Author Archives: Cannon Smith

Fusion 3.5 Released

Fusion 3.5 has now been released. This version brings better editing of cohorts, the ability to deal with lung scores, expanded Lot Info Export support, and more.

To see a list of all the features and bug fixes, please see the release notes on our website.

Fusion will notify you when it is ready to upgrade at your feedlot. This will be sometime in the next three weeks.

Fusion 3.4 Released

Fusion 3.4 has now been released. Fusion will now work seamlessly for feedlots that use a loader to mix rations into multiple feed boxes and then have these loads dumped into trucks for delivery.

When you need to manually enter feed, Fusion can automatically backdate the loads and deliveries for you.

To see a list of all the features and bug fixes, please see the release notes on our website.

Fusion will notify you when it is ready to upgrade at your feedlot. This will be sometime in the next two or three weeks.

Fusion 3.3 Released

Fusion 3.3 has now been released. The major feature added this time is the much requested Emergency Chuteside Mode. If you are running a chuteside job when the network goes down, you can now launch Fusion Truck in this mode to finish your job.

Another change will make it so you can let Windows automatically update itself on the server and Fusion Server will correctly shut down and then relaunch after Windows has restarted. We do recommend scheduling updates for 3:00 a.m. to avoid restarting during your backup or nightly calculations.

To see a list of all the features and bug fixes, please see the release notes on our website.

Fusion will notify you when it is ready to upgrade at your feedlot. This will be sometime in the next two or three weeks.

Fusion 3.2 Released

We are happy to announce that Fusion 3.2 has just been released. This version builds upon the GPS integration we started in the last version. Of particular note, Feed Guard and Delivery Guide are features which help you feed more efficiently and to the correct pens.

Another notable feature helps make sure you don’t have any feed that isn’t billed out. And if you need the ability to know which batch of drugs a drug event was part of for traceability purposes, this version has you covered. To see a list of all the features and bug fixes, please see the release notes on our website.

Fusion will notify you when it is ready to upgrade at your feedlot. This will be sometime in the first few weeks of January. (If you are still running Fusion 2.9.1, upgrading will be a manual process and we recommend you contact Kris Stroeve for guidance.)

Who Can See Your Data?

Occasionally we hear of misconceptions regarding Fusion. We would like to address one of these now because it strikes at the core of our philosophy. From the day we started developing Fusion, one of the guiding principles we insisted on was that each customer would have complete control over their data and that neither we, nor anyone else, would have access to that data. This is so important to us that we have tried to express it through the tag line for our company logo: “Putting You In Control of Your Data”. This has never changed. The only exception is when a customer asks us to come to their site or remotely log in to look at their data for support purposes.

In some ways it would have been easier for us to store all data from every location on a central server. This would have made support and upgrades less complex for us. However, the only way to ensure that a customer’s data stays completely in their control is for that data to physically be at the customer’s site. This is why we designed Fusion so that each customer has their own server located in their yard. When Fusion Truck synchronizes with Fusion Server, all communication stays on the local network between these two computers. Likewise, when Fusion Client is connected with Fusion Server, all communication happens only between these two computers.

Of course, there are ways for Fusion Server to send some customer data to other entities if the customer chooses. For example, a customer can ask Fusion Server to send move in events to CCIA or Benchmark data to Elanco. In each case, this data is transmitted directly from Fusion Server to the chosen entity. This data never comes to us. In fact, we can’t even tell how many people use these features in Fusion. This is completely under our customer’s control.

So far we have been referring to business related information. There is another kind of data that does get sent to us which we have previously only described in general terms to our customers. In the spirit of complete openness, we will now give a complete list of what we refer to as “server health data” which each customer’s server sends to our central server (located in the Waterton, AB area):

  • We are notified when a back up begins and ends. This allows us to proactively ensure that customer data is safe.
  • We are notified when Fusion Server launches or is shut down. This helps us identify patterns where Fusion Server may not be working correctly.
  • Each night certain statistics about the server are sent to us. This includes details such as the percentage full of the hard drive, the operating system version, the server’s local IP address, recent memory usage fluctuations, crash counts, the size of the data and index files, and some of Fusion Server’s settings. This helps us improve Fusion Server and proactively resolve issues.
  • Each night Fusion Server performs an integrity check on the data and index files and then lets us know if the check passed.
  • When Fusion crashes, information about the error (error number, error method, line of code, etc.) is sent to us so we can proactively fix bugs that cause crashes. This may include a screenshot if the person who saw the crash specifically requests this.
  • License keys are automatically renewed through communication with this central server. Because licensing and billing are almost always tied to head count, a customer’s head count is sent to the central server. This is the only data we receive that could be construed as business or private data. Even so, we obfuscate it by having Fusion Server send just the average head count over the past 365 days so we don’t ever know the current head count at a customer’s place.
  • When Fusion is first set up at a customer’s place, we receive the name of the customer’s business along with the contact information associated with it. This is used for billing purposes and is collected in this automated way to save time and effort.

As you can see, the data that does come to us from customer’s servers does not include any normal, business data. We don’t know about customer’s lots or animals or pricing or anything of that nature. We only collect a small amount of data related to their servers’ health so we can proactively help keep their servers running.

We have tried to be open in the past. For example, we publish all of Fusion’s documentation on our website even though this allows competitors to see everything. We hope that being more open about where customer data lives and our philosophy regarding customer data will help erase any misconceptions regarding this issue.

Feel free to contact us if you have further questions regarding this topic.

Fusion 3.0 Released

We are happy to announce that Fusion 3.0 has just been released. It includes bug fixes and new features, including a new projections calculator.

Fusion Installer 3.5 has also been released with new features for testing your network if you have network issues.

The release notes for both applications are available here.

Fusion 2.9 Released

We are happy to announce that Fusion 2.9 has just been released. Though there are a few bug fixes and small enhancements, the most important change is that Fusion is fully documented and all documentation is available from within Fusion itself.

As always, the release notes are available here.

Fusion Documentation

We are pleased to announce that full documentation for Fusion is now available on our website. With over 250 topics spread over 500 pages, we think you will find the documentation both comprehensive and beneficial. Here are a few points we’d like you to know about:

  • All the documentation will be available from within Fusion in version 2.9 which will be available in the next few weeks. It has a Documentation window which can be used to view and search every topic. In addition, every window in the new version has a help button which will open the relevant topic in the Documentation window.
  • The documentation is heavily cross-linked so you can easily read related topics to gain a more full understanding of each part of Fusion.
  • The exact same documentation is available in Fusion and on the website. This makes it easy to access when you are using Fusion, but allows full access if Fusion isn’t working for some reason.
  • We have created an internal system that makes it simple to keep the documentation up to date all the time now. The website’s documentation will be updated with any changes each time we send out a new version of Fusion.
  • The first section in the documentation is named Fusion Basics and it is designed to give you a basic, overall understanding of how to use Fusion. Even if you have used Fusion for a long time, we especially encourage you to read the Core Concepts, Data Entry Techniques, and Entity Chooser topics.
  • The other sections and subsections follow the same pattern as Fusion’s menu system which should make it easy to find most documentation even without searching.
  • We recognize you may encounter spelling and other errors and encourage you to report these as well as any other suggestions you have for the documentation. We want to make it the best documentation possible! Feedback can be given from directly within the Documentation window after you upgrade to Fusion 2.9.

If you are new to Fusion, we definitely encourage you to read through the documentation. Even if you have been using Fusion for a long time, we encourage you to at least become familiar with the overall structure of the documentation so you will know what is available when you have questions. We hope you will also occasionally take time to read a topic. We think that if you do you will find helpful features you were not aware of before.

Quick Printing Lists

Have you ever seen a table of information in Fusion and wished you could just print it as is? In the past customers have resorted to using “print screen” from the operating system or other applications to take a picture and then print that. Fusion 2.8 introduces a new feature that should forever relegate “print screen” to the past.

Fusion List Types

Before explaining the feature further, it is important to understand that there are two different kinds of list views in Fusion. The main type, which is used in most of the major list windows (Animal list, Pen List, Loads list, etc.), already has the ability for printing through the Advanced Print function. The new feature does not work with this kind of list. The other kind of list shows up in many windows within Fusion and the feature will work with every one.

Invoking Quick Printing

To print a list, right-click anywhere in the list’s header area. It doesn’t matter which column header you click in. A menu will appear with several options:

  • Print List. Prints the list exactly as it is seen. You change the column order or size of the list before printing. Only as many columns as can fit on the page will be printed.
  • Copy List to Clipboard. Copies the list to the system clipboard. It can then be pasted into a spreadsheet or other application.
  • Save List as a CSV File. Saves the list as a comma separated file. The file can then be opened by a spreadsheet or other application.
  • Save List as a Tab Delimited File. Saves the list as a tab delimited file. The file can then be opened by a spreadsheet or other application.

As an example, open the Lot’s Pen List window and right-click in the list header to print the list. Another common usage would be quick printing the detail areas in the Lot Center window.

We hope that this feature will make you more productive when you want to quickly get something printed without taking the time to set up a report.