This article explains the data saving and storing capabilities of the IATF CARA Tool. The use of web technology enables the IATF CARA Tool to have some technological advantages but as well some technology based limitations. Usage of the tool will not require any installation and additional user rights. In return the tool can’t access the users system directly so saving files automatically on the users system is not possible.
Similar to the IATF CARA Tools offline functionality using progressiv web apps technology to save the whole tool in the browsers cache modern browsers include a database called IndexDB. This database allows to save data within the browsers. This database is fully functional to save all data and is not limited to a data size. In some browsers there might occur a warning if the amount of data exceeds a specific amount but data will still be stored. The usable amount of data is only limited by the available space on the drive (partition C).
Using the IndexDB is a comfort function. Enabling the IATF CARA Tool to store different report types without to require to load a report on each start of the tool. Because the IndexDB is not under the control of the IATF CARA Tool but of the browser it is required to created regular backups and/or additional report exports (this enables you to use versioning and exchange reports with other auditors).
The IndexDB database provided by browsers is not separated from the browsers function to clear cache and cookies. Clearing of the browsers cache will always result in deleting the IATF CARA Tools database including the offline availability of IATF CARA Tool. Sometimes this can also be caused by additional “security tools” on your device or seldom by major updates of the browser.
(IT Personal) Using the IATF CARA Tool on thin clients will require to store the users app data storage for the browser. Please check the detailed folder for the used browser.
Saving in internal DB
Using the tool all changes are directly saved to the IndexDB. This happens automatically without delay and can’t be changed. This allows the user to close the browser or leave the tool and reopen it to continue his work on the report.
Please created regular backups of your data. Those backups keep all data within one file and can be as well used to migrate to other devices.
The manual process of creating a backup can be started using the Backup on the start page of the tool. This button also shows the last backup created by the tool. This date only shows the date the backup file was created. Depending on the settings of the browser on how to save data the backup file will by default created in the downloads folder. This might have been changed and the browser will ask where to save the file (in this case an abort will result in lost backup file and the tool will still change the date because it is not possible for the tool to recognize that the user decided to cancel this process). In some cases if the user has decided to open the file the system opens the file in an editor. You can save the file but we recommend to stop opening json files automatically (Talk to your IT or google “stop automatically opening downloads in …”).
The Backup is always saved in json format. Which allows to store the data efficiently in structured text, What is json?
Apart from the manual process we can use an auto backup function. Which will wait until you are closing the browser or leaving the page and check if you have created a backup yet. Due to security limitations we can’t save the file directly the browser will warn the user that data was not saved yet (the exact text depends on the used browser). On clicking on “Remain Page” (Firefox/Edge) or “Cancel” (Chrome) the backup file will be created and the browser can be closed. The warning won’t appear any more and the last backup date has changed.
You can configure the auto backup in “Settings->Backup & Database” in the field “Create a backup on close after x days” which allows you to set the amount of days. By standard this is set to every second weeks. This can be changed up to 365 days and down to 0 days, which means on every close. On every close will still allow a time gap of 15 minutes, so if you have created the backup but not left the page directly you won’t be asked yet again within that time.
All reports and the NC Management reports on their own can be exported apart from the backup. This allows to share or merge reports with other auditors or to save a specific version on your hard disk. Additionally the NC Management can be export for the customer to use the NC-CARA Tool which is a version of the CARA Tool which allows the organization to complete their NC Management report part in CARA as well.
On using import the user can select the file from his storage which he wants to load. Double clicking on IATF CARA files won’t auto start the tool or an import.
The tool recognizes data and report types based on information within the file. So importing of the backups and reports and even NC Management reports will be done automatically using the “Report/Backup import” button. It doesn’t matter if the file is xml or json formatted. All reports have to use unique ids (created automatically on new) so they a recognized on import and the user is warned if he is going to overwrite an existing report.
Because the tool can not recognize if reports have to be merged the user has to choose the import report to merge functionality to access the merge functionality using the standard import will ask if the report is going to be overwritten if it already exists. Please check https://infosysc.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/CARA/pages/7634948 on details of merging. This process can be repeated as often as required.
When organizations send their NC Management reports back we wan’t to avoid replacing the NC Management report by manipulated NC Management report from the organization so the tool has the additional customer NC Management file import. This import will only import the organization part of each NC Action to the the existing NC Management report. This process can be repeated often as required.