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Form 2 & Form 2A - Major and
Non-major Natural Gas Pipeline Annual Report

      April 8, 2009 - Technical Notice: The IP address of the forms service has changed. The direct IP address is now 204.87.16.28, and the DNS entry to use for that address should be eforms1.ferc.gov. Please note that rimsweb2.ferc.gov is no longer a valid DNS entry and should not be used. If forms users are having difficulty communicating please check the FERC Address setting in the software as well as the corporate firewall settings to ensure eforms1.ferc.gov (or the new IP address) is being used.

Note: This also applies to Fom 3-Q - Comprehensive Quarterly Financial and Operating Report Electronic Submission Software - Installation Manual

The FERC Form 2/2A Submission Software (F2SS) is downloaded from the FERC Forms Server via the Internet. The downloaded file is an installation file. It is used to install the application on your workstation. Once the software is installed at your site, the installation file is no longer needed and can be deleted.

Once the software is installed it will appear in your workstation "Start Menu" under a Program Group called FERC Applications. You would start the software by clicking on "Start/FERC Applications/Form 2 Submission Software".

Once installed, the F2SS software will check with the FERC Forms Server via Internet to determine if there are any updates to the software. This check happens every time you start the software. If updates are available, they will be downloaded to your workstation and installed automatically. This keeps everyone's copy of the software in synchronization and repairs problems you may find and report to the FERC.

Downloading and Installing the Form 2/2A Submission Software
The following screen will appear. You may choose "Run this program from its current location" and installation will begin.

If you choose "Save this program to disk", the downloaded installation file can be used to make multiple installations. In this instance, remember where you tell the software to save the file. After download, locate the file with Windows Explorer, place your cursor on the file name, and double-click. This will start the installation process. If you install the F2SS on multiple workstations, you can copy the installation file to your network and invoke it from there.

file download prompt

When Installation begins, you will get the following screen. Just click "Yes".

Security Warning prompt

The next screen is a normal part of Microsoft Software installation. There is no need to worry about the licensing agreement. We are authorized to distribute this software free-of-charge.

Form 2 Setup window

The setup program will want to place the application in the F2SS folder on your C: drive. If the folder does not exist, it will ask if you want to create it. Please do not change the folder name or location if you can help it. It is easier for us to help you if you have a standard installation. Just click "OK".

Form 2 Setup window

When the following screen appears, click on the big button shaped like a computer screen to begin the actual installation. And, leaving the folder name as the default would be helpful when you call for support.

Form 2 Setup window

The installation process will create a program group called FERC Applications (see below). You can select a different group name, however, as mentioned earlier, it will be much easier for us to provide support if you allow a standard installation.

Form 2 Choose Program Group window

Eventually, the installation will finish and you will get the following notification:

Setup Completion window

The installation will instruct you to restart your computer. This is necessary for proper registration of certain components of the software.


Initial Operation and Setup of the Form 2/2A Software
At this point, installation is complete. You now need to set your communications options (if any) and obtain the initial download of your Form 2/2A database information. However, if you have a Form 2/2A Database from previous years saved on your network drive, you should use that database. When you first start the software (click on the Start Menu, locate Program Group "FERC Applications", then click on "Form 2 Submission Software"), you will get the following "Splash Screen". Notice that the Version Number of the software is in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. This number changes every time updates and changes are downloaded to your workstation.

Splash screen

Downloading your Initial Form 2/2A Database The following text refers to the next figure Form 2/2A Data Download).

If you are running the software for the first time, the data download screen will appear (see below). This function allows you to download a database of the company or companies for which you file Form 2/2A information. If you filed Form 2/2A in prior years using this software, you should have a copy of your Form 2/2A Database on your network. This version should be used instead of attempting to download a new database. If you have an existing database, you can skip down to the heading: Using a Database from a Previous Year.

Before you proceed, you should click on the "Internet Setup Options" button and set any of the options that apply to your Internet connection. These options, if any, can be obtained from your Network/IT Support Personnel. These options may also be set within the data entry software by clicking on the "Options" pull-down menu at the top of the screen, and clicking on "Internet Communications Setup", however, the new settings will not take effect until you exit the software and restart it after making changes.

The next step is to determine a location for your database. The box titled "Destination for Data or Location of Existing Data" shows a proposed default location for your Form 2/2A Database. It is highly recommended that you choose a directory on your Network for the Form 2/2A Database. First of all, storing the database on your network permits multiple users of the Software to work at the same time. (If you desire having multiple users inputting data, the database must be on a shared network drive accessible by all users). Secondly, you will be protected from losing your work should your workstation have a malfunction. Most network data is backed up every evening. If you chose not to use a network drive for your database, and thereby ensure that it is backed up frequently, you are at risk of losing all your work should something happen to the database because of hardware malfunction. Please consider the ramifications of this happening, and take appropriate action to protect your data.

Once the Database location has been chosen, you click on the "Retrieve Company Listing" button. The software will obtain a list of companies available for download from the FERC Forms Server.

After the year 2000 submission, you will need to contact FERC for a password to download a company database. This is to prevent users from accidentally downloading a new database copy instead of using the database from 2000/2001.

Select your company name in the "List of Available Companies" box by clicking on it once. Then, Click on the "Begin Download" button. The software will notify you when the download is complete. If you file for more than one company, you may now select a different company for download, and click the "Begin Download Button" again. Continue in this manner until all companies you file for are downloaded. Once database download is complete, you may click on "Finished".

Data Download screen


Using a Database from a Previous Year
Normally, the software will "remember" where your database was located in prior years. If you are doing a "fresh" software install, you may see the "Form 1 Data Download" screen. If you do, delete the data in "Destination for Data or Location of Existing Data:" and insert the path to your database on your network. Then, hit the tab key to exit the field, and click on "Done". You can click on the button to the right with the three dots and you can navigate to the database location.


Internet Setup Options
Here is a picture of the screen that will appear if you click on the "Internet Setup Options" button. Unless you are sure of what to place in these boxes, just leave them blank. If the software cannot communicate with the FERC Forms Server for updates, you might contact your network support personnel to determine what values belong in these boxes, if any.

Internet Access Setup Options


Selecting Schedules
Here is a picture of the Page Selector Screen on the Data Entry page of F2SS. To select your company, click on the "down arrow" next to the Company Name. You will see a pull-down menu listing companies or company (if you just file for one). A similar pull-down menu for the particular year you wish to work with is to the right of the company name. Once you have selected the company and year, you can double-click on any "Reference Page No:" to open that schedule. Although it clutters the screen, you can have more that one schedule page open at one time.

Page Selector window


Selecting a Company Example
Here is an example of the screen you will see when you click on the down-arrow next to the Company Name box. In this example, there are four companies that have been downloaded in the initial setup. Multiple users can all work on the same company - or on different companies, at the same time. Notice the "pull-down" menu for the Year. You can go back and review or correct prior year data and even resubmit a prior-year Form 2/2A if you make corrections.

Select a Company window



Form 2/2A Options Menu
Here is an example of the "Options" pull-down Menu. Following paragraphs will describe the elements in this menu.

Options pull-down menu

    Set Form 2/2A DB Location
    This is used to specify a new location for the database. An example would be, you have installed the database on your C: drive and wanted to move the database to a network drive. First, you would create the network folder using Windows Explorer. Then, you would select all the contents of the C:\Form2data folder (go to the folder, use cntrl/A to select all). Copy the entire contents to the new network folder. Then, you would start the F2SS, select "Options/Set Form 2 DB Location" and select the new drive and folder on the network. Once that is done, you can erase the C:\Form2data folder on your workstation.


    New Year
    This element sets up the database for a new year of reporting activity - for example, starting 2001 (filing in 2002) when the last year you entered was 2000 (filing in 2001). First, make sure that your company name and the year 2000 appear in your "Company Selected" box. Then, click on "Options/New Year" and follow the directions to set up 2001. Next, click on "Company Selected" and select 2001 from the drop-down list for year. If you have multiple companies in your database, you will have to do this process for each one of them. This must only be done once. All workstations using the software will now be able to access 2001.


    Internet Communications Setup
    This element allows you to enter the Internet Communications Options screen. This is the same screen you can call up in the Form 2/2A Data Download screen. You should ask your network support personnel if any of these options apply to your network.


    Data Entry Status
    This element produces a report that you can view on screen, or print. It indicates which schedules have had data entered and which ones are still blank. In situations where the Form 2/2A is being filled out by many different people, you can determine which schedules have been worked on - and which schedules are still blank.


    Form 2/2A Data Cross-check
    This element edits the database for consistency and produces a report on screen for review or printing. This is an edit report an attempts to determine consistency errors between schedules and other obvious errors. Some of the warnings it produces are not errors, but rather areas that you should review to ensure that the data is correct.


Form 2/2A Help Facility
The Form 2/2A software contains extensive documentation that explains its operation. You can either view this help on the screen, or print it out to read when you have the time or inclination. You invoke the Help by pressing the F1 key, or clicking on the Help Menu at the top of the screen.

The results should look like the picture below. The "Help" system will be expanded during the 2000 filing period.

Online Help window

The following is a list of all the files that comprise the Form 2/2A database. There are 214 of them. Essentially, there is a table in the database for each Form 2/2A schedule page. This is the directory/folder that should be placed on your network for data security purposes. You should ask your network support personnel to assist you in setting up a security scheme so that only members of your work group can access these files. Otherwise, someone might think it is fun to delete some of the files and see what happens. This can cause you a lot of wasted time and extra work.

Also, be sure that this folder is backed up by Network Operations every evening. If something happens to the database, you will lose all your work that was done since the last backup. If it has never been backed up, then, you start all over. Not a pleasant thought.

Once you are finished with Form 2/2A for a particular reporting year, you should either leave the database on the network, or ask that it be backed up with the assurance that you can get it back for the next year. The database contains all Form 2/2A filing information for 1994 through 1999 - and, once you do 2000, it will be there also, and 2001 and so on. So, to put it another way, please do not delete or lose the database.

list of files window


If You Have Problems, Please Read Carefully
You may experience problems downloading your initial database or obtaining the automatic updates mention at the beginning of this document. Either of these problems can usually be traced to your Network Firewall which protects your network from outside interference. The software will work OK at most companies. However, if you have a problem with these two issues, your only recourse is to plead with your IT folks to loosen things up a little or make some accommodation.

If you have errors in the software where it quits, gives you some kind of system error, or otherwise acts in an abnormal manner, you can report these problems to FERC and we will try to resolve them. (See below for reporting procedures) If there are bugs in the software, we will fix them, and distribute updates to your software automatically. If you can't receive automatic updates (see #1 above), you will probably have to download and install the software each time there is an update. The software has version numbers that change as we apply corrections or improvements.

Below is an example of the Form 2/2A Folder where the software is installed on a typical workstation:

folder sample window

Notice the file named F2.log. When you send us an email regarding any errors or problems, we must have the F2.log attached to the email. Also, be sure to put the word Form2 in the Subject of the email. If you forget to attach the F2 log file, we will send you a reply mail asking for it. So, it just saves time to send it along in the first place. Of course, your IT people are welcome to review the log file and help diagnose any problems you might have.

Send emails with software problems, Internet problems, or suggestions for improvements to the application to FERC Online Support at ferconlinesupport@ferc.gov. Be sure to attach the foss.log to your email if you are reporting an error. If you feel you have a serious problem, call FERC Online Support toll-free at 866-208-3676.


CONTACT
Form 2/2A Filing Matters
Christopher Ellsworth
Telephone: 202-502-8228
Email: form2@ferc.gov

FERC Online Support
Email: ferconlinesupport@ferc.gov

Telephone Numbers
 
DOWNLOADS & LINKS
Data Electronic Submission Software Viewer Form Communications Test Application
 
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Updated: April 25, 2012