Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cuts Like a Knife

Everyone’s had a Swiss Army knife at some point in their lives (I guess the North American version is the Leatherman Multi-tool - we always have to do things bigger, huh?). A Swiss Army knife with one or two screwdrivers, LED flashlight, a nail file, pliers and a toothpick is commonplace. I’ve seen models that had so many features, you couldn't find the blade.

I’ve known Bob Engel for at least 8 years now. Bob is Vice President of Informetric Systems ( InfoBatch is Informetric’s batch reporting package, and I’ve been sweet on InfoBatch ever since I first kicked its tires at the Emerson Exchange in Dallas back in 2004.

InfoBatch generates batch reports. And it does it very well. It allows you to connect to a multitude of data sources and aggregate them into a single, unified report. It doesn’t force you to replicate your data into yet another location (the “many versions of the truth” paradox). And if you don’t have another datastore to worry about, you don’t have to worry about all those pliers, toothpicks and nail files to manage it.

InfoBatch inherently understands the S88 model, from phases to recipes. It handles the concept of sub-phase triggers (for example, just show me a plot of a tank's temperature during the relevant portion of a phase). And it has connectors that understand the structure of the views from your data sources. Simple drop-down selections as opposed to flashlights and screwdrivers for managing custom SQL queries from software packages that don’t care if you’re creating batch end reports or your monthly bank statement.

Of course there has to be a shameless plug in one of my posts, so here it is: be sure and attend session 2-3041 at this year’s Emerson Global User Exchange, October 24th to 28th in Nashville. Bob and I will be presenting “Integrating Syncade S95 Orders, DeltaV S88 Batch Recipes and Continuous Data”. Please leave your knives at the door.

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