Technology Guide

Welcome to the Doodlebase set up guide. Browse this page to understand how Doodlebase's tools function, or to install our system on your own supply chain.

If you have questions about the technology or set up process, contact us here.


Step 1: Creating your Network

A Doodlebase representative initiates the set-up process by establishing a Network for your company. At this time, a technical contact within your organization becomes the Network Administrator, or admin. The Doodlebase representative and Network admin work together to configure your Network for your product.

Route Designer

First you enter your route summary information, like the example below.

In this example, the Network "Acme Widgets" has been established. You then enter a name for your Business, Product, and select the Product Lifecyle. The Lifecycle choices are Development, Prototype, Qualification and Production, allowing you to save and update your information as your product moves through the lifecycle stages. These choices can be changed at any time.

In the example above, note there are three routes established. When the routes are selected, the data is shown in the listing below.

In this example, three routes are defined to build the product. The lowest level of the route is the Client. The Client is a unique name within a Network, and represents one device that is collecting and sending data to your Network. Typically, a Client represents one machine in your manufacturing process, but it can also represent a device such as a thermometer collecting the temperature of the factory floor. Clients are verified once data is transmitted to the Network from the Client.

  1. Sync Status flag: determines if the route is accepting data from the Client.
  2. Report Status flag: determines if the data in a route is included in the reports for the Network.
  3. Status flag: is set to enable/disable both sync and reports.

All the values except the Verified flag can be edited at any time.

Once your routes are established, they are ready for data collection. When you click on the link for a Client in Route Designer, the form is shown as in the example below.

The form above provides the credentials needed by the Client to send data to your Network. Client to Network communication uses standard web http protocol with authentication to send xml formatted information. The ClientKey and Password are the credentials needed for authentication.

Step 2: Sending data to your Network

Your Network contains Routes that are assigned to collect data from Clients running different processes. These Clients can be located anywhere in the world. The Clients send data to your Network by transferring xml files using secure web protocol and Network authentication. The files can be sent by any device capable of sending web requests using basic authentication. This includes virtually every device that is capable of communicating with the internet.

The xml data sent to Doodlebase must conform to a fixed schema in order to be interpreted correctly. Other types of files can also be sent with your data and those files will be stored in your Network rather than added to your Network metadata. Once you log in, you can download the XML schema from the schema page.

Transformer

The easiest way to build xml files that conform to the schema is to use the Doodlebase Transformer. The Transformer is a .NET and COM compatible library that builds xml data files using simple commands. After you log in, you can download Transformer from the Transformer Page.

Download and setup Transformer to begin using it with your .NET or COM compatible software. Alternately, you can download the schema and write your own xml files and send them using your compatible web application interface software.

You interact with the Transformer library by using simple methods in your test program to collect your data. The methods are tailored for ease of use and efficient data collection and automation. You may re-distribute the Transformer software to as many devices as you like as long as you are subscribing to Doodlebase. A subscription to Doodlebase is required to consume the data from Transformer.

Here's a code sample of interacting with the Transformer library to transfer product-based data:

You can build xml files that conform to either the Product schema or Process schema. The example shown above builds an xml file conforming to the Doodlebase Product Schema. The file is sent using secure web protocol and authentication into your Network database using the Load method. At your discretion, the file can be packaged with other files and folder content on your data collection device and sent as one package. When your data is loaded to your Network, the raw data files you sent are also stored and can be retrieved later.

Other things you can do:

  • Write your data out locally in xml format
  • Write your data and packaged files in Zip format
  • Parse existing text data files into load format based
  • Validate your xml files against the schema

You can also format your own Doodlebase xml files as long as they meet the requirements of the schema.

Step 3: Requesting data from your Network

Schema

Your Doodlebase Network is constructed using a modern data warehouse schema that is optimized for storing and retrieving large amounts of information. The Network consists of dimensions and facts (also called measures). Dimensions describe the "who, what when, where and how" of your data, and the facts are the values obtained at the intersections of the dimensions.

Data warehousing principles usually call for these dimensions and facts to be combined and pre-aggregated into data cubes, so that reports can be generated from the aggregated data. When you request data from your Network, the data is flattened into views, and then you use your data Client to reconstruct it into dimensions and facts and to aggregate the data.

OData

Your Doodlebase Network provides reporting through OData technology. OData reporting feeds and views are provided using standard, secure web technology. These feeds can be consumed by customers using data Clients such as Microsoft PowerBI and Excel. OData reporting uses web basic athentication to authenticate you as a valid consumer of the data in your Network.

You access the OData reports feeds for your data by starting your data reporting Client and using the url query strings generated in Query Builder.

Query Builder

To prevent your reporting Client from being overloaded, use Query Builder to request specific portions of your data. Query Builder is a web-form tool used to construct specific data requests based on the data you want to see. With Query Builder, you can even generate queries that tell Doodlebase to make calculations about your data, such as variance, standard deviation, control limits, and more.

In the example above, Query Builder is used to only import variables that contain control limit failures within the month of January 2016. Specific queries such as this one make viewing your data fast and relevant.

Summary Data

You can also limit the data you download by making open queries, then selecting only summary tables inside your reporting Client. An open query is a query that requests all your data at the same time.

An open query is safe to make in Power BI because it allows you to preview all the data in your Network, without loading it. Previewing data is useful for verifying that your data is in your Network, and to explore the tables that hold your data. For example, an open query in power BI will allow you to preview your data in the following tables:

You can then select the tables you want to import, and press the load button when you’re ready. We only recommend loading tables containing summary data such as the product yield table.

Summary Data Example

Typically, the user will start their data analysis journey by constructing a “snapshot” of the manufacturing process. This is accomplished by generating an open OData query, then selecting the following summary tables in Power BI:

  • DimProducts
  • DimTimes
  • DimRoutes
  • FactProductYields

After the data is loaded, PowerBI automatically detects relationships between tables. You can verify this by pressing the relationship tab, as shown below:

Now, the user can start building visualizations in Power BI. For example, the following report can be created completely from summary data.

Creating summary reports are useful because they inform further, more specific investigation into your process for root-cause analysis and process improvement. For example, the report shown above suggests further investigation into the ICT1 process.

Reports can be published online, linked to other reports, refreshed automatically, and securely shared with key stakeholders for further analysis and decision making.

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