dbMASS 4.4
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This file documents the enhancements and problem fixes provided with dbMASS version 4.4. Please read to stay up to date on these developments.


----------------------------------------------- Version / Published

    ------------------------------------------------- 4.40 / Nov 2, 2001

  1. Maintenance Release
    1. Updated dbMASS Word Macros
    2. MPEX Import Issues
    3. ------------------------------------------------- 4.41 / Jan 15, 2002

    4. MPEX Import Issues (Continued)
    5. ------------------------------------------------- 4.42 / Apr 26, 2002

    6. Item Display Fixes

1. Maintenance Release

This update is being distributed to all users with active maintenance agreements. It provides several significant new features and bug fixes, many of which were introduced in minor release versions 4.31 and 4.32. Minor releases are generally only distributed to users who had either expressed an immediate interest in the feature or were experiencing a particular problem addressed by the release. Please refer to the dbMASS v4.3 ReadMe notes for discussion of these items. Here are the modifications provided by this specific release.

  1. Updated dbMASS Word Macros

The latest releases of Microsoft Word (2000 and XP) broke some functionality of the dbMASS Word Macros. The dbMASS97.dot template file has been updated to fix the problems. Also, a new file has been introduced for installing the dbMASS Word Macros. To install the macros on these and later versions of Word use the "instalXP.doc" file. Open this document from within word and follow the instructions provided.

  1. MPEX Import Issues

Two recently surfaced MPEX issues are addressed with this release. The first pertains to an overflow condition that would occur for very small or large numbers. Often data is stored in dbMASS as float values which have a limited range. If the magnitude of a non-zero number was less than 1.175494351e-38 or greater than 3.402823466e+38 the translator would choke because it is out of range for this type of value. Checks have been added to identify and properly address numbers that would otherwise be out of range.

The second issue addressed pertains to MPEX weight change history data. In some cases we've found that entries that had been identified as standard parts by the STANDARD PARTS data set also had weight change history data associated with them. This is fine in general, however, dbMASS does not support weight change tracking on standard parts. These records would then either be mistakenly associated with another entry record or no entry at all. The latter case produced index errors for the weight change tables. dbMASS now properly ignores weight change history data associated with standard parts in an MPEX file.


  1. MPEX Import Issues (Continued)

The MPEX import translator behavior has been modified for the ITEMS data set to automatically recalculate the mass properties for the item when a shape definition is provided. Previously the mass properties were assumed to be consistent with the shape definition. You can still override this calculation by setting the "overtyped" value. With the overtyped value set, the item mass properties are still calculated but they are scaled to maintain the provided item weight.

  1. Item Display Fixes

There was several display problems fixed with this release. The most significant affected the display of the items assigned either a spherical segment or frustum shape. With a particular orientation the display of these shapes would produce a divide by zero error after which the display would abort or close. There also was a problem corrected that concerned the initial display sizing for the wedge shape. A logic error could result in the incorrect scale and position being used for this shape. Not a major impact unless the wedge was a large shape compared to other shapes within the display. There was also a fixed added to ignore the display information for shape volumes or items without shapes assigned. Previously, by not ignoring these items the origin of the part would be included in the initial display sizing. This initial display sizing problem would only be noticeable if these types of items were present and all other items were significantly displaced from the origin of the part.