Quantrix Feature and Improvement Requests

43.89K viewsQuantrix Feedback
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Greetings Forum Community,

What improvements and new features would you like to see in future versions of Quantrix? User feedback is an important piece of our product planning. Use this thread to let us know what we do well, what we can do a better job at and the new features you would like to see in the Quantrix application.

Thanks!

-Mike

S A U Changed status to publish October 30, 2018
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I would like to see a File > Send To command so I can easily send a Quantrix file as an email attachment.

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I would like to be able to customize the command tool bar. For example, adding sum function to the tool bar.

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Can I have the ability to set a default font preference when opening a new model?

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I would like to have the ability to put text hyperlinks in cells that will open up a web page when clicked upon.

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My Quantrix model sometimes gets pretty large and can be hard to view on one screen. I would like to have zoom in and zoom out tools so that I could look at more information on a screen or zoom in on a specific section. Is that something you think you might be able to add in the future?

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I would like to see a “Spell” key like the old DOS modeling package Javelin had. You would type in a text string, hit the Tab key, and the software would do a match on existing variable names, functions, etc. and give the best match. Saved a *lot* of time in constructing a model.

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I am still a Javelin user and I like the features in Javelin that let you import data from other models and also let you rollup data via an org chart. We use models to store our data and like having the ability to keep the data in many models and the calculations for specific reports in other models that can all draw on the same data without becoming to large and unmanageable.

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I do miss the Spell key in Javelin and the built in ability to recognize time periods. The category items for time were built into the system.

Chris

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Some of these items may already be possible and I haven’t yet discovered how to do them.

1. Additional format options for negative % amounts other than “-“. E.g. (), red color and combinations thereof.

2. Non-modal Function panel. Why do I have to edit a formula to browse through the function panel? It’s also a bit perilous.

3. Non-modal Page Setup panel. It’s a pain to have to close and re-open the Page Setup panel each time I want to setup a page for printing. Usually, I set up a number of pages at a time.

4. Get the splash panel out of the way or let me move it. Quantrix takes a long time to start during which the
silly splash panel hogs the middle of my screen so I can’t use any other apps. While you’re at it can you get Quantrix to load faster.

5. Lose the “Copying Data” activity panel. Copying takes long enough without having to stare at the reminder. It probably takes as long as it does because the app has to display the activity panel and update it.

6. I’d like the ability to include item names, category names etc. and/or their values in page headers and footers. E.g. I want a printe report to include the exchange rate used in the header or footer. Currently, I have to remember to edit the page header or footer before printing and type in the new rate.

7. Stop requiring daisy chaining of category links beween matrices. If you have multiple matrix and they all have a common category which you want to link then my understanding is you have to daisy chain the links. 4th->3rd->2nd-1st. If you don’t then some matrix won’t be updated on recalc’s. This is a problem when you add another matrix some time later and you want to link the same category as well – it’s hard to figure out which is the end of the chain.

8. Closing the last model shouldn’t exit the application. I don’t always realize I am closing the last open model and now I have to restart it the app (long time, splash panel annoyance).

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lyledp – Thanks for your very good suggestions. In regards to #6 – you can accomplish this with Expressions in your headers and footers. Take a look in Quantrix Help > Search and search for the term ‘Expressions’ for more information. Feel free to start a new thread if you need further assistance.

-Mike

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Some features and improvements i would like to see:</br>
-Use of international characters
<em>Like “ã”, “õ”, “á”; Although i can use them in formulas</em>;</br>
-No contradictory behaviour of international system settings
<em>While it is possible to change the thousands and decimal separators in preferences, it only works in the worksheet, but not in formulas</em>;</br>
-Toolbars configuration
<em>To configure the toolbars, or create new ones</em>;</br>
-Toolbars view
<em>To memorize from one session to another, the toolbars toggle view</em>;</br>
-Refocus on the spreadsheet after pressing a toolbar icon
<em>When working in a spreadsheet, if i press a toolbar icon (ex.: Group items) the focus shouldn’t stay on the toolbar, but return to the spreadsheet automatically</em>;</br>
-Column width information when sizing it</br>
-Mac interface for the MacOSX version
<em>Couldn’t you develop an options palette, like many cocoa applications, or even excel for mac?
Couldn’t you develop mac like toolbars and icons?</em>;</br>
-Right category tiles above the sheet and not on it’s side
<em>They use a lot of screen space. You could use the the positions used in Lotus Improv</em>;</br>
-Spreadsheet templates
<em>Use, and configure, a default template or user defined templates</em>;</br>
-Change an item descriptor name after it is created
<em>Although i can do it directly in the xml file</em>.</br>

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Sorting needs to become more flexible. As long as your item or row names happen to be what you need to sort on, then great. Need to be able to sort a set of rows based on the content of a particular column.

Definitely need zoom capability. This was even a problem with the original NeXT version.

Canned ‘Summary Item’ needs to be editable once used the formula is used.

Some terms that pop up when using Quantrix are not in the docs. e.g. ‘Calulation complete’.

Quantrix still dumps core at times (see attached).

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Cal – Thanks for your excellent Suggestions.

Please know that in the 2.0 version of Quantrix, we addressed your data sorting and summary item suggestions. We also made a fix in 2.0 for the core dump you posted. You can download a 30 day 2.0 trial on our download page & take it for a spin:

[url:d7qjjkw5]http://www.quantrix.com/download.php[/url:d7qjjkw5]

Upgrade information can be found here:

[url:d7qjjkw5]http://www.quantrix.com/r-info-2-31[/url:d7qjjkw5]

Please contact [email:d7qjjkw5]customerservice@quantrix.com[/email:d7qjjkw5] if you have any specific upgrade questions.

Thank you everyone for the excellent feedback. Please keep it coming!

-Mike

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[quote:x343npn3][i:x343npn3]Originally posted by tpb [/i:x343npn3]
[b:x343npn3]My Quantrix model sometimes gets pretty large and can be hard to view on one screen. I would like to have zoom in and zoom out tools so that I could look at more information on a screen or zoom in on a specific section. Is that something you think you might be able to add in the future? [/b:x343npn3][/quote:x343npn3]

I totally agree, that would be useful for using the same model on screens with different resolution. Now, on a PC with a high resolution fonts may become too small to be comfortably read.

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[quote:2e36ohvo][i:2e36ohvo]Originally posted by AlaskaBill [/i:2e36ohvo]
[b:2e36ohvo]I would like to see a “Spell” key like the old DOS modeling package Javelin had. You would type in a text string, hit the Tab key, and the software would do a match on existing variable names, functions, etc. and give the best match. Saved a *lot* of time in constructing a model. [/b:2e36ohvo][/quote:2e36ohvo]
More generally, I would like to have code completion functionality similar to what you have for editing source code in Eclipse, even better than what you had in Javelin. On the plus side in Modeler vis-a-vis Javelin you have point and click, that is of great help.

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Given the rich textual formula language used in Modeler, a text search and replace function would be useful for renaming variables and maintaining formula expressions. It would be handy for changing values in input cells as well.

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I’d love to see the ability to be able to do “rolling averages” across categories. I have a large sales results model that has sales data going back to 1992. In order to calculate running 12 month totals and averages, I have to group months into yearly groups. this then necessitates multiple formulas for other calculations such as “Year to Date” values for each group. It gets a bit cumbersome. At one time I was advised that this might appear in a 1.X upgrade, but I haven’t seen anything yet, even into 2.0.

Overall though, I like the program and happy its available to continue where Improv left off.

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[quote:3tr3ddbe][i:3tr3ddbe]Originally posted by tpb [/i:3tr3ddbe]
[b:3tr3ddbe]My Quantrix model sometimes gets pretty large and can be hard to view on one screen. I would like to have zoom in and zoom out tools so that I could look at more information on a screen or zoom in on a specific section. Is that something you think you might be able to add in the future? [/b:3tr3ddbe][/quote:3tr3ddbe]

I would agree with this.

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As the posts on this thread make apparent, Modeler is used as a flexible reporting + calculation front-end, much more powerful than a reporting tool built upon a relational DBMS. In Quantrix one imports substantial amounts of data that is filtered, sorted, spliced and diced, etc.
Well, in order to ease the treatment of data from long tables, two new functions could be useful:

1) making combo boxes used for filtered categories and constrained input cells editable, i.e. allowing the user to search for a value by entering its beginning characters;

2) when you have multiple filter categories above a matrix, one should be able to set “cascading filters”, i.e. filtering the values in the combo for the 2nd filter showing only the items for which the matrix has non empty cells; it would be something of the sort of the “hide empty rows / columns” setting

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I use Quantrix matrices also for entering data. Sometimes you have a large matrix with numerous items in several dimensions with sparse data inside it; in these cases setting “Hide empty rows columns” is convenient in order to filter irrelevant dimensions. However, you sometimes want to hide empty rows only, or else empty columns, for example when you add a new empty row and want all its “Item”s shown for entering data. To such purpose, it would be useful to add a sub menu to “Hide empty rows columns”, alllowing the user to choose among “both”, “only rows” and “only columns”

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Here are the items at the top of my list

1) Improve charting – a) fit labels better (for instance, allow or automatically provide vertical labeling of the x-axis), b) shrink or expand any chart elements with fonts keeping pace (now you can shrink or expand but the fonts don’t follow the size changes), c) Semitransparent area charts so you can see through to the other data; d) ability to set colors, symbols, etc. for items and categories so that they are consistently represented across charts.

2) Fully support text in cells – a) When typing new long text, show the part of the text being typed instead of just the first line; b) allow items / categories to be set to automatically expand vertically or horizontally to hold text. These capabilities would more easily allow Quantrix to be used for multidimensional qualitative assessments.

3) Support the import of Excel worksheets as matrices or as a new model – a) allow selection of a worksheet or worksheets to be imported, b) allow support or ignore formatting, c) allow formulas to be imported (ideally, infer patterns from the formulas so you could automatically generate reasonably good Quantrix formulas that could be tweaked; perhaps require use of named ranges to make that work)

4) Provide a capability to automatically generate Word and Powerpoint documents from a model.

5) Allow drag and drop of columns and rows to reposition (instead of cut and paste).

6) Allow images to be pasted in cells as data. Create some image processing functions. That would allow Quantrix to be used as a multidimensional image processing spreadsheet (wild, but would be fun).

Well, that’s my list for the moment, maybe more later…

– Mark

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[quote:395ic6ff][i:395ic6ff]Originally posted by lyledp [/i:395ic6ff][b:395ic6ff]
7. Stop requiring daisy chaining of category links beween matrices. If you have multiple matrix and they all have a common category which you want to link then my understanding is you have to daisy chain the links. 4th->3rd->2nd-1st. If you don’t then some matrix won’t be updated on recalc’s. This is a problem when you add another matrix some time later and you want to link the same category as well – it’s hard to figure out which is the end of the chain.
[/b:395ic6ff][/quote:395ic6ff]

Hello Everyone – Thanks for all of this excellent feedback. I am currently going through all the feedback and logging in our database for release consideration.

In regards to LyleP’s post – Once a Quantrix category is linked, you should not have to figure out the end of the chain to link to a new matrix. In the above case, you should be able to take the ‘second’ category that was linked and link it to the new matrix and it should work fine. If you find different results please feel free to start a new thread for further discussion.

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I really appreciate the paperbound manual that comes with the software. Most software these days comes in PDF not very user friendly conducive way to learn how to use the software. So while not a “wanted feature” it is a “don’t drop” request!

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I would like to be able to create Presentation Sheets where I could place tables, charts, text and images.

It would be nice if all texts in charts could be formatted with style, size and color.

It would be nice if copy and paste from Excel did function correctly.

Export to Excel with a category shuld export data from each item to a seperate sheet in the workbook.

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[quote:14dpje3b][i:14dpje3b]Originally posted by FGM [/i:14dpje3b]
[b:14dpje3b]
It would be nice if copy and paste from Excel did function correctly.
[/b:14dpje3b][/quote:14dpje3b]

Thanks for posting and providing your excellent feedback. Could you expand on the above – perhaps giving an example? Many thanks…

-Mike

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1. The most important improvement needed is for how formulas interact with data already in a matrix. Currently, it is much too easy to wipe out data just by entering a formula. I think the default should be to apply formulas as normal but automatically ignore those cells that have data already in them.

2. There needs to be a zoom function like Excel has. I envision this as a way to zoom everything at once – i.e., all matrices and both cells and formulas.

4. I use the F2 key in Excel quite often to help me understand a formula. The F2 key shows all the cells that go into a formula and in different colors as well. Quantrix has some of this but it doesn’t span to other matrices or use other colors. The use of cross hatching to indicate a formula is nice. Formulas in Quantrix can be quite tough to read whenever you use a descriptive matrix, category, or item name.

5. This latest project I’ve been working on uses data from multiple years. One additional command I would like to see would be a cumulative function. I envision this to work like the [FIRST] or [NEXT] command. For example A:Year[THIS] = B:Year[CUMULATIVE] or maybe it could be written as A = B[CUMULATIVE]. In any case, the formula would give a running total of the amount in B. I’ve been using the sum command as in A:Year[THIS] = sum(B:year[FIRST]..B:year[THIS]). This works but it is not very elegant.

6. Excel has the ability to match parentheses by bolding the left one as the matching right one is typed. This is useful for complicated formulas.

7. One of biggest complaints with Excel is that the graphics produced don’t copy well to a post-script program. I don’t know what Quantrix graphics will do yet but it would be nice to have graphics that would be useable with Adobe InDesign.

8. A solver type function would be nice. I use GAMS for mathematical modeling and the basic setup for Quantrix is a lot like GAMS. Thus for me, the ideal solution would be an easy way to setup and invoke GAMS from within Quantrix.

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[quote:hfnvez0g][i:hfnvez0g]Originally posted by greggi [/i:hfnvez0g]
[b:hfnvez0g]
6. Excel has the ability to match parentheses by bolding the left one as the matching right one is typed. This is useful for complicated formulas.
[/b:hfnvez0g][/quote:hfnvez0g]

Thank you for your excellent suggestions. Quantrix does drop in a background highlight on the left parentheses when the right one is typed, but your bolding request is noted and logged.

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I would appreciate an easy way to hide/unhide elements in a category (ref the outline functionality of excel with the little “+”‘s). I often need to put the cursor on a very narrow strip to unhide. Perhaps there is already an easy way in the current version.

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also a handy feature: the excel automatic sum in the bottom of the status bar. I know the “calculator” plug-in does the same (and more), but that thing flies allover my screen and the numeric/decimal formatting is not the same as the cells you select, making the total hard to read. also you cannot do multiple selections by pressing the control key using the calculator.

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[quote:2b8s7z0z][i:2b8s7z0z]Originally posted by greggi [/i:2b8s7z0z]
[b:2b8s7z0z]1. The most important improvement needed is for how formulas interact with data already in a matrix. Currently, it is much too easy to wipe out data just by entering a formula. I think the default should be to apply formulas as normal but automatically ignore those cells that have data already in them.
[/b:2b8s7z0z][/quote:2b8s7z0z]

I agree. One should be able to delete a formula preserving current cell values, obtaining the same result as a copy |paste values in excel (or / clear formula in Javelin). At present you cannot do that directly, and have to try some cumbersome workarounds. It is also tricky doing it with a Java procedure programmed with QAPI.

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[quote:j5ny3z78][i:j5ny3z78]Originally posted by Quantrix QA [/i:j5ny3z78]
[b:j5ny3z78]Thanks for posting and providing your excellent feedback. Could you expand on the above – perhaps giving an example? Many thanks…

-Mike [/b:j5ny3z78][/quote:j5ny3z78]

In Excel I copy 3 cells:
1: 58528
2: Inspektørtimer, gennemløb TS 24.53
3: 25944

When I paste them to Quantrix they are placed in 2 cells:
1: 58528;Inspektørtimer
2: gennemløb TS 24.53;25944

If I paste in notepad and copy and paste from notepad to
Quantrix:
1: 58528
2: “Inspektørtimer, gennemløb TS 24.53”
3: 25944

FGM

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Thanks for posting the additional information. This is most likely an issue with Quantrix interacting with regional and language settings specific to your locale. I have logged this issue in our database for investigation and resolution consideration.

-Mike

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I second the call for size information when resizing columns. Both Improve and NeXSTEP Quantirx had this and it was handy. Also some menu items for column and row sizing would be useful. I don’t seem to recall anything like that in 2.0.

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Thanks for posting Lyle. I have added your vote to this request in our database.

We are currently going through a series of internal processes prioritizing features for our next release. The feedback posted in this forum is an important part of this process. I will post more news on the new release when appropriate. In the meantime – keep the feedback coming!

-Mike

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I would like the possibility to directly insert a formula at the end of all the formulas instead of at a location determined by the program. This would enable me to create a model generating data and then tweak some of the data manually withot having to go through endless ctrl-arrow down sessions.

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MJO,

Thanks for your post and I have your suggestions logged.

The current behaviour does the following:

– If you choose Insert > Formula from the menu, the new formula line will be inserted directly after the currently selected formula. One workaround in this case is to select the last formula first prior to choosing insert > formula.

– A formula creation shortcut is to highlight the item or category you want to start the formula with and press the = sign. This will start the formula with the ” ItemName =” and will always insert the formula in the last position.

I hope this clarification helps you with your model building. We will work to make this behaviour more consistent in future releases.

-Mike

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Greetings Quantrix Forum Community:

I wanted to let you all know we have started work on Quantrix 2.1. We have identified the features and improvements we want to include in the release and the posts to this thread had a direct impact on this decision making process. Thank you all for posting.

We hope to have a beta available sometime in Q1 – 2006. As we start to get internal 2.1 builds – I will talk about some of the new features / improvements in more detail. Stay tuned to the Quantrix forum for further announcements.

-Mike

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One little suggestion that I have is regarding export to Excel. If I have a model with a filtered column, and then export to excel, it would be nice to see a note regarding the filters applied, similar to the list of formulas that you see.

Something like: Filter: Column ‘Count’: > 10. Thanks.

Carl

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Someone else mentioned this earlier, if it’s what I think it is.

I’d like a way to have selected matrix printed on a single page, in a layout of my choosing.

I have one model with a number of small matrix that summarize various aspects of another larger matrix. Printing them results in 6 separate pages, 5 of which are mostly blank. I end up cutting down the 4 of the 5 and pasting them onto page 5. Reducing the entire printout to 2 easy to handle and read pages. I like the compactness of the result but hate the time wasted cutting and pasting.

This is one of the few things traditional spreadsheets apps can do that I appreciate. They’re good for multiple matrix on a single page.

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Why do circular references occur in Quantirx?

This was never a problem in NextSTEP versions of Improv or Quantrix. With the java Quantrix though, suddenly this seems to occur quite easily. At least is does for me.

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Thanks for the comments in printing presentation. We have had this comment before and I have appended your suggestions to the appropriate entry in our database.

I think circular references just were not detected in the other applications. I just tried it on Lotus Improv for Windows. I wrote a formula ‘item a1 = item a1 and no circular reference was indicated when clearly this is one.

Circular references are sometimes desired, but often they indicate a problem in the way the formula was written. This <a href=”http://www.quantrix.com/r-doc-4-15-73″><strong>modeler note</strong></a> titled <a href=”http://www.quantrix.com/r-doc-4-15-73″><strong>Using Circular References with Quantrix</strong></a> may help you a bit with understanding how circular references work in Quantrix.

If you need further assistance with circular references, please feel free to start a new thread in the forums or email [email:3hwfpi0q]support@quantrix.com[/email:3hwfpi0q].

-Mike

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I would greatly appreciate the ability to hover over a particular block of data in a graph and get a tooltip summary of what that block represents. This feature can be found in charts in Excel, Access, and Microsoft Office Web Components; it displays the represented value of both series and point, and the actual data value.

This is particularly handy when looking at a stacked bar chart stratifying data across two dimensions. If you have a lot of values in the “stacked” dimension, it’s a hassle to try to look at the legend and match up the color – especially when you have enough values that the colors start repeating.

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[quote:32v2dw22][i:32v2dw22]Originally posted by dwalker [/i:32v2dw22]
[b:32v2dw22]I would greatly appreciate the ability to hover over a particular block of data in a graph and get a tooltip summary of what that block represents. This feature can be found in charts in Excel, Access, and Microsoft Office Web Components; it displays the represented value of both series and point, and the actual data value.

This is particularly handy when looking at a stacked bar chart stratifying data across two dimensions. If you have a lot of values in the “stacked” dimension, it’s a hassle to try to look at the legend and match up the color – especially when you have enough values that the colors start repeating. [/b:32v2dw22][/quote:32v2dw22]

Excellent Suggestion – please know I have logged this in our database for consideration.

-Mike

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Hello:
I am John Freeman and have been using Improv since 1992 for modeling the Optical disc drive and writable media market. It is getting harder to keep files stable from year to year and I am looking for something similar. I produce as many as 1000 pages of forecast information, given a page includes quarterly and annual figures. For example, optical writers feed an installed-base population that produces blank media sales from new drives and installed-base drives, which creates totals for CD-R, DVD-R, BL-R, for six geographic segments and worldwide using four application usage levels: enterprise, power-user, convenience, and set-top.
A nice feature of Improv is you can always see the title discriptors for rows and columns which also easily print with each page. Algorythmic formulas provide a prrogramable-formula process for forecasting information I produce. Utilizing Improv since the inception of CD-R growth in 1995 to the present level of nearly 14 billion disc annually, I have been able to model this industry to within 5 percent year after year.
Is Quantrix up to this task and worth my time to test it.
John Freeman
President
Strategic Marketing Decisions
[url:1as5ioou]http://www.smdcorp.com[/url:1as5ioou]

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Hello John – Thanks for posting:

I think you will find the Quantrix environment very similar to Improv and you should be able to get up to speed quite quickly with our program. Row and column heading are always visible and the formulas are separated from the logic (like in Improv).

You can import Improv files into Quantrix by saving the Improv files as an .imx file, then choosing file > import from the Quantrix menu.

So I think it would be well worth your time to take a look. You can download a <a href=”http://www.quantrix.com/download.php”><strong>Full Functioning 30 day trial </strong></a> and if you run into any questions or problems please feel free to post in the forums or email [email:c2zlhnwo]support@quantrix.com[/email:c2zlhnwo].

Thank you for your interest in Quantrix.

-Mike

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Please explain your system requirements. I have Improv set up to run exclusively on a Sony PIII 600 mhz 500MByte with only Adobe Acrobat for printing files. Why would this approach not work with your software? OS is 2000-Pro. Sounds like a giant calculator and it does crunch the numbers instantly. Or, do I need to put it on a XEON 64bit. What is the most stable environment? Thanks, John

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Quantrix will run on a Win2K 600MHz – but you may find the performance to be slow. Based on your PDF print your models will be fairly large so I would recommend sticking with the performance specs listed.

My in office testing box is a Win XP 2.8 GHz pIV with 512MB of RAM and I find that is able to process most any model thrown at me.

-Mike

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Hi All,

Thanks again for your feedback. We have started work on our 2.1 release. Over the next few weeks we will be giving ‘sneak peeks’ of the new software on your <a href=”http://www.quantrix.com/myq_home.php”><strong> My Quantrix Home Page</strong></a>. You can log in and view the page here:

[url:2cxrsenp]http://www.quantrix.com/myq_home.php[/url:2cxrsenp]

Stay tuned as we unveil the new features coming for Quantrix 2.1!

Thank you for your support of Quantrix.

-Mike

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We have just posted about a new feature in our upcoming 2.1 release – Find & Replace – on your <a href=”http://www.quantrix.com/myquantrix.php”><strong>My Quantrix</strong></a> page. Surf on over and check it out!

-Mike

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There is a new post on your <a href=”http://www.quantrix.com/myquantrix.php”><strong>My Quantrix Page</strong></a> about another upcoming 2.1 feature – Templates.

-Mike

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