Queues -- Automatic Processing

A QUEUE is a list of Data files to be processed and the Methods to process them with. It is used for automatic data processing, for export of processed data to spreadsheets, and for automatically receiving data from ChromGraph CONTROL (see the section on linking).


Queues may be accessed through the QUEUE MENU:

To begin setting up a Queue, either LOAD a previously saved Queue from disk, or take the DEFINE OR EDIT QUEUE option. This opens the DEFINE QUEUE dialog box:

The Define Queue dialog box contains a listbox of up to 20 lines. Each line directs ChromGraph to use a specific Method to process specific Data files. The Queue is not limited to just 20 lines: you can chain Queues together by entering the name of a subsequent Queue as the Method name in the last line of any Queue.

Queue instructions are edited in the row of edit boxes across the middle of the screen, just above the row of DELETE, CHANGE and INSERT buttons. To edit an existing line in the Queue, first click on the line in the listbox. That line will then appear in the edit boxes. Make the appropriate changes, then click on the CHANGE button. The modified line will then be posted to the listbox.

To insert a new line in the Queue, first enter the information in the edit boxes. Then click the INSERT button.

To delete a line from the Queue, click on the line, then click DELETE.

The following items appear in the lines of the Queue:

# is the sequential line number, 1-20.

METHOD is the ChromGraph Report Method to use to process the data. This Method must exist in the Default Data Location.

DATA is the Data file name.

DET. is the detector letter code, A-D.

FIRST and LAST define the sequence of run numbers to be processed.

UNKNOWN/STANDARD indicates whether these Data files are from standards or unknowns. If they are standards, indicate whether the old standards are to be replaced (RPL) by the new data, or averaged (AVG) with them. For standards, also indicate which level (concentration) of standards is being processed. The Quantitation section contains detailed information on automatically updating Standards files using a Queue.

The options at the bottom of the screen provide general instructions for processing the Queue:

DATA PATH can be used to specify a non-default location from which to get Data files. Leave this box blank to get data from the Default Data Location. The Method files must always be in the Default Data Location.

PRN FILE and ERASE .PRN FILE are used for exporting to spreadsheets.

CYCLE DETECTORS can be useful if more than one detector was employed. If there are 20 runs for detector A on the first line of the Queue, and 20 runs for detector B on the second line, the Queue will usually process all the runs for detector A before going on to B. If the CYCLE DETECTOR box is checked, however, ChromGraph Report will process run 1 detector A, then run 1 detector B, then run 2 detector A, and so on.

Once editing is complete, the Queue may be saved for future use with the SAVE QUEUE option on the Queue Menu or the SAVE button in the Define Queue dialog box. A Queue name can have any combination of characters and spaces; the extension .QUE will automatically be appended.

Queue names can theoretically be up to 127 characters long, including the path (thus, C:\BAS2\DATA\myqueue.que = 24 characters). Some advanced procedures may require shorter names, so we recommend using names with total lengths (including the path) of less than 33 characters.

For display purposes, a filename may be truncated somewhat in various places in the program.

ChromGraph CONTROL QUEUES, used for automatic data collection, have the extension .BAQ to distinguish them from ChromGraph Report Queues, used for automatic data processing. To save time when working with a complex Queue, the ChromGraph CONTROL Queue can be loaded directly into ChromGraph REPORT (some editing will be necessary).

To begin processing the Queue, click on PROCESS QUEUE in the Define Queue dialog box or in the Queue Menu. As each run is processed, the FIRST entry in the current line of the Queue is incremented by one. If you wish to restart the Queue from the beginning, either change FIRST back to its original number or load the SAVEd version of the Queue.

If a Data file specified in the Queue is not present in the Default Data Location (or in the Data Path, if specified), the message REPORT QUEUE AWAITS, with the complete Data file name, will appear. This is normal behavior if ChromGraph REPORT is linked to ChromGraph CONTROL: when the run is completed, the DATA file will be passed to REPORT and processing will begin. If REPORT is not linked to CONTROL, the message indicates that the specified Data file cannot be found. Cancel the Queue and check for errors in the name or location of this Data file.


The PRN/CSV/TAB option allows you to easily import your data into spreadsheet programs. Spreadsheets are designed to import delimited ASCII files with, depending on the spreadsheet and version, a PRN, CSV, or TAB delimited format.

Consult your application's documentation to determine which type of field-delimited file it can import. Individual data fields in a PRN-style file are typically separated by a comma, space, or semicolon, with character strings contained within quotation marks. Each line in a PRN file begins with an apostrophe:

Since the PRN file format is the oldest, the importation of PRN files is supported by a wide variety of applications.

As the name might suggest, TAB delimited files contain data fields which are separated by the Tab character. This format may be most widely used by database programs.

CSV indicates a third type of field delimiter. CSV stands for Comma Separated Values. This format separates the contents of each data field with a comma, and leaves it up to the application to determine if characters in a field are text or numeric data:

If your application supports importing comma separated values, this is usually the best choice. In the unlikely event your application is misidentifying whether data are text or numeric, then try the PRN format. Regardless of the type of field delimiter, some applications may default to expect any importable file to use a PRN filename extension, while others distinguish field-delimiter types by filename extension. When ChromGraph Report creates a spreadsheet-importable file, the delimiter format used is indicated by either a PRN, CSV, or TAB filename extension

There are several places where you must indicate that you want Report to create a spreadsheet-importable file, and which type you want:

First, SETUP OPTIONS, found under the Data Menu, must be configured. Check the PRN, CSV or TAB option as appropriate. NOTE: The Setup Option, and occasionally this documentation, uses the term PRN files to generically refer to spreadsheet-importable files which may actually be either CSV or TAB delimited files or classic PRN-style files.

Next, you must specify that you want the selected file type created by the current Method. To do so, go to REPORT OPTIONS in the Method Menu and check the box that says either .PRN, .CSV, or .TAB in the 'Report output on' section.

Finally, the following two options in the Define Queue dialog box must be entered:

    PRN FILE allows you to specify a name for the PRN, CSV or TAB file to which output from the entire Queue will be sent.

    ERASE .PRN FILE box allows you to automatically erase any existing PRN, CSV or TAB file of the same name at the start of Queue processing. If not checked, and a PRN, CSV or TAB file of the same name exists, the report will be appended to that file.

In interactive mode ChromGraph will create one importable PRN, CSV or TAB file for each run. If you have lots of samples, this can be somewhat cumbersome. In contrast, automatic processing with a QUEUE creates just one PRN/CSV/TAB file for the whole series of runs. In this case, the data from each sample will be added to the PRN/CSV/TAB file sequentially, one run at a time. Thus it is much more efficient to use a Queue, since only one all-inclusive file needs to be imported into the spreadsheet.

With the variety of different importation formats and varying capabilities of different spreadsheets, it is beyond the scope of this manual to provide instructions on how to generate a report once the processed data file has been imported into a spreadsheet. In general, however, you want to use the spreadsheet's formatting functions to generate a table of analyte concentrations ordered by runs: