It’s with pleasure and pride that Calame announces the availability of the Gathering Tools software suite version 3.95.
What’s new? Let’s take a look!
Why a Version 3.95?
As you might know, we publish a new version of Gathering Tools every year. Last year’s version was the “3.90” when this year it is the “3.95”. You could think that, since the new version only add 0.05 to the previous version number it is a minor evolution but, in fact, the version 3.95 is one of the biggest evolution of Gathering Tools. We chose to use version 3.95 because:
- It is part of the 3.XX branch which means that the technical architecture is the same that in all the 3.XX versions and that that all 3.XX projects are compatible with the 3.95.
- It’s the last version of the 3.XX branch, the next release will work on a different technical architecture.
The 3.95 version innovate in many areas.
Digital transformation generates an increasing need of security that Gathering Tools 3.95 version answer with new features:
For each instance, it is now possible to:
- Allow a user to reinitialize its password
- Force a user to choose a password different from the N last ones
- Specify different constrains for users and for administrators
- Make sure that the password doesn’t content the login
- Make sure that the password doesn’t content any words from a specific dictionary
- Define a duration limit for passwords
- Block an account after a defined number of unsuccessful connection attempts
- Define single-use passwords
The version 3.7 introduced an innovative identification of the respondents through a secured validation of their email address that allowed to have secured campaigns outside of the client’s organization. The version 3.95 add two new respondent’s identification modes with:
- A LDAP authentication through GTWeb module
- An Active Directory authentication
Update of the Security Protocols
In order to handle threats’ evolution, the version 3.95 doesn’t support protocols SSLv2 and SSLv3 anymore but replace them by TLSv1. Password transmission is now encrypted in AES 256. Finally, the password storage is made with a SHA-512 encryption.
Gathering Tools now integrate an infrastructure dimensioning tool. This document allows to determinate the optimal infrastructure your project needs just by entering your projects characteristics. You can now estimate the RAM needed on the respondent’s computers only by entering the volume expected in each compartments of your documents.
New Calculation Functions
The version 3.95 support new Excel functions:
- =NETWORKDAYS(start_date, end_date, [holidays])
- =NETWORKDAYS.INTL(start_date, end_date, [weekend], [holidays])
If the DAYS360 is mainly used for accountability projects, NETWORKDAYS and NETWORKDAYS.INTL will be useful for HR projects, especially international projects.
We also added new GT functions:
- =GTMOGETSHEETNAMEFROMITEMNUM (num_item_MO [, axis [, tab_index]])
Those functions simplify the creation of dynamical multi-tabs by allowing to “request” directly into the multi-tab items. It’s now extremely simple to create synthesis tabs!
Support of Named Zones
Do you know that Excel calculation mistakes led to huge economical disasters? If you are interested by the subject, I recommend a Mazars document that list the 12 worst disasters due to errors made in Excel. What comes out of this document is that most of those mistakes are due to invalid references created by a wrong copy/paste. There is an excellent way to avoid that kind of mistake: the use of named zones. Since version 3.95, Gathering Tools support named zones which simplify maintenance and create many new possibilities: lists based on different tabs, dynamical graphs… We will soon publish examples of new creative uses of named functions!
We worked a lot on how to provide a good emulation of Excel behavior and functionalities in our documents. It is now possible to authorize respondents to modify line’s height and column’s width, use multiple selection and, like in Excel, show the customized aggregation values when you select multiple cells.
And most of all, we now implemented the copy/paste ! It is now possible to select multiple cells and copy them without bypassing the security controls. The copy/paste allows to automatically add lines or records in patterns: practical for managing reference data! Finally, we created a new Windows clipboard that allows to copy/paste from Answer to Answer, but also from Excel to Answer and from Answer to Excel! All those tasks that previously needed an Excel export can now be realized directly in Answer!
It’s the end of grey old spreadsheets and monotonous number columns! Gathering Tools now supports conditional formatting. Color shades, , data bars, and icons allow you to enhance the readability of your documents. Your Excel spreadsheets formatting will automatically be imported! Conditional formatting is extremely useful in dynamic patterns where you can quickly identify a precious information. We will soon publish examples to illustrate this functionality.
A new component was added to Gathering Tools: a scrolling bar. This object can be used in many ways:
- Explore data: with one or multiple scrolling bars, it will be easy for users to navigate in the data, especially in time.
- Simulate: when your document allows users to make hypothesis, it’s very useful to modify parameters by moving a cursor than by filling parameters one by one. The scrolling bar also allows to select precise values with a contextual menu.
With the combination of named zones, new formats, and scrolling bars, the version 3.95 allows you to create highly dynamical documents!
Finally, the version 3.95 supports:
- Windows 10
- Office 2016
- SQLServer 2014
The version 3.95 push the Gathering Tools concept to a new level. We’ll soon publish realization that takes advantage of all those new functionalities!