Sound Advice: Simplify Your Monitoring System Set-up with a Logical Sequence
This week’s blog comes from an expert in customer service in Vaisala’s Life Science segment: Service Engineer Thierry Carré. Thierry works hard to make our continuous monitoring system software viewLinc easy to install and use. What follows is a “System Install Roadmap” that can guide not only your viewLinc system install but the installation of almost any system that connects networked devices to a software platform.
The steps to a problem-free installation are (relatively) universal in combined hardware/software systems. Still, installing new software can be tricky; even though most developers are working from the same basic principles of GUI design, the sequence of configuration steps can affect the amount of time it takes to install the system, as well as the system's performance thereafter. Thierry always tries to save time for his customers by recommending a logical approach to system installation and configuration.
“The way to ensure a proper installation is to find the most logical way to set it up. Obviously a Quick Start Guide and Administrator's Guide is ideal. When I install a CMS, I perform a “Contact Schedule Setup” before creating Users so that I will already have a schedule available in the software’s selection list. This saves time and allows me to complete configuration steps without having to switch between windows in the interface. Similarly, I always promote templates to individual setup to limit the number of actions available if you have to modify something later on. These are small details that greatly decrease the time spent on a system setup.
“I recommend to viewLinc Administrators that they personalize their system during software configuration by choosing names that make sense in their operating environments. For example, when a data logger is first 'discovered' by the software, administrators should rename the device (or channel, i.e. Temperature, RH), changing it from its default in order to allow the software to identify the device or channel by its location. You need to rename the loggers to attach the correct channel to the correct location or application. This is because you aren’t monitoring and reporting on the data logger… you care about the environment, location, chamber or application in which the logger resides.
“But, in setting up any software that ‘speaks’ to hardware, the objective is always the same: to make the best setup in the minimum amount of time, with minimum distortion, and in a way that will ensure the system is easy to manage. Not only will this save time, it’s the best way for you, as a system administrator or user, to take ownership of the system. It takes a little more planning than so-called ‘plug ‘n’ play’ system installations, but it’s worth it for the amount of time saved later. The user interface of viewLinc was designed to be user-friendly and highly adaptable to how people think, but… a little planning for system configuration goes a long way. :)
Below is a diagram that shows the high-level system setup steps we recommend.”
“As Thierry says, when setting up a system, you can ensure a better installation by first deciding what you need from your outputs. To do this, get the requirements of your internal quality system, regulators, and your users. These requirements will inform your decisions while installing and configuring your system. For example, if you need granular reporting at the level of your facilities or departments, those will be the logical divisions you’ll create during software configuration.
For Vaisala’s systems, we provide several options for system installs. You can Do-it-Yourself using our online tools like the Quick Start Guide. We also provide technical support remotely via Web conference and/or phone. We offer a support plan that includes an e-learning center with video tutorials and guidance documents. Alternately we can perform the installation for you. In every scenario, the steps outlined above are what we recommend to ensure your continuous monitoring system is properly configured.”