, are defined in one place and included on many forms. One change updates all forms where it is used.
Q: Do I have to be a computer programmer to design my own test forms?
A: NO! Editing forms is done visually (drag & drop). VBScript® is used only to provide calculations on forms. Calculations can be as simple as a = b + c …which is nearly as easy as using a calculator.
Q: Do I have to make database changes to add forms or to add fields to a form?
A: NO! Forms are added to PowerDB by copy-and-pasting existing forms, or by using the “New” button. Each field on a form has a property box that allows you to give it a “tag name”. Giving a field a “tag name” is all that is necessary in order to save data values on a form to the database.
Q: Can multiple users in an office access the same database?
A: YES! Users running PowerDB on separate computers can access the same database via a LAN.
Q: Can I use PowerDB strictly in the office rather than giving laptops to my field techs?
A: YES! Blank forms can be printed for field technicians to fill out by hand. The test results can then be entered into PowerDB by office personnel. Office data entry is simplified since the data entry screens and printed forms are identical.
Q: Do I need a license for each machine I run it from?
A: Running PowerDB without a license operates it in “reader” mode. Any machine used to modify data must have a license.
Q: I made our forms in Word (or Excel, or Access). Why do I need PowerDB?
A: The test forms in PowerDB are an important but small part of the entire system. The forms provide calculations and charting, and give you the capability to access previously entered data for pre-population. PowerDB maintains historical results for each piece of equipment that you test; so finding and reviewing past test results is easy. Report generation can be done for a job in just one step which produces a cover page and cover letter, table of contents, paginated test result forms, and cross-referenced comment and deficiency summary reports.
Q: Can PowerDB control my test equipment?
A: PowerDB supports instrument drivers for a variety of instruments from several different manufacturers. Click here for more details about instrument drivers.
Q: What are the system requirements to be able to run PowerDB on my computer?
A: PowerDB is an application installed on individual Windows PCs or laptops (Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10). A minimal machine configuration will have a 2 GHz processor, 2 GB RAM and at least 2GB available hard drive space. No other software applications are required to operate PowerDB. A PDF distiller is recommended.
Q: What is PowerDB's scalability?
A: Microsoft Access is typically used for field databases. In PowerDB version 10 (and later), SQL Server Express can be used in lieu of Access to enable PowerDB field databases greater that 2 GB in size. The PowerDB master database can be either Access or SQL Server, though SQL Server is recommended for reliability and scalability.
Q: What are the requirements for running on a Windows Server?
A: The software must be installed on each machine that runs PowerDB. There are no special requirements for installing on a server that will run the software. Our customers are using a variety of Microsoft operating systems as a server, from Windows XP to WinServer 2008 64 bit. Administrative privileges are only necessary to install the software. Disk space, processors, and memory requirements are minimal. Reserving 20 GB of disk space for a SQL Server master database will likely provide plenty of room for a decade or more of data collection. This is dependent upon how many sets of data you collect (estimate based on 8000 per year) and what type of data (estimate is based on typical numeric and text data collected by our customers, not on image data.
Q: What versions of SQL Server does PowerDB support?
A: MS SQL Server 2005, 2008 R2, and 2012. Consult the recommended system requirements for SQL Server provided by Microsoft. The requirements for SQL Server 2012 can be found here. For SQL Server 2005, 2008 or 2008 R2 requirements, click the "Other Versions" dropdown at the top of that page.
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