The current version of Base Station is Version 5.0. It was released in April 2004. For those who may still be using the very obsolete Version 3.0, first click on the Base Station 4.0 button on the left to display a summary of the new features added at Version 4.0. Then, return here and review the summary of features added with Version 5.0.
Why You Should Update to Base Station 5.0
Key features and improvements of this new release of Cornerstone Base Station are:
It is very important that all current Base Station users purchase the update to this latest version to:
What's New in Base Station 5.0
This Summary describes the most notable new features and significant improvements to existing functions that were added in moving forward from the previous version 4.0 to the current version 5.0 of Cornerstone Base Station. New versions of Cornerstone Configurator and Cornerstone Field Station software were released to maintain compatibility with Base Station 5.0. A What's New in Configurator 5.0 page is separately available, as is a What's New in Field Station 5.0.
The improvements in Base Station are numerous and have been introduced throughout all areas. For purposes of review they are grouped into the following functional topics.
NOTICE - If you are a current user of Cornerstone Base Station, you should receive before May 1, 2004, an official notice from us with information about updating your software to version 5.0. If you have not received your notice by that date, please click on the link below to contact us about your update.
CD ROM Media - A primary objective for Version 5.0 is the delivery of Base Station on CD ROM. To achieve Version 5.0, the entire installation program and packaging was re-implemented to work from CD.
Windows 2000 and Windows XP - Version 5.0 is the first version to fully support installation and operation on Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Version 5.0 is required for ongoing support in either of these environments.
HdataLink2 ComLib – This advanced ComLib is now installed as the default HART modem ComLib for Base Station. Version 5.0 is the first release to include this improved, higher performance HART modem interface as an integral part of the installation package. The HdataLink2 ComLib is required for operation on Windows NT, Windows 2000 or Windows XP.
Updated Authorization Software - Version 5.0 utilizes the latest release of the authorization software which is necessary for best operation on Windows NT, Windows 2000 or Windows XP.
Latest HART Tables - During the installation, the Vendor, Model and Units tables are updated to the latest tables released by the HCF.
More Flexible File Structure - The user now has more freedom in assigning the location of Tag Note files. During the installation of a virgin standalone Base Station or Field Station, an opportunity is given to provide a path for the Tag Note files and templates, similar to the way that an opportunity is given for the specification of an alternate Database path.
Faster Reports - In the Reports Window, Query processing now processes up to 100 records at a time, rather than 10. This improvement speeds up report generation.
Expanded Field Station Capacity - The number of history records that may be kept by Field Station for each device has been expanded. This allows greater flexibility in organizing and managing the scope of work performed on Field Station before an upload to Base Station must be done.
In response to customer requests and following the consensus of audit guidelines, Version 5.0 contains improved security and transaction tracking features. The basic objective of these modifications is to better protect against unauthorized access and changes and to better document the change process.
Sign On Security
The Sign On function was changed so that a user is only allowed three consecutive attempts to sign on the Cornerstone Station. Each unsuccessful attempt is logged to the Event Log. If the user attempting to sign on is not a System Manager or if the user attempting to sign on is a System Manager and there are at least 2 System Managers in the user database, after three consecutive unsuccessful attempts to log on, the user name is deleted from the User database and a Deleted User event is logged in the Main Event Log. To facilitate this change, the User Name was changed from an edit field to a drop down list, which allows only the selection of user names in the list.
The same approach employed for Sign On security has been extended to the approval of selected changes. When a change to one of the covered parameters or functions is attempted, the user is requested to verify his password before the change will be made. The Verify Password dialog allows the user up to three attempts to enter the correct password. Each incorrect attempt is logged to the Main Event Log.
The actions covered by this new level of change security are listed below. Additional comments are provided where necessary to fully describe the actions for a particular function.
These enhancements are found throughout Version 5.0. The list includes expanded fields, more powerful tree controls, improved list presentation and column arrangement, 3D effects, the more widespread inclusion of device type abbreviations and category icons, and a general review for standardization and consistency in the user interface.
The Database Select Instrument From List Function dialog was enlarged and the Selection Criteria display area was reduced to show more instruments in the instrument list.
A Print button was added to the Select Instrument From List dialog to allow printing a report of all the instruments currently listed in the instrument list. The report prints two lines for each instrument in the list, showing the information in the list columns.
The labels in the instrument summary are now right justified instead of left justified to match label fields in dialog boxes, and the Area field in the instrument summary can now display up to 3 lines of text in order to show the complete Area path.
In previous versions, Group codes, Cal Scheme codes, Vendor Codes, Model Codes, and others were stored as part of the item text in list boxes or combo boxes when these names were listed. This practice determined the width of the list or combo boxes and resulted in names being truncated because the control was not wide enough to show all the characters of the name. In Version 5.0 the widths of many of the controls which display Groups, Schemes, Vendors, etc. have been expanded to show the complete name.
The maximum number of rows that can be displayed in both the Reports window and in the Communication Manager window was increased to accommodate higher resolution display settings.
In the HART Comm window, two additional lines in the instrument summary group area are reserved for use by the connected instrument for the display of instrument specific information.
Improved monitoring dialogs support an even wider variety of HART devices by allowing unit strings to be displayed in the Monitor Numerical and Monitor Graphical dialogs whose codes do not conform to the standard HART table for units.
In the History-Print-Service Details Function, the Next Calibration Date and the Calibration Schedule are included in the Identification section of the history details reports for Zero and Span, Instrument Input, Instrument Output, and Switch Test.
In the Edit Calibration Function for conventional instruments, the calibration schedule is now shown for the selected Calibration Scheme. For HART instruments, the calibration schedule and all accuracies are now shown for the selected Calibration Scheme.
In the Print Selected Instruments Function, an Ignore Case check box was added to the Print Selected Instruments dialog to allow, when checked, the current sort column of the instrument list to be sorted via a case insensitive sort.
3D effects were added to the instrument list in the Connect Instrument From List dialog.
Instrument Type abbreviation and Category Icon for the selected Category were added to the Configure Identification dialog boxes.
The Max Number of Event Log Entries increment is now fixed at 100 instead of varying with the hard disk geometry and file system installed. The number of entries can be varied from 100 to 25,000 in 100 increments.
In the Download to Field Station Function, the error reporting for download errors was made more informative. Specific errors are now reported for most failures, rather than the previous general error reported. Also, the download attempts to continue for errors which are not fatal to the completion of the download.
As noted above in the discussion of enhanced display features, improved tree controls have been implemented. These controls not only enhance the presentation; they also add flexibility and capability to the instrument selection process, as well as being more consistent across all Base Station functions. The instrument list in the Multiple Instruments Function dialog was changed to use the latest tree control to allow the display of the same instrument information as the Select Instrument From List dialog.
A View push button was added to the Select Instrument From List dialog to allow the viewing of the instrument parameters via the View Instrument dialog for the currently selected instrument in the instrument list. This is a fast, easy way to check the details for an instrument without having to enter the Edit function. This is tremendously useful for a quick review of parameters or for confirming the instrument to be selected from several that are almost identical.
The Tag and ID controls in the Select Instrument dialog, the Assign Instrument to the Directory Structure View dialog and in the Connect Instrument on Network are now drop down lists which show up to the last 100 Tags or IDs that were entered previously in the dialog to make it easy to pick a recently selected device.
In the Instrument Directory Window a Configuration submenu was added to the Database Structure View Management Functions - Level 6 Menu. This new menu extends fast, easy browser-like access from that level of the Instrument Directory directly to individual instrument records, manual entry of calibration data and to Tag Notes.
When the Add Multiple Instruments to Route dialog is displayed, the Select Criteria dialog is automatically displayed so that the user can choose which instruments are to be displayed in the instrument list of the dialog.
The Main Event Log Report Criteria dialog was enhanced to provide additional report criteria options. Both the User and the Event fields are now combo boxes which allow the selection of a given user or the input of a wild card string to be used as the criterion. The Data field was added to allow the input of a wild card string to be matched against the data portion of event log messages. For example, the Data criterion can be used to find all event log messages that match a specified Tag.
Controls for entering the time of day were added to the Edit Instrument Dates dialog to allow the entry of the time when editing the instrument dates. A control for entering the time of day for the Last Calibration Date was added to the Instrument Replicate Function dialog.
In the Setup Vendors Function the names of conventional (non HART) vendors may now be changed. This helps users who need to modify the exact vendor (manufacturer) identification some time after the initial vendor was added to the system.
The Setup Tag Note File Type Function dialog now allows the entry of the Tag Note file type extension via an edit field in addition to selecting a Tag Note Editor from the list of known editors. This allows the user to specify an editor that may not be recognized by Cornerstone.
Controls for entering the time of day for the Last Calibration Date and the Next Calibration Date were added to the Confirm Calibrator ID dialog.
The labels in the instrument summary group are now right justified instead of left justified to match label fields in dialog boxes.
In the Instrument Add Function, the vendor list now only shows those vendors which have models defined. This reduces the potential for wasted effort and errors. Also, an icon field was added to show the Category icon for the selected Model in the Models list, and a control for entering the time of day for the Last Calibration Date was added.
An Ignore Case check box was added in several dialogs where the user selects one or more instruments (e.g., the Select Instrument From List dialog and the Add Multiple Instruments to Route dialog). When checked, the current sort column of the instrument list is to be sorted via a case insensitive sort. Previously, all column sorts were case sensitive.
New versions of all optional components for Base Station, Field Station and Configurator were released with Version 5.0 of all three of these products. There are new libraries, updated libraries to support newer instrument revisions, and some new features in existing libraries. Previous 4.x or earlier versions of these components will not work with Base Station 5.0.
This section lists only the CalLibs, ModLibs and ComLibs that are new, or that have been significantly updated, since the previous version of Base Station (4.0). Complete listings of all currently available libraries are presented in other pages on this site. You can use the hyperlinks shown in the text below.
With the release of Base Station version 5.0, updated versions of the following optional CalLibs are available. These new CalLib versions contain new features, performance improvements, or upgrades to interface new calibrator hardware or firmware.
For a complete list of the currently available Calibrator libraries, which could include additional CalLibs added since the release of version 4.0, please access our Calibrator Libraries page.
A number of new optional ModLibs have been made available. Several ModLibs have been updated to support new instrument versions. Only the ModLibs that are new or have been updated since the previous Base Station release (version 4.0) are listed below. For a complete list of the currently available interface libraries, which could include additional ModLibs added since the release of version 5.0, please access our Model Libraries page.
ABB Automation ModLib Package
Flowserve ModLib Package (new Package)
Honeywell ModLib Package
Metso Automation ModLib Package (new Package)
ModLib Collection Package
Moore Industries ModLib Package (new Package)
Rosemount ModLib Package
Tyco ModLib Package (new Package)
Westlock Controls ModLib Package
WIKA ModLib Package (new Package)
A new ComLib has been released for the new MTL 8000 product line. Support for this new product as well as the existing MTL 4840 are now included in this ComLib package.
For a complete list of the currently available Communication interface libraries, please access our Comm Libraries page.
Some Cornerstone database file names include a number that indicates the revision of the database schema. Since the schema has changed with this release, some of these file names have changed. If you have built database save and restore scripts according to the recommendations in the section, then you should not have to make any changes to them. However, if your backup mechanism specifies these files by their exact names, then you will need to modify them for this new release. See that section in the version 5.0 User’s Manual or help for details.
Update of Previous Version Database During Installation
This new version of the software includes changes and additions to the Cornerstone Instrument Database. Therefore, a conversion of your existing databases is a necessary part of installing the new version of the software. The new install process included with this version automatically performs the necessary modifications to your existing version 4.0 or 3.0.11 database to make it compatible with the new 5.0 release of the software.
After an installation of the 5.0 software over a 4.0 or 3.0.11 system, the database structure is different. You must make sure not to attempt a restore of a 4.0, or older database backup onto your 5.0 system. It is a good idea to make a backup of your database both before and after your 5.0 installation. The “before” backup is of your 3.0.11 or 4.0 database. This could be needed in case of some problem with the installation of the 5.0 software affecting your existing database. The “after” backup is your first 5.0 compatible backup, to help you recover from future problems (hard disk crashes, etc.).
This may be a good place to remind our users that it is very important to adopt a rigorous procedure for the periodic backup of your Cornerstone database files. You may need these to recover from some future hardware or system problem that damages your database files.
Compatible with new Configurator 5.0
A new version of Cornerstone Configurator software was released at the same time as Base Station 5.0. Configurator 5.0 can upload its database into Base Station 5.0. Note that earlier versions of Configurator (earlier than 5.0) cannot upload their database to Base Station 5.0, due to additions to the database schema.
Compatible with new Field Station 5.0
A new version of Cornerstone Field Station software was released at the same time as Base Station 5.0. Field Station 5.0 has compatible database additions to Base Station so that it can accept a download and upload its database into Base Station 5.0. Note that earlier versions of Field Station cannot exchange their databases with Base Station 5.0. Since Field Station software is a subset of the Base Station, Field Station 5.0 inherits many of the functional changes documented here.
Support has been added for a variety of new measurement units. The latest unit codes and strings that have been defined by the HART protocol specification and/or the HART Communication Foundation (HCF), have been added to the Cornerstone database files. In addition, specific units requested by our customers that are not defined in the HART protocol are routinely added into new releases. Print the Export Tables for a complete list of the units currently supported. Or, add an instrument of Type universal device (UD), and select the pull-down list for input or output range units in the Edit Instrument dialog boxes. That pull-down list will show you all units available in Base Station.
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