Overview of WinFASTR 2.1


WinFASTR is designed as an implementation of FASTR, and written in Delphi, which takes advantage of standard Microsoft Windows tools. WinFASTR uses the mouse, to give easy and elegant access to buttons, check boxes, menus, scrolling lists and windows, hints, dialogs, and standard Windows file and printer management. Version 2.1 is compatible with Windows 2000, etc.

Each category of sheet selection, such as Docket number, or sheet status (Effective, Proposed, Rejected, etc.) need not be restricted to a single item. Where appropriate, (as with Docket numbers) a list of available choices is presented, to save the tedium and error-proneness of typing them. Note that this requires you to choose a pipeline before selecting by docket.

For important operations,WinFASTR provides duplicate access mechanisms. For example, Quit can be accomplished either by pressing a button or by accessing the Files menu. Except where clearly inappropriate, other standard Windows operations (like changing the sizes of windows) are supported. Modal dialogs (from which you cannot escape) are used only where modeless dialogs would cause logical confusion.

Current design status:
WINFASTR is designed around a main window and three "Child" windows, together with a sheet text window and various dialog windows. The main window's menu can be used to cascade or tile the "Child" windows. Descriptions of these windows follow:

The Main Window:
The main window initially displays the FASTR logo, which incorporates the FERC logo. A hint reminds you to click the mouse. This action obliterates the logo and activates the initial selection display. It will disappear in a few seconds in any case. Recall it using the "Show Badge" command in the "About" menu.

Menus: In Windows, the menu on the main window is overwritten by the child window's menu if the currently active child window has a menu. There are therefore two possible menus associated with the main WinFASTR window.

  • The main menu............

  • The Sheet List menu....
    min2menu Two versions of the Windows menu are shown below. On the left, the menu associated with the main window. On the right, the sheet list window's version. Both contain items for Cascade, Tile, Tariff Volumes, Header Info, and Sheet Text. Cascade and Tile change the size and positions of the windows currently open inside the main window. Tile makes them all small enough to fit without overlaying each other. Cascade overlays all but the top and left hand sides. These operations may be helpful in a small, cluttered monitor screen. The resizing controls and scrollbars will be more obvious after a tile or cascade operation. The next three items allow you to bring the named window to the front. Obviously, the Sheet List window doesn't need a menu item to bring itself to the front. The buttons panel and the sheet selectors panel are specifically part of the main window, and may be hidden or shown as convenient.

    The file menu for the sheet list window is entirely different from the main one. The item "Display .. Sheet" is one way to cause the text of the current line in the sheetlist to be displayed. To export the entire list, use "Copy..to Clipboard" and paste into the other application. "Print" and "Print to file" are ways to print and export the text of multiple sheets. "Quit" ends the program. In the main menu, "Open" does the same as the [From] button. It chooses a group of source files, by looking for the group's primary file. "Print", and "Send List to File" provide records of the list of tariff volumes. "Print Form" is for utility purposes. "Quit" ends the program.


    main panel

    FASTR Mode: This panel offers a choice of Browse, Copy, Add New Filing, Verify, Scan Updates, HTML, and Database. Privileged mode (risky mode) adds the options Test, and Delete.

    Browse corresponds to "read or print.." This is the usual and default mode. If you choose it explicitly in the Windows launch icon, (see below)  the FASTR mode panel will be replaced by its "Show/ Hide" icon. showhide

    • Copy Use it to merge or copy FASTR data for more than one pipeline.

    • Add New Filing Use it to check out ASCII filings to be sent to FERC.

    • Scan Updates provides information on the last activity date of the master file.

    • Database creates a CSV delimited ASCII file with entries for the header information of every sheet selected.

    • Verify checks for discrepancies between the internal sheet numbering codes and the text of the sheet name. It also detects mismatching GZIPHDR and GZIPDBF files.

    • HTML is what you use to create a linked group of HTML files containing selected tariff information.

    • Test and Delete are available only in privileged mode.

      • Test is used for detecting errors in the GZPRIME(or PRIME4) and GZIPHDR(or TARHDR) files.

      • Delete offers a choice. It will either:
        (A) remove pipeline tariff volume pointers from the GZPRIME or PRIME4 file. The data pointed at will then become inaccessible;
        (B) remove selected sheets by marking their header info status "deleted"

    Select Sheets:
    Each of the check boxes in this panel launches a dialog to permit you to select a subset of the tariff sheets in the selected tariff volumes. "By Docket" applies only when a single pipeline tariff volume has been selected. A button labeled "Show Selectors" displays a window with the current settings. (details)

    Control Panel Buttons: 

    • From: Activate a file selection dialog for the input database. You will be offered a standard Windows file selection dialog.   When you choose the primary file, the Tariff Volumes window will be loaded and displayed. The button will then be disabled, to prevent inadvertent changes.

    • Quit: Finished. Return to Windows.

    • Go: Choices made, perform the browse, copy or scan operation.

    • All: Select and highlight every line in the Tariff Volumes window.

    • To: Activate a file selection dialog for the output database. This button is visible only when Copy or Add Tariff mode is selected.

    • the Show/Hide buttonshowhide  This is a red X with an exclamation point superimposed. Press it to hide the control panels and make more of the "child" windows visible.  To reveal the control panels again, use the tariffs/windows menu or click on an area of the main window not occupied by a child. There are also individual Show/Hide buttons for the Mode and Selection panels.

    The Dockets list
    docketsappears when "by Dockets" is checked in "Select Sheets". It applies only to the selected tariff volume. Selections of one or more docket numbers may be made, as with the Tariff Volumes list. A button suffices to indicate that the selection is complete. (This is a significant aesthetic improvement upon DOS FASTR, which is obliged to use the [End] key to indicate dialog completion.) You may also press Go to fetch the sheets immediately.

    Child Windows are controlled by the Tile and Cascade commands in the main window's menu.

    The Tariff Volumes window: - a child window,
    Volswin  provides for selection of one or more of the pipeline tariff volumes in the input database. The standard Windows selection operations are used, i.e. Shift-Mousedown for a block, Ctrl-Mousedown for discontiguous additions. Action upon the choices may be initiated either by double-clicking a line selection or by pressing the main "Go" button.  This will load (or reload) and display the tariff sheet list window.


    The Tariff Sheet list:  - a child window,

    • sheetlst

      To print multiple sheets you must first press [Go Multi]. Then select Print from the window's menu. You can also print to file.

  • Another menu item is Find. This will activate the Sheet Search dialog. (See below) If the sheet list refuses to respond to mouse-down, press Go Plain / Go Fancy twice. I still don't know why this happens! It's some Windows weirdness. If one line of the sheet list is selected, and header information display has been requested, the Header Information window will match the line selected.

    The Tariff Sheet List window displays color codes, corresponding to those used in DOS FASTR. The sheet status is indicated by the style of the text. (Effective is Bold, superseded, rejected and withdrawn are stricken-through).

    Double-click any line, press the [Enter] key, or use the Menu "Sheet" line, to display the corresponding sheet in a Sheet Text window.

The Sheet Text Window: - not a child window,  txtsht

  • displays the tariff sheet's text, and has Up, Down, Font, Print, Image, Info, and Exit buttons. It is convenient that, when Up or Down is pressed, it becomes the default, and therefore rapid scanning of the sheets can be done by holding down the [Enter] key. The Image button brings up a Preview Print display window. The Sheet Text window has a Clipboard access feature. Shift-Drag over a portion of text, and press the "Copy Text" button. Task switch e.g (Ctrl-Esc) to WordPerfect or the Notepad, and Paste the result into your other document. Better, but less obvious, is a Pop-up menu which you get with a right mouseclick within the text area. The menu offers Copy (selected text), Copy entire sheet, Copy sheet name, and Copy- Tariff- Volume- Name.

The Header Information Window:- a child window,

displays all the sheet information which corresponds to TF0x records, or information from FERC's rulings on the filings. It has Previous, Next, and Exit buttons. This window is displayed when you press the [Info] button in either the sheet list or sheet text window.

NB: The Header Information, Sheet List, and Sheet Text windows are linked, in such a way that all three should change in response to Up or Down button commands. This is in part the meaning of the "Fancy" setting. If it isn't working, try pressing the Fancy/Plain button twice.

General The standard Windows COPY (text) command is supported for both the Sheet List window and the individual Sheet Text window. This command will permit copying the blocked information from the WinFASTR Sheet List and Sheet Text windows to any other Windows software document, such as Notepad, WordPerfect, Quattro Pro Version 5 and up, MS Office, and OpenOffice.org(Windows version). This menu command in the Sheet List, and a button in the Sheet Text window, make it convenient for (1) the creation of a list of tariff sheets for memos' and orders' appendices, and (2) the copying of tariff text into memos, orders and testimony, with fewer typographical and oversight errors and in less time than by manual typing.

  • The Preview Print display window: This displays, as nearly as possible on screen, the appearance of a printout of this tariff sheet. Unlike the Sheet Text window, it shows the rectangular line boundary, and the heading and footing information.  The following is a reduced partial image.

  • The Sheet Search Dialog: finderThis is activated by the Find | In Text command from the Tariff Sheet List window's menu. It is also activated by pressing ctrl-F. The Tariff Sheet List window must be the front window. "Find" has been substantially improved as of version 1.0.9; it accepts a "search phrase" consisting of a sequence of words, and searches for these regardless of white space separating the words. White space is any number of blanks or a new line. The program now highlights all lines containing the desired string. Use the Sheet Text window's Stop Search button to abandon a search, or its Find Next button (a metamorphosis of Exit) to find the next such sheet. Once found, a sheet can be copied to the Clipboard before exit. You can even use the blue Up and Down buttons to examine the neighboring sheets. The highlighting will disappear, because it uses a Windows "object type" different from the standard text display.

  • Windows command line parameters. The Windows command line, specified when creating an icon, can be used to provide the equivalent of many button or panel actions. Add the following verbs and their objects as appropriate to the WinFASTR2.exe command.

    • Browse is the equivalent of selecting the Browse button.
    • From followed by a Drive:\Directory specification is equivalent to pressing From and choosing that directory in the Windows file navigator dialog.
    • Copy is the equivalent of selecting the copy button.
    • To followed by a Drive:\Directory specification is equivalent to pressing To and choosing that directory in the Windows file navigator dialog.
    • Replace bypasses the "add or delete" dialog in Copy. It specifies delete-and-replace.
    • Add bypasses the "add or delete" dialog in Copy. It specifies add-and-merge.
    • Addfrom is equivalent to choosing "Add New Filing" and specifying the location (directory, folder) which contains the ASCII file.
    • All is equivalent to highlighting all the tariff volumes displayed by From.
    • ID followed by a list of numbers separated by commas but no spaces will highlight all tariff volumes for the pipeline identified by this code.
    • Current will select only those sheets whose status is Effective, Suspended or Pending.
    • Effective and Pending are also supported as status selectors.
    • Go is equivalent to pressing the Go button. If the necessary conditions are satisfied (e.g. input files and tariff volumes selected) then the requested actions will proceed.

  • For instance, (at FERC)
    • WinFASTR2.exe Browse From O:\Fastr\GZip1
      is sufficient to launch the familiar Tariff volumes list from the FERCWIDE LAN.
    • WinFASTR2.exe Copy from L:\Fastr\Zip1 to C:\Fastr Replace All Go
      will cause all tariff volumes on the OPR LAN to be copied into the FASTR directory on your C drive, replacing the present contents if any.
    • WinFASTR2.exe Addfrom C:\scantarf to C:\Interim Replace All Go
      will launch immediately into the Add New Tariff mode, beginning with a dialog to select the ASCII source file from the Scantarf folder on the C: drive.

The open files dialog:

Select a drive, then a folder, and if it contains a FASTR database triplet of files, the primary file (PRIME4 or GZPRIME) will be listed in "Files found".  If the "Files found" name differs from the File name above, click on it before clicking on [OK].  Alternatively, you can type the entire name into the File name box.

Selection Dialogs

In all of these, make a selection and press OK to add it to the list of constraints.  Press Cancel to remove it.  Press Go to select all sheets meeting these and other conditions already set.  If no tariff volumes are selected yet, Go will be the same as OK.


I recommend the default setting here, any sheet which is Effective or Proposed or Suspended, for ordinary use.  Sheets which are currently pending Commission decision may easily have become effective since your copy of the database was updated. 

by dates

 You can place conditions upon the range of dates for any of the listed dates.  "Updated" allows you to select according to the date when the FASTR database actually changed.  For Superseded sheets, it will be close to the date of the order making a subsequent sheet effective.  Do not replace an ellipsis (...) with anything but a date.  WinFASTR effectively translates it to "earliest possible" or "latest possible", as appropriate. 


This one should be obvious.  The range is inclusive. Note that "From 4"  to "To 5" is an easy way to bracket numbers like 4G, 4-G, and anything else you might be unsure about. 


The accuracy of the sheet type specification of any given sheet is somewhat dependent upon the carefulness of the filing company and the vigilance of the FERC analysts and other staff, since it cannot easily be checked electronically.  Nevertheless this is usually a useful criterion of choice.  Note that the checkboxes are not mutually exclusive. 


This is a display of the conditions currently in effect for the selection of tariff sheets.

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