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Openbox dev diary – Private Beta week 1

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June 2020  |  Openbox

Openbox diaries – Beta week 1

Our beta users received Openbox last week and have spent their first week using and testing the software. We want to make the process as transparent and open as possible so are publishing a weekly update bulletin.

If you’re new to what we’re doing with Openbox watch this demo. If you want to join one of the next Private Beta groups –  you can apply here. 

Bugs fixed

  • Using ‘Alt-Tab’ while editing a formula would cancel the edit
    Failed to load on Windows 7
  • MAXOVER/ MINOVER functions did not work
  • “Help” button on the Options form did nothing
  • Spaces in balance formulas meant some lines in the 7 row balances would be missing
  • Issue with date formats (only on some country/ date settings) when creating flags
  • Cancelling a copy/ paste from Excel caused a crash
  • Occasional crash if the library index file was in use when Openbox came to update it
  • It was possible to set both primary and secondary timelines to the same time basis
  • Item labels could start with “=”
  • Adding actuals to a model where the same thing appeared two reports would fail
  • Clicking the scrollbar in the autocomplete list would close the list
  • Edit units would occasionally fail

Beta tester requests completed

  • Can now enter a series input directly in the formula bar
  • Can now expand the formula bar to show all of a long formulaAutosave option added (save every X minutes)
  • PowerPoint documenter now includes clickable hyperlinks, so you can navigate around a model’s formulas in PowerPoint – indeed, in PDF if you save as PDF from PowerPoint
  • Scrollbars are now the right colour, and are thinner

Beta tester requests – added to the near term roadmap

  • Document model formulas in Word
  • Double click to change the centred variable in FocusMode (currently shift+click)
  • Right click menus, showing a list of relevant commands for the current situation
  • Better Undo including for moving items around
  • Show an icon to indicate that an input varies (e.g. by scenario)

Beta tester requests – added to the medium term roadmap

  • Allow reports to include items which vary e.g. by scenario, by project, by site
  • Be able to see more of the model in “Focus” mode. Perhaps by having a “+” icon on each item, which would add that item’s precedents/ dependents to the diagram.
  • Allow a “Comparison report” to be run on two Openbox models
  • Ability to have different default options

Challenges / Issues we’re struggling with

  • There are occasional issues if files are saved in a OneDrive folder. This seems to be related to the file path format
  • Some of the controls on the main screen seem to be conflicting, which can sometimes cause keyboard issues. We’re working on moving the problematic controls to use a different approach.

How people are using Openbox

  • Auditing and documentation
  • Visualisation
  • Consolidating, across projects and business units
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Iain Morrow

Chief Technology Officer

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