Automatic Engine Hour Updates Now Available

Have you ever wondered how you can integrate an on-board monitoring program with your preventative maintenance program.  This is now possible with the partnership between WheelHouse and GPLink.  WheelHouse provides an easy-to-use comprehensive program for managing the maintenance, documentation, and spare parts for a vessel or fleet.   GP Link  provides remote monitoring of the most critical parameters of your engines as well as auxiliary systems.  These remote capabilities allow you to monitor your assets from anywhere in the world.  Integration between GP Link and WheelHouse thought the Internet of Things (IoT) allows our yacht and fleet customers the ability to have engine hours automatically fed into WheelHouse, eliminating the need for data entry and ensuring maintenance is up to date.  This automation tool can be especially useful with vessels in remote locations and large fleets.  Contact us to learn the benefits of these programs and how they can assist you in ensuring the safety, reliability, and value of your vessel or fleet.

Fleet Solutions Template Library

The newly released Fleet Template Library, which is available to all WheelHouse Fleet Solutions customers, allows users the ability to create a library of frequently used equipment ID's and apply those templates to other vessels or assets.  This library maintains all equipment information, documentation; spare parts guidelines; and maintenance recommendations in an easy to search format.  To activate this feature for your fleet, please have a Fleet Administrator reach out to us.

  • Available for all new and existing Fleet Solutions customers
  • Configurable permission levels
  • Allows for quick and convenient updates on new and existing equipment
  • Simplifies standardization of maintenance procedures

When the Template Library tool is activated, users with the appropriate permission will now see make & add template icons within the Equipment Manager.  They will also see an Equipment Template Manager under the Fleet Settings Tab.  Either of these may be used to view or delete templates.  

  • The Manufacturer and Model No. are the constants within templates and are used for ID.
  • When creating multiple templates for similar equipment, the Template ID will change.  

Once an Equipment ID is fully populated with description; documents; spares; and maintenance, click the Make Template Icon to create a new template. 

  • When creating a template you can choose to create a new template or write over an existing template.
  • If you select to overwrite an existing template, it allows you to select which template to overwrite.  
  • This selection is simplified provided you have added notes specific to the template.  For example, if you create a template for a John Deere 4045 and one is for a keel cooled engine and one is for a raw water cooled, while they are both the same manufacturer and model no., the template number and notes will be discrete.  

Once a template has been created and you want to overwrite another equipment ID or write to a new equipment ID, click the View Template icon and use the search function to find the template you would like to apply.  

  • You can search my manufacturer or model no.
  • Select the template you would like to apply using the magnifying glass icon and click Apply Template.
  • Alternatively you can click the edit icon to edit the template notes. 

Once you selected the template to apply you can choose what elements to apply.

  • For example, if you are overwriting an existing entry, you may choose to only update documentation or maintenance. 
  • You can then set the commission date for the equipment and it will configure the warranty and maintenance dates based off that entry.  
  • Finally, if overwriting an existing ID, please note that the history files may not reflect the original information so it is important to back up the files. 

Warranty Notification for Boat Builders, Dealers, and Fleet Managers

Communication between vessel builders, dealers, and owner / operators can sometimes be difficult in regards to warranty items.  WheelHouse has always had the ability to generate reports specifying warranty repairs but now with our warranty notification function, anytime a warranty request is submitted or warranty service performed, instant notification can be sent automatically to the boat builder, dealer, or fleet manager.  To activate this function, simply log into your Fleet Portal / Settings / Alert Settings and turn on warranty notifications as desired.  For vessel owners who would like to improve the communication with the builder, please reach out to us and we can work with you and the builder to streamline this process.  

  • Flag one-time task as warranty items
    • Attach photographs of repair required 
  • Complete one-time tasks
    • Attach invoices and repair details
  • E-mail notification when Warranty tasks are created as well as completed
  • Provide warranty reports for tasks completed

WheelHouse Architecture & Security Overview

Cloud Computing

Customers and prospects often ask about our “technology strategy”.  While it is usually a brief discussion, we thought the following description would shed light on our strategy, how we got to this point, and where we are going.

When we started WheelHouse, we wanted to build a maintenance management platform that was easy to use, reasonable cost, and didn’t require customers to worry about software installs, backups, or hard drive crashes.  We found that almost everyone using a computer knew how to browse the web and point-and-click their way through online applications with little or no training (ease of use).  Due to the high cost of software distribution and maintenance, as well as the cost and inconvenience of data loss, we felt the days of installed software running on client’s computers were numbered.  And finally, we could keep licensing/subscription costs at a reasonable level by leveraging the wealth of open source software components.  Cloud technology also offers instant scalability providing more computer power, storage, and bandwidth. 

Of course, we weren’t the only ones!  Today, the Worlds leading applications are available online for the same reasons, including Salesforce.com, Facebook, Quickbooks, and thousands of others.  Referred to using terms like “Software as a Service” (SaaS), “Cloud Computing”, and other abstract references, we know that this approach provides a reliable and low cost way to deliver applications that cannot be equaled in the old distributed software world.

What this means to our customers is they can manage their maintenance, spare parts, and documents from any web-connected computer in the world without ever worrying about data backups, software downloads, and hidden costs in new releases.

 

Our Architecture - Rackspace

Network

  • Network will be available 99.5% of the time in a given month, excluding scheduled maintenance.
  • To provide multiple redundancies in the flow of information to and from our data centers, we partner with nine network providers.
  • Every fiber carrier must enter our data centers at separate points. This is to protect from complete service failures caused by an unlikely network cut.
  • Fast and reliable network connections because Proactive Network Management methodology monitors route efficiency and end-user performance, automatically improving the network's topology and configuration in real-time.
  • The network's configuration, co-developed with Cisco, guards against any single points of failure at the shared network level.

Physical Security

  • Keycard protocols, biometric scanning protocols and round-the-clock interior and exterior surveillance monitor access to every data center.
  • Only authorized data center personnel are granted access credentials to data centers. No one else can enter the production area of the datacenter without prior clearance and an appropriate escort.
  • Every data center employee undergoes multiple and thorough background security checks before they're hired.

Precision Environment

  • Every data center's HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) system is N+1 redundant. This ensures that a duplicate system immediately comes online should there be an HVAC system failure.
  • Every 90 seconds, all the air in data centers are circulated and filtered to remove dust and contaminants.
  • Advanced fire suppression systems are designed to stop fires from spreading in the unlikely event one should occur.

Conditioned Power

  • Should a total utility power outage ever occur, all data centers' power systems are designed to run uninterrupted, with every server receiving conditioned UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) power.
  • UPS power subsystem is N+1 redundant, with instantaneous failover if the primary UPS fails.
  • If an extended utility power outage occurs, routinely tested, on-site diesel generators can run indefinitely.

Core Routing Equipment

  • Only fully redundant, enterprise-class routing equipment is used in Rackspace data centers.
  • Fiber carriers enter data centers at disparate points to guard against service failure.

Network Technicians

  • Networking and security teams working in our data centers are certified. It is required that they be thoroughly experienced in managing and monitoring enterprise level networks.
  • Certified Network Technicians are trained to the highest industry standards.

Security

  • Passwords are encrypted through 128-bit encryption for secure access and multiple access levels are available.  All changes to key data is tracked through log functions. 

Data Backup & Recovery

Backup

  • Hourly – A snapshot of the data is taken every hour on the production server.
  • Daily – A daily snapshot of the data and web files is taken once a day on the production server.  A history of 7 days is retained is located in a numbered directory respective to the day.  Once a day, the most current web files and database backup is copied to a remote server. 
  • Weekly – A weekly snapshot of the data and web files is taken once a week on the production server.  A history of 8 weeks is retained and is located in a numbered directory respective to the week.

Recovery

  • In case of failure at the Host, Server or Directory level, the web files and database can be rebuilt from any of the latest backups.
  • If a single user’s data, vessel, etc… needs to be rebuilt, this is completed by building their data separate from the production environment, then take that data to insert back into the production database.

Application Architecture

Application

  • The WheelHouse web application is built on the time-tested and robust PHP Web Application Framework that offers quick time-to-market deliverables, flexibility and security.
  • The front end, user-facing pages, use such cutting edge technologies as JQuery, HTML5 and CSS3.

Hardware

  • The application data is secure stored in MySQL Database which is completely decoupled from the application server and exists on its own VM (Virtual Machine)
    • MySQL server is completely inaccessible to the outside world – operates only on the internal RackSpace network.
    • With regular monitoring and its own backup schedule, the database is completely isolated and safe against server crashes, etc.
    • Database server has multiple levels of access including full access user, read/only user and application user.
    • MySQL Server utilizes a Raid 10 High Availability Group database with Replica.  User data is securely stored on the CBS (Cloud Block Storage Device), on the fast and reliable SSD drives at RackSpace that is regularly backed up and monitored.

Build Environment

  • WheelHouse has two environments – Staging and Production that are being automatically updated and managed by the Jenkins Contiguous Integration Server.
  • The code is securely kept within BitBucket source code repository.
  • Jenkins Continuous Integration Server provides a fully automated deployment of codebase to specified environments while keeping the Management and Development Teams constantly up to date on the application deployment progress.

Secure Communication

  • All WheelHouse environments have fully configured and enabled SSL support, which means all the user communications are fully secure and encrypted at all times.

Planned Maintenance Periods

In an effort to provide our continually growing customer base efficient and reliable service, we are planning two upcoming maintenance events.  Both of these events will require WheelHouse to be off-line for a limited time.  The details on the times and the system improvements are below.  During these maintenance periods, users will not be able to access WheelHouse and a maintenance screen will be shown at our system URL of http://mms.wheelhousetech.com.  Once the maintenance is complete, the log-in URL will be restored and system access will resume.

 

 

 

Maintenance Event #1: Tonight, March 7th from 8:00pm until 12:00am EST

  • A replica of all production data will be copied to our staging environment. To ensure a complete copy, the system needs to be off-line and no production files or system structure will be changed during this event.
    • This copy will provide a complete system snapshot including: codebase; user files; and system database. Normally these items are backed up separately.
    • This snapshot will allow our staging database to be a true replica of production for specific use case testing.
    • In addition, this replication provide a live system test for our planned migration of the production database to a High Availability Group scheduled Monday, March 13th.

Maintenance Event #2: Monday, March 13th from 8:00pm until 12:00am EST

  • Codebase server will be enhanced to a fully scale-able high-performance, Raid 10-protected SSD
  • Database is being upgraded to a High Availability Group to improve the reliability and provide additional redundancy.

Additional Contact Descriptions

The contact manager within yachts and fleets now includes additional Contact Types to allow for additional sorting.  Please remember contacts are utilized for work orders and have fleetwide access for fleet users.  Also Ship To Contacts are used within order processing to manage multiple ship to locations.

Release V4.110

WheelHouse V4.110 is a new Fleet  function that allows fleet administrators the ability change there users passwords as required.  This tool may be accessed on the Fleet Settings / Users page / Edit User (change Password).

Release V4.109

WheelHouse V4.109 is a new Fleet Administrative function that allows fleet admins the ability to restrict access to the Underway App on a user by user basis.  This ensures that only authorized users are permitted to use the off-line application which ensures that data is not conflicted during syncing.

Release V4.108

WheelHouse V4.108 allows users to edit document descriptions of maintenance history entries.

Release V4.107

WheelHouse V4.107 modified the ftp file structure to allow equipment ID’s that had previously been deleted to be recreated without causing file structure errors.