What's New in Version 10? Synthesis Platform Enhancements
Here’s a quick overview of the most significant Synthesis Platform enhancements in Version 10. For separate lists of the new/improved features that are specific to certain applications, see Weibull++/ALTA, BlockSim/RENO, Xfmea/RCM++/RBI, MPC, RGA, DOE++, Lambda Predict and XFRACAS.
Synthesis Enterprise Portal
If your organization chooses to implement a web-based Synthesis Enterprise Portal (SEP) for an enterprise database, the entire team – including managers and colleagues who don't have Synthesis desktop applications installed – will be able to access key analysis and project management details from any web-enabled device.
This includes personalized messages, assigned actions, key performance metrics, selected analysis reports, graphical charts and many other tools that will help to keep your reliability and maintainability projects on track.
Project Planner and Actions Tracking
Formerly available only in Xfmea/RCM++/RBI, the Project Planner is now integrated into all Synthesis desktop applications except MPC. This reliability-focused project management tool has been greatly expanded to include resource utilization tracking, dynamic timelines, at-a-glance status panels, and much more.
We have also greatly expanded the actions tracking capabilities, including an "expected timeline" that adjusts automatically to delays in prior activities, increased flexibility for tracking planned vs. actual costs, an Actions Explorer to manage all actions in a project and more options for subscribing to and receiving automated alerts.
In addition, if your organization chooses to implement the Synthesis Enterprise Portal, the entire team can access both the project plan and assigned actions from any web-enabled device!
New Metric Resource for KPIs
The new metric resource provides a flexible way to calculate and display key results, and track their performance over time. This can include reliability metrics calculated from a model resource (e.g., reliability, BX% life, etc.), any result from a simulated BlockSim diagram (e.g., availability, total uptime, etc.), completion percentages and resource usage for gates in a project plan, the current reliability/availability that was calculated/simulated in Xfmea/RCM++/RBI’s FMRA and any other user-defined value that you wish to display and track. Red and green color-coding makes it easy to see at-a-glance whether the metric falls into an acceptable range and whether it’s improving over time.
These metrics are directly integrated into relevant analyses throughout Synthesis desktop applications. In addition, if your organization chooses to implement the Synthesis Enterprise Portal, the entire team can view selected metrics from any web-enabled device!
Timeline Display for Portal Messages
The Synthesis Platform’s messages feature provides a convenient way to communicate with other database users. Now in Version 10, messages are displayed in a "timeline" format similar to social media websites like Facebook®.
In addition, if your organization chooses to implement the Synthesis Enterprise Portal, the entire team can create and access messages from any web-enabled device!
Watches and Alerts
Automated alerts can be an effective tool to facilitate communication and track the status of assigned responsibilities. In Version 10, alerts can now be sent via e-mail, SMS text message and/or Synthesis portal message, depending on each user’s preference.
We’ve also added the option to personally subscribe to "watch" specific project gates, actions, metrics and other resources of interest.
Synthesis Locator Links
The new Synthesis Locator Links (similar to Windows shortcuts) provide quick access to specific analyses in a Synthesis repository. You can save these link files anywhere on your computer or network, e-mail to a colleague, post on the Internet or an intranet, etc. When you double-click/open a link, it will launch the appropriate Synthesis application and go directly to a specific project item (e.g., folio, diagram, plot, system hierarchy item, etc.) or FMEA record (e.g., function, failure, etc.).
Easier to Find and Filter Analyses
A host of new and improved features make it easier to find, filter, sort and group the wide array of analyses and resources in the Synthesis Platform. Some of the most significant enhancements include:
The new Synthesis Explorer offers enormous flexibility for reviewing all of the different analyses that are stored in the current database. You can save customized "views" that configure the grid for a particular purpose (e.g., all analyses related to a particular component, all analyses modified in the last week, etc.). You can also present the information in a wide variety of graphical dashboard charts.
Item Categories and
In addition to the configurable project categories and filters that were available in prior versions, we have added flexible new item categories and filters for managing folios, diagrams, system hierarchy items and resources.
In Version 10, the Synthesis identifiers (formerly called "global identifiers") have been added for project explorer items (e.g., folios, diagrams, plots, etc.) and there is now one standard set of identifier fields for all relevant locations.
The Synthesis Dashboard is a highly customizable tool for graphical presentation of data (including grids, bar charts, pie charts, gauges, maps, etc.). Now in Version 10, it’s available in many more locations throughout the Synthesis Platform, including: Project Planner, Synthesis Explorer, Synthesis Data Warehouse, simulation diagram results in BlockSim and FMEA and FMRA data in Xfmea/RCM++/RBI.
In addition, if your organization chooses to implement a web-based portal for an enterprise database, you can now share selected dashboards to be accessed from any web-enabled device!
External Data Sources for Synthesis Data Warehouse
The Synthesis Data Warehouse in Weibull++, ALTA and RGA (formerly called "Reliability Data Warehouse") enables you to extract data from the XFRACAS incident tracking system for the purpose of either life data analysis or reliability growth analysis. Now in Version 10, we have added the ability to set up custom connections to extract relevant data from your own external data sources (including Access, Oracle and SQL Server) to either display in graphical dashboards or transfer to analysis folios.
Better Integration with Active Directory®
It’s now easier than ever to import user account information from Microsoft Active Directory. We’ve also added the option to associate Synthesis security groups with the Active Directory security groups that your organization already maintains. If a user gets reassigned to another team, his/her Synthesis security permissions can be updated automatically upon next login.
New Synthesis File Format (for Standalone Users)
In response to requests from individual users who are working alone in a single Synthesis application, we have added a new file format that emulates the file saving behavior of a document-centered application (such as Excel or ReliaSoft Version 7). The new Synthesis files (*.rsf10) are similar to standard Synthesis repositories (*.rsr10) except that they can only be used by one person at a time, and changes are not saved until you choose File > Save or Save As.
Reference Projects (to Reuse Analysis information)
The Synthesis Platform now provides even more flexibility for managing analysis information that can be reused in multiple projects throughout the database. In addition to local resources (available only within the current project) and global resources (available for any project in the database), the new reference projects feature allows you to manage shared resources that are only available to specified users (based on the security permissions for the reference project).
Batch Properties Editor (for Managing Resources)
The Batch Properties Editor (formerly called "Item Properties Table" in BlockSim) is now available in all Synthesis desktop applications except MPC. This tool makes it easy to edit Synthesis resource properties in a convenient grid, rather than editing each resource in a separate window.
Unified Application Setup and Settings Saved with Folios/Diagrams
Synthesis desktop applications offer a variety of configurable settings that are stored per computer/username. Now in Version 10, the settings are unified into a single, more convenient Application Setup window that contains all of the options that are relevant for the current application.
Your personalized application setup still determines the default settings for new folios, diagrams and flowcharts that you create in Weibull++/ALTA, BlockSim/RENO, DOE++ and RGA. But in Version 10, relevant settings are now saved with each individual folio/diagram and accessible from the Item Properties window. This makes it possible to have different settings for different analyses, and also ensures that any given analysis will be the same for all database users.
The Synthesis Platform's Application Programming Interface (API) enables you to integrate Synthesis applications and data with other systems used by your organization or to build your own custom applications. For example, you can use the API to either read from or write to various types of data in a Synthesis repository. In Version 10, we've added methods and properties to provide more flexibility for interacting with Synthesis resources and with XFRACAS.