Electrical Design Software | Elecdes Design Suite by Scada Systems Ltd

Latest News

Latest EDS Version: 8.8.4.6

COVID-19 Response

25 March 2020

Scada Systems Response to COVID-19

Scada Systems pride ourselves on and have an unmatched reputation for delivering fast and useful technical support and commercial responses.

Given that our systems are design and document systems and not live control/monitor/SCADA systems, the urgency of the majority of technical support is not regarded as high level. We typically find that a short response lag time on most support enquiries is acceptable. For those in North America or Europe this lag can translate to "overnight" in many cases.

The COVID 19 situation is causing some disruption to businesses globally and it is possible this may impact response times at Scada Systems.

Scada Systems Ltd is operational and is still delivering:

  • Software sales and licensing
  • Ongoing development of EDS software
  • Technical support
  • Training (via self-learning video tutorials, or video conference/remote classroom with a trainer)
  • Contract drafting and other manpower services

We will do everything we can to continue providing prompt responses and solutions, however circumstances beyond our control (such as overloaded telecommunications, or unavailability of contractors) may impact this at times.

If contact via voice is proving difficult, send an e-mail and we will respond as soon as we can.

If you have any business concerns regarding COVID-19 that we could help with, please contact your sales representative to discuss a solution.

Regards
Scada Systems Ltd

Product News

18 September 2020

'The operating system is not presently configured to run this application' error.

Symptoms

Following a Microsoft Office update (that may happen automatically without any user action), users may receive one of the following errors any time an EDS application attempts to connect to an Access database:

The operating system is not presently configured to run this application.
		
The setup routines for the Microsoft Access Driver (*.mdb,*.accdb) ODBC driver could not be loaded due to system error code 1114: A dynamic link library (DLL) initialization routine failed.
		

Common scenarios this error may appear in:

  • Compile Reports in Ebase (if MDB/SQL reports are enabled).
  • Creating a new project database in IM/CS.
  • Opening an existing MS Access project database in IM/CS (SQL Server project databases are unaffected).

The error message may repeat, requiring the application to be closed using Task Manager.


Explanation

EDS uses the Microsoft Access ODBC driver to connect to Access databases. Recent Microsoft-supplied updates to Click-to-Run editions of Office change ODBC driver paths in the Windows registry to point to a virtual location that other applications cannot properly access.

More information: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/office/troubleshoot/access/cannot-use-odbc-or-oledb.


Resolution

Installation of the Microsoft Access Database Engine redistributable will resolve the issue (see the above link for more information).

If on a 64-bit machine, install the package ending in "_x64".


If further assistance is required, contact your Scada Systems representative.

11 March 2020

Workflow improvements for Paneldes Routing and Route Viewing

Version 8.8 of Paneldes Raceway significantly improves the workflow for Wire and Cable Routing, using a new dialog for both Routing and Route Viewing.

Enhancements

  • A fully featured list control makes it easier to navigate and work with large numbers of cables, with the following capabilities:
    • Sorting: Click on the left side of a column heading to toggle between ascending and descending order.
    • Filtering: Click on the right side of a column heading to enable filtering on the column. Choose a filter value from the dropdown of existing values (for columns with discrete values), or enter a custom specification (which can include wildcards and logical operators). Filters can be set on multiple columns.
      Automatically set a column filter based on the values in the column for the current selection, by right clicking on the column heading and choosing "Filter by selected values".
    • Ordering: Reorder columns by dragging and dropping column headings.
    • Selection summary: A count and summary of selected items and filters is shown below the list control.
    • Persistent layout: Column order, widths, sort, and filters are retained between uses of the dialog.
  • The "Route Selected" button attempts to route only the cables that are currently selected in the list view (there is no longer any need to manually set an "On Hold" status for cables you don't want to route). Use "Route All" to route everything, irrespective of selection or filters.
  • Status modifications will only be applied to routed cables in the current selection (un-routed cables will be ignored). Status modifications will also warn about atypical operations (such as changing a status from "Pulled" back to "Issued") to help prevent inadvertent change.
  • Status modifications are temporary (and can be discarded by closing the dialog), up until clicking "Save Changes", "Preferences", or one of the Routing or Display buttons, at which point the changes are automatically saved.
  • Paneldes routing preferences can now be accessed directly from the dialog.
  • Column headings and cable status now show user friendly text.
11 March 2020

Support for Long Column Names in EDS DBF files

Version 8.8 of EDS extends the dBase DBF file format to accommodate column names longer than the standard DBF 10 character limit. Up to 255 characters can now be used.

Advantages

Long column names make EDS easier to use in several cases, for example by allowing:

  • More descriptive field names to be used in Catalogs and Reports.
  • Exact matches between long attribute names in CAD, long column names in IM/CS and Catalogs, and EDS DBF intermediate files and reports. This negates the need to configure mapping files (such as AttributeMap.dbf) or aliases in order for data to flow between different locations/formats.

Compatibility

Every effort has been made to retain compatibility with 3rd party applications that support DBF:

  • The additional data required to support long column names is stored at the end of the DBF file, and thus should be ignored by non-EDS applications.
  • dBase-compliant short column names (limited to 10 characters) are generated for any long column names present in the DBF. Non-EDS applications will see these short names, rather than the long names.
  • dBase-compliant short column names are based on a combination of truncation and indexing of long column names, to ensure uniqueness. These short names can be viewed in the 'Compatible Name' column of the Modify Database Structure dialog in Database Editor.

As a result, any non-EDS applications with support for DBF, should still be able to read data from EDS DBFs containing long column names.

If you rely on modifying EDS DBFs using non-EDS applications, in the worst case, the long column names may be lost (leaving only the dBase-compliant short column names)(data will not be lost). This is only likely when adding records or modifying the structure of the file using a non-EDS application. If the modified file is required to be read back by EDS, loss of long column names can be avoided by enabling the "Save extended header information as a separate file (.dbfh)" setting in Database Editor preferences. When this is enabled, EDS will save a separate header file (.dbfh) alongside every DBF file, allowing the long column names to persist if a non-EDS application causes the emdedded long column names in the DBF to be lost.

11 March 2020

EDS 8.8 Released

Version 8.8 includes dozens of new features and productivity improvements. Click here to view detailed release notes.

Contact your sales representative to upgrade to this new version.

14 November 2019

'Query is corrupt' SQL error, after Windows Update [Resolved]

Symptoms

Users will get errors similar to the following, at any point EDS applications try to update data in an Access Database:

Could not execute SQL statement.
UPDATE [Table] SET [Column1]='ValueA' WHERE [Column2]='ValueB'
Data in the first row is: ...
HY000 (-3067): [Microsoft][ODBC Microsoft Access Driver] Query '' is corrupt.
		

Explanation

Microsoft pushed a security update for all versions of Access (2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, 365 ProPlus) as part of their November 'Patch Tuesday'.
This update causes the MS Access driver to fail/reject legitimate SQL queries for updating data in an Access Database, thus seriously impacting the ability of IM and CS to function. Customers using SQL server databases should not be affected.


Resolution

As of December 10, 2019, Microsoft have rolled out fixes for all versions of Office. Fixes are delivered via Windows Update/Microsoft Update, or by choosing File => Account => Update Options => Update Now, within an Office application, or can be downloaded manually using the links on the MS support page.

If you still receive the error after updating, install KB2986256 (for the Access Database Engine 2010 Redistributable used by EDS).

28 February 2019

Unicode support for user data in EDS

Version 8.7 brings full support for Unicode to all user data. This means users can enter non-Latin text in DWGs, DBFs, SQL databases, Edit views and Dialogs, and EDS will correctly and reliably store it, interpret it, and process it, without having to configure language or region settings in the operating system.

However, users (particularly those using non-Latin characters) should be aware of the following:

Fixed length fields

Many aspects of EDS have restrictions on the maximum number of "characters" that can be used for certain values. For example, restrictions on tagname length, or width of a DBF column. These values are stored internally as bytes, and thus the restriction is actually a number of bytes, not "characters".

A Unicode code-point may require 1-4 bytes of storage in the UTF-8 encoding scheme (used by EDS internally):

  • 1 byte: ASCII/Basic Latin (eg A-Z, a-z, 0-9, common punctuation) - characters present on an "English" keyboard
  • 2 bytes: Extended Latin, accents, Greek, Cyrillic, Hebrew, Arabic, ...
  • 3 bytes: CJK/Asian
  • 4 bytes: historic and other scripts, symbols

Thus the number of "characters" usable will depend on how many bytes each character requires. In most cases EDS will silently truncate text that exceeds the allowable number of bytes.

Case insensitivity

EDS functions that ignore the case of text will now only ignore the case for certain alphabets, currently:

  • ASCII/Latin
  • Cyrillic

EDS does not currently have mappings between different cases for other alphabets, and users may need to manually correct case in order for text/names etc to be considered the same, or contact Scada Systems to request additional development.

INI files

Manual editing of INI files should be done using a UTF-8 aware text editor (such as Notepad++).

SQL Server table structure

IM/CS will prompt to upgrade existing database table structures to allow Unicode text to be stored. This is a lossless, one-off operation, and may take a bit of time on larger databases. New databases will use Unicode table structures by default.

There should be no adverse affect on any 3rd-party software interacting with the database.

Realistic modelling of Cables and Ladder with Paneldes

In 2017, Paneldes Raceway gained the ability to realistically fill raceway with routed cables, by modelling them as 3D solids.

Now, with version 8.6 (April 2018), Paneldes further improves realism, by supporting 3D Blocks for raceway ladder and tray.

When combined with the recently improved rapid model design features of Paneldes (including Polyline tracing and Catalog part matching), users can begin creating realistic raceway and cable systems within minutes:

Paneldes comes bundled with 3D blocks for a range of series from various manufacturers, including Cooper, Seasafe, Unitray, and US Tray. Contact your sales representative if you would like 3D blocks for additional series or manufacturers.

Paneldes 3D Cable routing provides 26% cable savings

A prominent Indian electrical construction company has recently returned test results for the Paneldes 3D raceway modelling for a contract power project in the Middle East.

The projects cables were routed manually using traditional techniques and (in parallel) routed with Paneldes 3D cable routing tools. The Paneldes results were verified as accurate and these results provided a saving of 26% of the total cable quantity to be ordered.

In a single project this 26% saving pays for the software, implementation, and training, and would also cut the bottom line in engineering hours.

For details of this project and to examine test results and models, contact Scada Systems.