Newsletter

STEM version 7.2c release

31 January 2011

Maintenance release and mandatory upgrade

STEM version 7.2c was released on Monday 31 January 2011, and is the first Implied Logic branded issue of the software. This is an unprecedented mandatory update for all current soft-licence users as the legacy soft-licensing server at Analysys Mason will be switched off at the end of March.

Appearance

The most immediately apparent difference from previous versions is that there is a new about box which matches the style of our new website and all of our document templates.

All of the application titles, dialog and error-message captions have been updated, and all contact details now refer to Implied Logic. (Please email Support if you spot any oversights!)

This is not all about asserting our independence, it is also an attempt to remove any further ambiguity about who is ‘behind STEM’. In the first six months since the spin-out from Analysys Mason (AM), we have received more than a few support calls via the old office switchboard, simply because AM contact details were all over the software. We hope that the swift adoption of STEM 7.2c will soon put an end to such diversions.

New soft-licensing server

There are several non-cosmetic changes in this update, but the central and critical difference is that it requests soft licences from Implied Logic’s own servers. This is quickly evident in that new licence-key emails are received from Implied Logic Support. While we have had to rely on AM’s goodwill in maintaining a legacy system, it has been a fundamental priority for us to remove this dependence at the earliest opportunity, now achieved by the release of STEM 7.2c.

Although we cannot expect all users to change overnight, we have made this a mandatory update for all current soft-licence users as the legacy soft-licensing server at Analysys Mason will be switched off at the end of March. This means that it will not be possible to refresh a soft licence for any earlier version of STEM after 31 March 2011. Although this cut-off date is rather arbitrary, we have had to draw a ‘line in the sand’ to ensure that this mission-critical system will shortly become firmly under our sole control and repair.

Because of the significance of this particular release, we have had a small group of external testers try-out an early release candidate and we are confident that 7.2c will not cause any new problems in the field. However, it should be noted that, while 7.2c will read models created with any earlier version of STEM, 7.2b is the only earlier version which will read a 7.2c model without modification of the .DTL file. Therefore team users should take care to synchronise their respective updates to avoid any possible compatibility issues. (This disconnect arose when we increased the number of parameters available for templates and dimensions from 120 to 240 in STEM 7.2b.)

New or changed functionality

As a maintenance release, 7.2c does not have any major new features, but we have taken the opportunity to make some useful tweaks, mostly based on user-observation and feedback during expert-advisory or training projects in the last twelve months:

  • various refinements for the export of results to Excel, including matching the consolidation to that selected in the Results program when results are first exported
  • removing the ‘results workspace merge’ message which has confused so many students when progressing from one STEM training exercise to the next
  • adding an option to suppress the (mostly superfluous) model name from chart titles.

The full release notes are available within the support area.

Download
STEM 7.2c installer

Registered licensees with a current maintenance contract can download the appropriate C-STEM or D-STEM 7.2c installer.

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