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Eplan Data Portal: The path to an ideal device data set

Digital device data are the key element for efficient engineering these days. One of the biggest challenges for this is both the data quality and the depth of said data. Eplan Data Portal is rising to this challenge: since the start of the year, the portal is now being updated on a monthly basis, more often than before. Users now also have a rating function for qualifying device data, thereby offering manufacturers practice-based feedback from the market. Furthermore, since the Hannover Messe, a Lab Version of the Eplan Data Portal allows users to get early access to test and try out the program’s most current developments.

Eplan Data Portal: The path to an ideal device data set
Dashboard.jpg: The Dashboard provides a good overview of the new features in the Eplan Data Portal of the most downloaded device data.
EPLAN Data Portal is the central platform for digital device data in the area of automation engineering. Currently more than 230 manufacturers offer more than 800,000 data sets as direct downloads - with integrated configurations and the respective variants, it's actually more than 2 million. Since the start of the year, the data are being updated every month so that users and manufacturers alike can better benefit from the platform and to help ensure the data's high quality. These updates include both the addition of new manufacturers and the augmentation, expansion and updating of existing manufacturing data.

User ratings as quality indicator
Another step to continuous quality improvement is the quite new user rating function. As is common on other portals like Amazon, it allows users the possibility to rate the offered contents by awarding it stars. The goal is to rate and qualify the product's digital data, not the product itself. In the sense of a community mind, users thereby provide helpful feedback from their everyday work that provides orientation for other users but that also gives manufacturers valuable indicators from the market to continue developing their data. The users themselves thus can have an influence on the data quality.
Sorting options for improved user experience
Based on the rating function, users can directly sort search results in the portal using two additional options: filtering device data according the highest-rated devices or, alternatively, according to the amount of downloads the device data set has generated to that point. This way users know exactly which items have the best quality device data or which device is used most often in its product group. Naturally the assumption is that engineers will intensively use the rating function, which is the only way it will have an impact for everyone. It's considered a significant added value - and thus rating by users is highly welcome.
An outlook for the future
The user experience as well as the ease of use and simplicity - paired with the right contents - is a key asset for future cloud applications. A Lab Version of the new EPLAN Data Portal interface has been available since April, in which users have the opportunity to directly test the new interface. Whether they try out the new search functions or want to explore the look and feel of the new dashboard: the Lab Version already has all of these features. It will be continually expanded and new version releases will regularly be available to test. EPLAN is hereby providing its users a peek behind the scene in the development process.

Additional information
More than 80 product catalogues with more than 50,000 data sets have been updated since the start of 2018. Moreover, fifteen renowned manufacturers - including Hitachi Industrial Systems with automatic circuit breakers, Yaskawa with frequency converters, and IMI with more than one hundred cylinders - have been newly integrated into the portal.
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Eplan Data Portal: The path to an ideal device data set
Rating.jpg: Users can give stars to rate the device data found in the portal and provide an orientation for other users. 

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