STEM newsletter

Latest incremental features in STEM

30 January 2003

Implied Logic maintains a constant balance between long-term development initiatives and more immediate response to achievable requests from users. A wealth of new cost-allocation features are taking shape and the new eSTEM Web interfaces are already on trial in prototype, as we continue to round out some obscure issues in the STEM 6.2 Results program. You may be interested to read about a number of useful incremental features which we have slipped into the latest software builds.

Consolidation of quarterly and monthly results in Excel

The STEM add-in for Excel provides a familiar interface for STEM users (and their colleagues and customers) to link inputs and outputs of a STEM model, and to control the generation of results. One key element of this integrated solution is the worksheet functions, implemented in VBA, which map down onto the STEMRES.DLL interface in order to access STEM model results.

Previously, these functions would return period labels, lengths and results for all the periods of a model run, including any initial months and quarters. While you could access annual or quarterly results from the Consolidation menu in the Results program, there was no corresponding interface for Excel. Now the relevant functions have been extended to overcome this limitation through the addition of an optional consolidation parameter.

Function Parameters
StemGetPeriods model, scenario [, consolidation]
StemGetPeriodLengths model, scenario [, consolidation]
StemGetResult model, scenario, element, result
[, consolidation]
StemGetResultsStatus model, close, after

So you can use StemGetResult(model,scenario,element,result) for normal, unconsolidated results, or StemGetResult(model,scenario,element,result,consolidation) for consolidated results, where consolidation = Annual or Quarterly. Both forms are demonstrated when you click the Paste Sample Formulae button on the add-in toolbar. This implementation of STEMRES.DLL is backwards compatible with the old add-in, and the new add-in is also backwards compatible with the old DLL, so that it will still work with old versions (and STEM 6.1). The new DLL is part of the latest software installation and cannot be used to consolidate STEM 6.1 results.

Limit on pasting element names

The original add-in had a built-in limit (256) on the number of element names which would be pasted with the Paste Elements button on the add-in toolbar. The new add-in increases this limit to 4096.

New Resource Transformation basis

We have extended the set of bases for Resource Transformations to include Utilisation as a possible driver. For example, you might wish to trigger the installation of micro-cells in a mobile network once the utilisation of macro-cells reaches a certain threshold.

This could previously have been achieved by scaling used capacity with a separate internal reference to the unit capacity of the relevant Resource; but the new basis removes the need for a separate expression, keeping a model concise and easier to understand.

These new features will be incorporated in STEM 6.2 RC 7, which will be available for download from 31 January 2003.

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