New Utility to Keep PowerShark EQR Databases Current

Background

FERC recently posted updates to PORBA and PODBA values, which is something that happens about twice per year. To keep PowerShark EQR in lockstep with FERC, historically, we have released a new Database Installer. For our Enterprise customers (whose PowerShark EQR databases are on-premise), folks in IT have had to download and run the new installer to update the databases. For our Hosted customers, we have provided this service.

Today we are announcing a new utility that keeps PowerShark EQR databases in sync with FERC’s lookup values.

PowerShark EQR Lookup Refresh Utility

The PowerShark EQR Lookup Refresh Utility is a tool for IT folks to ensure that PowerShark EQR databases always have the latest lookup values.

What Does It Do?

The PowerShark EQR Lookup Refresh Utility sends a secure request to powersharkeqr.com asking for the latest lookup values.  It compares these to the ones present in the PowerShark EQR database.  If the lookup values in the database are out-of-date, it updates the database with the latest values.

How Do We Run It?

The PowerShark EQR Lookup Refresh Utility is a console application that runs in a Windows Command Prompt by your IT group.  For example, running the command below would ensure the lookup values in database PowerSharkEQR-DB on server MyServer are current:

pseqrlr.exe --server=MyServer --database=PowerSharkEQR-DB

How Does It Keep Our Database Current?

The real value of the PowerShark EQR Lookup Refresh Utility comes from running it as a scheduled task.  Schedule it to run weekly and the lookup values in your PowerShark EQR database will never be more than 7 days out of date.

Where Can We Get It?

The PowerShark EQR Lookup Refresh Utility is available for download on the PowerShark EQR website at https://powersharkeqr.com/downloads, where you will also find a detailed usage guide.

 

If you would like to know more about the new PowerShark EQR Lookup Refresh Utility or if you have any other questions, please contact PowerShark EQR Support.

FERC Posts Updates to PORBA, PODBA Values

As of September 25, 2017, FERC has posted updates to the following EQR resources:

What has changed?

Q2 2017

  • Starting with Q2 2017, BCHA is no longer a valid balancing authority.

Q3 2017

  • Starting with Q3 2017, AVRN and NLSO are new, valid balancing authorities.

How does this affect me?

When you prepare an EQR, the data you provide in Data Dictionary fields 39, 41, and 57 are verified against a set of predefined, valid values.  EQRs prepared for Q2 2017 and later must not use the Balancing Authority value BCHA.  EQRs prepared for Q3 2017 and later may use Balancing Authority values AVRN and NLSO.

Will PowerShark EQR be updated?

We will soon release a new utility to greatly simplify the acquisition of balancing authority changes and the update of your PowerShark EQR databases.  We will post to this blog when the utility is available.

In the meantime, if you have questions, please contact PowerShark EQR Support.

Moving or Copying a PowerShark EQR Database

Sometimes it is necessary to move or copy a PowerShark EQR database from one server to another. You might need to do this if you’re setting up a new production environment or refreshing a test environment with current production data. The procedures are different and this blog article describes the recommended procedure for each.

License

The license to use PowerShark EQR is registered to the database and stored within. As you will learn below, license management is an important aspect of moving and copying PowerShark EQR databases.

Moving Database to a Different SQL Server

  1. Unregister License in Source Database
    • Run the PowerShark EQR Admin Utility
    • Connect to the source database
    • Jot down exactly the “License Key” and who it is “Issued To”
    • Follow the instructions on this page to unregister the license
  2. Backup Database
    Backup the database you are copying using the SQL Server utility for this purpose.
  3. Restore Database
    Restore the database to a target SQL Server Instance and/or different database, again, using the SQL Server utility for this purpose.
  4. Register License
    Follow the instructions on this page to register the license using the “License Key” and “Issued To” jotted down in step 1 above.

Refreshing a Test Database with Current Production Data

  1. Backup PROD Database
    Backup the production (PROD) database using the SQL Server utility for this purpose.
  2. Unregister License in TEST Database
    • Run the PowerShark EQR Admin Utility
    • Connect to the TEST database
    • Jot down exactly the “License Key” and who it is “Issued To”
    • Follow the instructions on this page to unregister the license
  3. Restore PROD Database to TEST
    Restore the PROD database backup to the TEST SQL Server Instance, again, using the SQL Server utility for this purpose.
  4. Register License
    Follow the instructions on this page to register the license using the “License Key” and “Issued To” jotted down in step 2 above.

If you would like to know more about PowerShark EQR databases or if you have any other questions, please contact PowerShark EQR Support.

PowerShark EQR Releases 1.3.3 and 1.4.2 Available Now

Links Technology Solutions, Inc. is pleased to announce the immediate availability of PowerShark EQR Releases 1.3.3 and 1.4.2. These software updates are provided to synchronize PowerShark EQR with FERC’s 2016 EQR activities. The releases are freely available to existing customers at no additional cost. Upgrade today to gain all of these benefits.

FERC Compliance

  1. Add new valid Increment Name (data dictionary field 28) values.
    • “5” – five-minute
    • “15” – fifteen-minute
  2. Add “PRIMARY FREQUENCY RESPONSE” as valid Contract Product Name (data dictionary field 31).
  3. Add “PRIMARY FREQUENCY RESPONSE” as valid Transaction Product Name (data dictionary field 63).
  4. Remove no-longer-valid Time Zone (data dictionary field 56) values.
    • “NA” – Not Applicable
    • “UT” – Universal Time
  5. Synchronize PowerShark EQR’s Balancing Authorities and Hubs with FERC’s list provided at ferc.gov/docs-filing/eqr/allowable-entries.xls.

Enterprise customers…

  • If you are already running Release 1.3.x or 1.4.x, you need only run the PowerShark EQR Database Installer to upgrade your current PowerShark EQR database.
  • If you are running Release 1.2.x or prior, log into the PowerShark EQR website and consult the upgrade guides.

Hosted customers…

  • If you are already running Release 1.3.x or 1.4.x, you don’t need to do anything. Links Technology will take care of upgrading your PowerShark EQR database.
  • If you are running Release 1.2.x or prior, the upgrade includes an updated desktop client application. Please contact PowerShark EQR Support to initiate the upgrade process.

If you have any questions or need assistance upgrading, contact Links Technology’s helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly PowerShark EQR Support team.

PowerShark EQR Update – Release 1.4.1

Links Technology Solutions, Inc. is pleased to announce the immediate availability of PowerShark EQR Release 1.4.1. This software release is freely available to existing customers at no additional cost.

This is a FERC compliance release to align PowerShark EQR with updated Balancing Authorities posted by FERC at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/eqr/allowable-entries.xls on March 31, 2016. Starting with Q1 2016 EQRs, the following Balancing Authority is valid:

  • CEN: Centro Nacional de Control de Energia

Enterprise customers…

  • If you are already running Release 1.4, you need only run the PowerShark EQR Database Installer to upgrade your current PowerShark EQR database.
  • If you are running Release 1.3.x or prior, log into the PowerShark EQR website and consult the upgrade guides.

Hosted customers…

  • If you are already running Release 1.4, you don’t need to do anything. Links Technology will take care of upgrading your PowerShark EQR database.
  • If you are running Release 1.3.x or prior, the upgrade includes an updated desktop client application. Please contact PowerShark EQR Support to initiate the upgrade process.

If you have any questions or need assistance upgrading, contact Links Technology’s helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly PowerShark EQR Support team.

PowerShark EQR Update – Release 1.4

PowerShark EQR Release 1.4 Available Now

Links Technology Solutions, Inc. is pleased to announce the immediate availability of PowerShark EQR Release 1.4. This software update is provided largely for FERC compliance reasons (to synchronize PowerShark EQR with FERC EQR Schema version 3.3). The release is freely available to existing customers at no additional cost. Upgrade today to gain all of these benefits.

FERC Compliance

  • Transaction Group Ref is treated as a required field in accordance with FERC’s XML structure schema version 3.3.
  • Contact Street Address 1, Street Address 2, and Street Address 3 were expanded to hold 55 characters in accordance with FERC’s XML structure schema version 3.3.
  • CSV data downloaded from FERC’s website sometimes contains a seller_history_name column (the 3rd column in the Contracts CSV). A new Contracts and Contract Products import Data Map, named “FERC Data Download with seller_history_name”, was added to accommodate.
  • The Balancing Authority and Hub List provided on FERC’s website at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/eqr/balancing.xls was updated in late September 2015. Starting with Q4 2015 EQRs, the following Balancing Authorities are no longer valid: INDN, KCPL, LAFA, LEPA, MPS, SPRM.

Other Changes

  • The Copy Data dialog is more clear about copying terminated Contracts forward from one EQR period to the next.
  • Data validations were added and improved.
  • All PowerShark EQR release 1.4 components are certified to run on Windows 10.
  • Some bugs were squashed and other improvements made.

Since its initial release in August 2013, PowerShark EQR has been adopted by many utilities who were looking for a simple yet powerful and affordable FERC EQR solution. Today, many companies across the country are running PowerShark EQR as an Enterprise solution or as a Hosted solution in our SSAE 16 SOC II certified data center.

If you haven’t seen PowerShark EQR in action or it’s been a while since you last saw a demo, then maybe it’s time you took another look at our product and see what many are saying is the most complete and affordable EQR solution available!  Please contact Bob VanValkenburg at sales@powersharkeqr.com or call 847-252-7286 to schedule a demo or free trial of PowerShark EQR today!

PowerShark EQR Update – Release 1.3.2

Links Technology Solutions, Inc. is pleased to announce the immediate availability of PowerShark EQR Release 1.3.2. This software release is freely available to existing customers at no additional cost.

This is a FERC compliance release to align PowerShark EQR with updated Balancing Authorities posted by FERC at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/eqr/balancing.xls on July 1, 2015. Starting with Q2 2015 EQRs, the following Balancing Authority is valid:

  • EMBA: Entergy Mississippi, Inc.

Enterprise customers…

  • If you are already running Release 1.3 or Release 1.3.1, you need only run the PowerShark EQR Database Installer to upgrade your current PowerShark EQR database.
  • If you are running Release 1.2 or prior, log into the PowerShark EQR website and consult the upgrade guides.

Hosted customers…

  • If you are already running Release 1.3 or Release 1.3.1, you don’t need to do anything. Links Technology will take care of upgrading your PowerShark EQR database.
  • If you are running Release 1.2 or prior, the upgrade includes an updated desktop client application. Please contact PowerShark EQR Support to initiate the upgrade process.

If you have any questions or need assistance upgrading, contact Links Technology’s helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly PowerShark EQR Support team.