Benefits of the Database Version
The spreadsheet version of TankESP has limitations due to the limited size of tables in MS Excel. This results in limits to how many stocks and chemicals can be entered, how many tanks can be stored, and how much historical data can be archived. The database version, TankESP_d, is based on MS Access, which allows sufficiently large table sizes to avoid these limitations.
Given the differences in architecture, TankESP_d also offers the following benefits:
- No limit on the number of tanks.
- No limit on the number of stocks or on the number of pure chemicals that may be added to the database for purposes of speciation.
- A more intuitive and easy-to-use interface for data entry forms used for changes of service and non-routine events.
- Full storage of historical data, with ready retrieval of prior data entries for a given time period. Some benefits of this feature include the following:
- If a user needs to correct an entry from an earlier period, the spreadsheet version requires re-entering all of the data for that period in order to make a change—even to a single entry. The database version automatically retrieves all of the data entries for the period indicated, and allows the user to edit only the entry in question. All subsequent periods are then automatically updated.
- While the spreadsheet version stores total emissions on a tank-by-tank basis and speciated emissions for all tanks in aggregate on a chemical-by-chemical basis, it does not store speciated emissions on a tank-by-tank basis. The database version stores all data generated each month and thus automatically tracks monthly rolling totals for each individual species on a tank-by-tank basis.
- The spreadsheet version retains only the most recent 12 months of data, whereas the database version retains all of the data ever entered.
- No data re-entry required when upgrading. The spreadsheet version requires re-entry of data when upgrading to a newer version. With its typical database architecture, the code resides in a ‘front end’ and the data resides in tables in a ‘back-end’. This allows replacement of the front end, while retaining all of the historical data in the back end. Thus, data re-entry is avoided (unless the upgrade involves a revision of the back-end).