IDAMS News - Issue No 22, April 2000
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     Training Seminar "Introduction to WinIDAMS"
     New Language Versions of IDAMS
     WinIDAMS is Almost Ready!!!


     Training Seminar "Introduction to WinIDAMS"
The International Training Seminar: "Introduction to WinIDAMS" will take place from Monday 27 November to Friday 1 December 2000 at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris. The Windows version of IDAMS with its graphical facilities and other utilities, and also the interface with micro CDS/ISIS will be presented. Selected data management and data analysis features will be discussed in details. However, the Seminar is not meant to train participants in statistical techniques. The IDAMS development staff and computer rooms will be available during the whole Seminar. English will be the main language of the presentation, although explanations in French can also be provided. Training material will be available in both English and French.

There is no registration fee, but all other costs (travel, board, lodging) are at the charge of participants or their institutions. Applications can be submitted by mail, e-mail or by filling out the form linked to our Web page.

Applications submitted after the end of September 2000 will not be considered.


     New Language Versions of IDAMS
In parallel with the development of the Windows version of IDAMS, two new language versions are also in preparation, further to the already existing English, French and Spanish ones. The specificity of both of them is that they use non-Latin characters. The work on the Arabic version is in progress at the Cairo University (Faculty of Computers and Information, Institute of Statistical Studies and Research) in Egypt, in the framework of the UNESCO-ALECSO co-operation. As a result of this work, IDAMS will be the first statistical package fully in Arabic (user interface, result presentation, user manual). The Russian version is being developed at the Russian State Hydrometeorological University (Department of Telecommunication) in St. Petersburg in the Russian Federation, where IDAMS is already in extensive use for statistical data analysis.


     WinIDAMS is Almost Ready!!!
With only a few months delay, the beta version of IDAMS for Windows 9x/NT is being tested, and distribution of the first release of WinIDAMS should start in September 2000.

WinIDAMS features

  • modern graphical user interface and on-line user manual,
  • possibility to customize the environment for an application,
  • new powerful dictionary and data editing facilities,
  • interactive data import/export,
  • syntax colouring editor for creating/modifying setups,
  • complete set of data management facilities,
  • wide range of classical and advanced statistical analysis techniques,
  • printout viewer for quick navigation through results,
  • advanced text editing facilities,
  • enhanced graphical data exploration facility,
  • interactive tool for time series analysis,
  • easy to use tool for construction of multidimensional tables and their graphical presentation.
System Requirements

The WinIDAMS software is available for 32-bit versions of Windows operating systems (Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT 4.0, and Windows 2000). A Pentium II or faster processor and 64 megabytes RAM are recommended, and about 8 megabytes of disk space is required.

General Concept of the User Interface

The WinIDAMS User Interface is a multiple document interface. It can display simultaneously and allows to work with different types of documents such as Dictionary, Data, Setup, Printout and any text document in separate windows. Moreover, it provides access to execution of IDAMS programs and to modules for interactive data analysis, namely: Time Series Analysis, Graphical Exploration of Data and Multidimensional Tables.

The Main WinIDAMS window contains the menu bar to open drop-down menus with WinIDAMS commands/options, the toolbar to choose commands quickly, the status bar to display information about the active document or highlighted command/option, the application view window, docked on the left side, to display the application name, folders and documents as a hierarchical structure for the active application, and the document windows to display different WinIDAMS documents. The size of windows and panes can be adjusted.

Customization of the Environment for an Application

Application specific settings of the working environment such as the language to be used (only English in this release) and names of data, work and temporary folders can be defined by the user and saved for selecting and activating a desired environment during subsequent sessions. Applications are identified by names. The settings of the last application used are loaded at the beginning of the following session. These settings can be changed any time during the working session.

Creating/Updating/Displaying Dictionary and Data Files

The Dictionary window is used to create, update or display an IDAMS dictionary. It can also be used to detect and correct errors in a dictionary. This window provides two panes: one for the Variable definitions and another for the Codes and code labels of the current variable.

The Data window is proposed to create, update or display an IDAMS data file. It is divided into 3 panes: one displaying Variable definitions, the second displaying the Codes and code labels of the current variable and the third one providing place for data entry/modification. Only the data pane can be edited, two other ones just display the relevant information. The data entry can be helped and facilitated by taking advantage of the options to check data values during data entry and to move the cursor automatically to the next field when the field is filled. Moreover, any data file can be checked for invalid codes on variables for which code label records are present in the dictionary, and it can be sorted on up to 3 variables.

In both windows, the font and column/row size can be changed separately, and the standard searching facility is also provided. In addition, data can be displayed in a multiple pane and selected column(s) can be placed at the beginning of the data pane.

Importing/Exporting Data

WinIDAMS provides a tool for importing/exporting data files directly through the User Interface. Imported alphabetic fields can be automatically recoded to numeric values. Two types of free format data files can be imported/exported: Tab delimited .txt files and Comma separated .csv files.

Creating/Updating/Displaying Setup Files and Executing IDAMS Programs

The Setup window is used to prepare or to display an IDAMS setup file. It is split into two panes: the top one for preparing the setup file itself and the bottom one for displaying error messages when parts of setup instructions (filter and Recode statements) are checked. Only the setup pane can be edited. Prototype setups for all programs are provided and can be copied to the setup window. Two commands are provided to allow for syntax verification of Recode and filter statements.

IDAMS program(s) can be executed either from a setup file (in which instructions have been prepared and saved), or from the current setup in the setup window. At the end of execution, the results are automatically displayed for revision in the Printout window.

Handling Printed Output Files

The Printout window helps to display, copy and print selected parts of printouts. Quick navigation in the printout is facilitated through the printout's table of contents which gives a direct access to the beginning of particular program results or even a particular section of a program. Moreover, the standard searching facility is also provided. The printout window is divided into 3 panes: one showing the printout's table of contents as a structure tree, the second displaying the printout contents and the third displaying error messages and warnings included in the printout. Modification of the printout contents is not allowed here. However, selected parts or the whole printout can be sent to a printer, or can be copied to the Clipboard and pasted to any document using standard Windows technique.

Text editing facility, graphical module, time series analysis, and multidimensional tables and their graphical presentation will be described in the next issue.



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