Inadvertent clicks on default settings can wreak havoc with measurement systems, costing time and money. Up-front action will head off the mess.
When a customer called recently to report that his calibration tracking records were not reporting correctly in the newest version of GAGEpack, technical analyst David Shattuck went into action, eliminating potential causes one by one until he got to the heart of the problem—the field that set the default number of uses on check-in had been changed in the settings to default to zero. Many of the company’s gages, therefore, appeared not to have been checked out, in spite of actually having had required maintenance.
This was a case where using the GAGEpack security settings could have prevented these inadvertent changes. Shattuck helped the customer use the security features in GAGEpack so that changes in settings in the software would be accessible only with appropriate levels of clearance. “It would take about ten minutes of time up front to avoid this kind of problem,” Shattuck says. “The key is taking time to set up the security system that GAGEpack offers.”
As explained in the GAGEpack Users’ Guide, three login options are available to users. The lowest-level security is “No login,” which of course gives all rights to anyone who opens the program or happens onto a computer with GAGEpack running. This may not be the option that will serve a customer’s needs best, since there is no control over who changes settings, etc. Somehow, the customer whom David Shattuck was working with discovered that a critical setting—a default for the number of users—had been tampered with; no one knew how this had happened, but a security login would not have allowed such a fundamental change to be made.
A second security level allows the user to type in a name (or select it from a choice list of users), and this person will be entitled to all rights. No login password is demanded. The benefit is that, the “Entered by” and “Done by” fields will indicate the name of the person who is logged in. This will create an audit trail so the Supervisor will not be named as responsible for changes that are made by the logged-in employee.
The most secure login protection is provided by clicking on the command “Full login required.” This requires a user to be listed in the database with assigned rights and a password—the best option for anyone that needs to comply with FDA 21 CFR Part 11, as the standard specifically calls for limiting system access to authorized individuals. A user can lock the program while it is running if this login is active. A password must be entered before the program can continue.
Each of these security options has advantages and disadvantages, of course. In a small operation with a single operator, the full login may seem excessive and may not be needed. The process of reflecting on security requirements and setting appropriate logins is one that should be taken seriously, Shattuck points out. Even though a member of PQ Systems’ technical assistance team can help to sort out a challenge that develops from a less secure login, consider that your data is an important asset worth protecting.
The screen below indicates the checklist that can be used to extend access to those who require it:
If you find yourself in need of technical assistance or consulting services, know that a team of analysts is ready to help. Our calls are always handled promptly by actual people, rather than recorded in a “press-one-press-two” approach to support.
The PQ Systems technical support staff addresses most customers’ needs via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or telephone (toll-free 800-777-5060). Telephone technical support is also available through PQ Systems Australia (03-9770-1960) and PQ Systems Europe (0044 0 1704 871465) and via email (email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org). Some customers find that the “Software FAQ” section of the PQ Systems website resolves a question or helps with instruction. Whether it’s a concern about data storage, security, software testing, or maintenance agreements, simple answers to these frequent questions are posted here.