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FAQs About DataPipe EH&S Data Management Software Solution

This is a list of common questions we receive on a daily bases from prospective customers as well as formal requests for proposal.  If you don't see your question answered in this section, please call our office or ask a question directly online.

 

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What is DataPipe?
DataPipe is a complete enterprise modular Environment, Health and Safety information management software solution.  Whether you want to combine all aspects of EH&S into one integrated system or if you want to just track injuries and run OSHA 300's, DataPipe can provide a system that meets your needs.
Can you customize the system once it is in place?
Yes.  DataPipe has a fantastic new interface that allows the end users to customize many aspects of forms with a point-and-click interface.  Thus eliminating the need to come back to the vendor for these types of changes to your system.  Our clients love this new feature.
Describe in General terms DataPipe’s overall solution?
Knorr Associate’s DataPipe is a modular, integrated EH&S software package with over 100 available modules. It covers EH&S like no other product. We have modules that address your immediate needs as well as modules that can service all your EH&S needs far into the future. Please contact us to receive our complete module list.
How are data within existing systems migrated and incorporated within your system?
This is something the customer, a third-party or we can do. Someone has to make decisions about what fields in the existing data tables are going to go where in DataPipe. Further, decisions sometimes need to be made about mapping of codes in the old “system” into the new system. If the system is very old, it has been our experience that those older systems often lacked data integrity controls, and so there was often little done to enforce the use of codes, terminology, etc. When this information is loaded into a system, where, for example, a particular set of codes, and only that set of codes can be used, the data from the older system may have problems because of its lack of consistency checks. Someone needs to resolve this. It has been our experience that loading data from some other system into intermediate tools such as Excel often facilitates these kinds of conversions, combining and splitting of data fields, etc. A Subject Matter Expert (SME) from the customer is often, as a practical matter, the one who needs to make decisions about what to do with this data. We cam certainly do this for you, but the “rules” that you want to apply need to be developed and conveyed to us; only you can make these decisions.
What support services and options do you offer?
A new DataPipe license comes with the first year of technical support and updates included. After that it may be extended, at the customer’s choice, annually for a cost of 15% of the current license fee. Although our Report Writing tools and the Form Designer are used for various open parts of the DataPipe system, and the customer is free to do this work himself, we can also make modifications, create reports, etc. for the customer for a fee.
How can interactions with your product take place over the web: Intranet or Internet?
DataPipe may be run as a Windows and/or Web application. Whether you do this via Intranet or Internet is your choose; it does not matter to us.
Describe the general “openness” of your system.
The source code for DataPipe is not provided with the License. The report writing tools are “open;” you are free to modify any of the code in the supplied reports as you wish, use it as examples, etc. The Form Designer tool can be used to significantly alter the appearance (labels, position, validations, look-ups, etc.). If you choose to give access to other users or programs, the database itself may be directly accessed; it is your responsibility to maintain database integrity. You may add additional tables to the database. You may expand the field sizes of the existing tables. Although it is technically feasible for you to remove fields, you generally should not do this as DataPipe expects to see certain fields when it accesses the database.
What is the recommended connection speed for Internet access?
If you configure DataPipe to down load and keep forms, etc. up-to-date in a local cache then you would want a relatively fast connection. However, if you are prepared to put DataPipe forms, etc. on remote machine so that they do not have to use the network connection for loading forms, then a lower speed connection, for just the requested data, is feasible. We point out, however, that a user could potentially generate a query to the database that would result in a very large amount of data being sent down as a report to that users machine. In this case, the bandwidth of the connection is going to play a significant factor in the speed.
What technologies does the Web application utilize?
DataPipe is a 100% .NET Managed Code application. It is written in a combination of Visual Basic and C#, two of the .NET languages
Describe how your system will allow for internal employee use, addressing how security is handled.
All DataPipe users have a name and password; whether you choose to share them is your decision. The user’s network identification and password are used to automate the logging into DataPipe, if you so chose. Once logged in, what menus a user sees, what forms and reports they have access to, and what they can do on a particular form is dependent on their security password. The User Profile and Permissions forms within the system allow the DataPipe System Administrators to set these things. Passwords are not sent “in the clear.” They are transmitted between components and stored in the database in an encrypted format.
Describe how your system handles username and password management.
There are forms in DataPipe (access to these depends upon security settings) for setting up new users, granting them permissions, giving them their initial password and controlling what forms and reports they have access to and what they can do on forms. If so set, users may change their password, subject to various settable requirements. If desired, a “virtual user” can be established and given necessary permissions, and then individual users can be setup as an “alias” to that user so that all of the users of the same category or group can get to their permissions established and modified by changing the settings for the “virtual user”.
Describe how your system authenticates information to ensure data integrity.
When a database field is of a type that is to be validated, DataPipe checks the contents of the field against a list; you control the contents of the list. You can also add lookup requirements to fields using the Form Designer tool that comes with DataPipe. The database has many relationships established to validate necessary information against other tables.
Describe your overall security system, including how various security levels are established.
See above. In addition to application security, we support database “views” so that you can further “lock down” information in the database, restricting users to what they can see and do within the database itself.
Explain how the user interface can be modified
DataPipe comes with the Form Designer. It allows extensive modifications to forms. Fields can be: moved, hidden, revealed, text labels changed (there is also a translation function to facilitate this), have data entry masks or regular expressions defined or have look-up lists established, and many more modifications. A particular version of a form is saved and then the users who use that version have the necessary information entered in their User Permissions information and security database. This allows different users to see forms not only with different labels, but also with different data content. The Form Designer can also be user to setup triggers, which are processes that happen when certain events take place and validation formulas that examine the information entered into a field and then take appropriate action based on the definition in the validation formula. None of this requires source code modifications. Many of the functions in the Form Designer are accomplished by setting properties for the different controls/objects on the forms. Triggers and validation formulas do require programming; Visual Basic or C#.
Describe how the user interface is designed/constructed for ease of navigation and data access.
DataPipe navigation uses a navigation window familiar to anyone who works with Windows.
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