Friday, June 20, 2014

How to Scale X-Axis for ZOOMS Trends

In the last post, we talked about scaling the Y-Axis of ZOOMS trends.  What about the X-Axis?

Well, the X-axis (or as pedantic mathematicians would call it, "abscissa") for ZOOMS is always the time-axis.  As with any chart, there is an "x-min" for the minimum value of x as well as an "x-max."

In the world of time-series data, there are more colloquial names:
  • x-min is starttime
  • x-max is endtime
Unfortunately, there are also hundreds of ways of representing time:
  • 04-Jul-1776
  • 12/8/1941
  • back to the future time

Type Time Range into Search Box

And typing in the starttime and endtime is one way to set the time range:

ZOOMS is able to interpret a lot of date inputs, but not all of them.

Use the Trend Buttons

What happens when you've got a trend and you want to go from there?
There are 3 buttons at the bottom of each trend.
  1. Back Arrow is an arrow pointing to the left that will take the trend one time-range into the past.
  2. Forward Arrow is an arrow pointing to the right that will take the trend one time-range into the future.
  3. Refresh/Revert will restore the time-range to the original as-loaded trend.

Highlight Area On Trend

You can magnify a time range by highlighting it with the mouse: clicking and holding down the mouse button at one edge of the time range and dragging the mouse to the other edge of the time range:
When you release the mouse button, the trend will zoom to the selected time range.


In summary, there are at least 3 ways to scale the X-Axis of a ZOOMS trend:

  1. Type in the time range in the search box.
  2. Use the "back" and "forward" buttons
  3. Highlight an area on a trend
See Also:

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How to Scale Y-Axis for ZOOMS Trends

There are several improvements with ZOOMS 2.1 and the first difference you'll notice is the trend controls... the buttons at the bottom of each trend that "control" what happens to the trend.

For this post, we'll be focusing on the Y-axis scaling buttons, which are 5 o'clock position when looking at the trend from straight on.  There are 3 buttons:
  • multi
  • channel
  • single


By default, every trend is plotted as "multi," which is an abbreviation for multiple Y-axis.  Each trace on the trend gets its own Y-axis scale where the bottom is the minimum value and the top is the maximum value:

While you get a fuller sense of each trace - since each trace spans the entire range of the graph, there is no sense of what the traces are like in absolute value.


The left-most button is "single," which refers to plotting all the traces on a single Y-axis. Using this method, you can get a strong sense for how the traces relate to each other.
Compared to the multiple Y-axis, we can now tell that the orange sinusoid is oscillates in a lower range than either of the red or magenta traces.


The channel Y-axis scaling divides up the trend in N horizontal slices and plots each trace in its own channel.  Using this method, you can hover your cursor over the entire trend and get a feel for what the values actually are.

There are plenty of awesome web-trending applications that give you more precise control over the actual scaling of the Y-axis, and we think they serve the tactical employees (e.g. operators and engineers) well.

The Zymergi implementation of Y-axis scaling is geared towards the time-crunched strategic users like managers and directors.

See also:

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Securing the Process Data Historian Search Engine: ZOOMS

When I worked at an FDA-regulated commercial biologics manufacturing facility, access to data was limited to authorized individuals; 21 CFR Part 11 (10d) specifically calls for this control so that the authenticity, integrity, and, when appropriate, the confidentiality of electronic records are assured.

Needless to say, those who operate under cGMP regulations are worried about compliance with Part 11 have concerns with software that is trying to democratize the data.

Fair enough.
ben franklin on freedom vs security

It turns out that you can have cake and eat it too.  That is, you can have an easy-to-use, web-based interface for your trend data AND you can limit the access to authorized individuals.

Within Internet Information Services (IIS), the web-server on which ZOOMS runs, the default setting is to enable Anonymous Login and to disable everything else.

The way to secure ZOOMS is go to click on the website under which ZOOMS is installed and select the Authentication Feature:
IIS authentication feature
When you double-click on IIS Authentication, you get a setting for how you want this web-server to be secured.  There are 4 options to enable/disable.  The way to ensure unauthorized access is not granted is to set Anonymous Authentication Status to Disabled.

And if you happen to be running Windows Active Directory and you want to use that as the method to control access, set Windows Authentication Status to Enabled.

IIS disable anonymous login

Assuming that you're in an environment with Active Directory, you can use Active Directory credentials to control access to ZOOMS.

Now when I attempt to access ZOOMS, here's what I get:
ZOOMS password challenge

(I'm on a Mac using Safari to access a Windows IIS server running ZOOMS)

And only when I input valid Windows credentials am I granted access to ZOOMS.  At this point, access to ZOOMS has been limited from everyone with network access to everyone with a valid domain account.

If you want further restrictions, you simply need to set up ASP.NET URL Authorization where you specify the exact role that you want to allow access.
ASP.NET Url Authorization
If you want to create an Active Directory group for just your users, you can do so.  If you want to grant access to an existing Active Directory group, you can do so.

The key here is to Allow first, Deny last.

The point in all this is that you don't have to sacrifice the freedom of your information for the sake of security.

For more questions, contact Zymergi Technical Support at 650-646-4996.

See also: