BirdDog Version 4.0

BirdDog™ Information Systems is pleased to announce the release of Version 4.0 of Remote Data Retrieval. This newest system, to which you automatically have access when you log into our host site, provides enhanced features that are certain to make you even more productive... such as a more streamlined and intuitive user interface, the ability for end-users to perform ad hoc changes to alarm settings, and layered administration. With layered administration, end-user organizations can assign BirdDog client administrators who, in turn, will be able to add/delete other enterprise users, set each user's rights (from read-only through full editing, including use of Demand Polling), reset user passwords, add/delete Morning Report recipients, and much more.

In addition to the BirdDog Remote Data Retrieval system functional enhancements, we've also deployed new security provisions to further complement our previously implemented use of an HTTPS website to provide full SSL encryption of your sensitive and proprietary information. These enhancements include the use of unique email addresses as User IDs, as well as stronger Password requirements with history restrictions and forced routine changes. As before, with just a single account User ID and Password, your log-in will provide direct access to all BirdDog SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) systems to which you have end-user rights. And as you add or remove systems from your user profile, the single sign-on process will automatically recognize those changes.

BirdDog Security Policy Change Alert

Security Policy Change Alert - For the enhanced security of BirdDog™ Information Systems users, effective November 11, 2013, User IDs will be unique email addresses and account password requirements will be strengthened. New passwords will need to be at least 8 characters in length and contain at least one each of the following characters: uppercase alphabetical; lowercase alphabetical; numeric; and “special” (such as @, &, _, #, etc.). At the appropriate time, you will be prompted during your BirdDog log-in to click on a webpage link that will provide more details and guide you through your password change process.

BirdDog System Support

  • Log-in and system support, including password resets, are available to customers on a 24x7 basis by calling, toll-free, 800-231-9741. During business hours (8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday), your call will be directed to the appropriate technical support or customer service team member.

  • During non-business hours, callers will be presented with a main menu which includes an option to reach system support and, if appropriate, to mark your message as “urgent” for an expedited response. Non-urgent support calls will be returned the next business day.

  • System support requests or questions may also be submitted via e-mail to

Coastal Flow Measurement Companies
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Service Since 1974


File Formats for Hydrocarbon Measurement
Date: 9/24/2014

As if the world of hydrocarbon measurement is not challenging enough, especially to entry-level personnel, adding IT to the mix can really raise anxiety levels.  This Statement of the Month is focused on one aspect of the world of the techies...the file types and formats which are typically encountered in measurement and how these standards help our industry to manage information more efficiently and securely.

According to Wikipedia, "A file format is a standard way that information is encoded for storage in a computer file."  This definition seems simple enough, but Wikipedia follows with an additional 22 paragraphs of much more detailed information on the subject.  Fortunately, for those dedicated enough to read on, each paragraph is written in English, thereby providing a standardized means for sharing information.

One simple nonproprietary file format, commonly referred to as a text file, has a standard code for each readable character and space.  Computer files may also be application specific, such as XLS, CFX, and PDF files.  File formats can provide for efficiency of data storage, processing, and transmission, and they often serve as an additional means for protecting intellectual matter how widely used.  As an example, Microsoft Excel provides a file format that is effectively the worldwide standard for spreadsheets.

More complex file types, often referred to as binary files, are developed in a manner that can only be read by specific software applications; they are cryptic and very difficult to decode.  Many flow computer manufacturers provide flow data in binary files, not only to protect proprietary and sensitive information, but also as a standardized means for data exchange with measurement software systems.

One of the most recognized hydrocarbon measurement software systems, Flow-Cal, employs a binary file in their proprietary CFX file format for efficient, secure importing and exporting of flow-related data.  While the Flow-Cal system is used to process data from tens of thousands of measurement stations every month, from virtually every type of flow computing device on the market, exchanging measurement data through the widely accepted CFX file format provides efficiencies critical to meeting regulated close-out deadlines for custody transfer measurement, data archiving according to industry standards, and protection of intellectual property.

For the vast majority of those involved in measurement, it's unnecessary to be a student of computer science.  However, a basic understanding of IT concepts and terms commonly used within our industry is imperative.  For a listing of some measurement-related IT terms and definitions, please click here.



"Knowing how things work reduces the effort.  This is the fundamental principle of technology."

~ Toba Beta, Indonesian author



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Coastal Flow Measurement, Inc.
P.O. Box 58965 , Houston, TX, 77258-8965
Phone: 281.282.0622; Fax: 281.282.0792