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NWA Quality Analyst 7.1 Available Now


Following the successful launch of NWA Quality Analyst 7.0 in January of this year, Northwest Analytics is excited to announce NWA Quality Analyst 7.1, the first quarterly release of 2024.

It is essential to review these notes PRIOR to updating if you are migrating from NWA Quality Analyst 6.3 or older versions. These notes discuss the process of updating NWA Quality Analyst 6.3 or older versions to this new release.
For customers who have already updated to NWA Quality Analyst 7.0 and are current on software assurance and support, contact for this release.

What’s New in 7.1

  • Integration with the 2024Q1 release of the NWA Analytics Knowledge Suite™

Note: Most NWA Quality Analyst users will experience automatic updates with minimal additional effort when transitioning to Version 7.1, similar to previous releases. However, some of the changes will require special attention by system administrators responsible for installing software and users who have integrated NWA Quality Analyst with other applications.

Know Before You Upgrade

Using NWA Quality Analyst 7.1 with other Northwest Analytics Applications


Do not update to NWA Quality Analyst 7.1 without contacting NWA Focus EMI Technical Support. Please refer to the update note sent to all NWA Focus EMI customers and contact Northwest Analytics to begin the update process.

NWA Quality Monitor and NWA Quality Information System

Do not update to NWA Quality Analyst 7.1 currently.

Using NWA Quality Analyst with NWA Quality Monitor Data Sets may make them unreadable by NWA Quality Monitor and prevent data from loading into the NWA Quality Information System database. Northwest Analytics will notify NWA Quality Monitor/NWA Quality Information System users regarding update plans later this year (2024).

NWA Quality Analyst Web Server

Do not update to NWA Quality Analyst 7.1 currently.

NWA Quality Analyst Web Server is not compatible with NWA Quality Analyst 7 and cannot use Data Sets created or modified by NWA Quality Analyst 7.1. Northwest Analytics will notify NWA Quality Analyst Web Server users regarding update plans soon.

Upgrading from Previous Versions

While much of the update process is automated, some planning will be necessary to ensure an uneventful conversion. Please review the following notes before proceeding with the update process.

Installing NWA Quality Analyst Version 7.1

For best results, the following steps should be followed in order:

  1. Please start by reviewing these update notes thoroughly.
  2. Review the NWA Quality Analyst 7 Installation Guide.
  3. For a LAN installation, see the Installation Guide and in conjunction read about the discussion of Configuration Files below.
  4. Uninstall your existing NWA Quality Analyst using the Windows ‘Add/Remove Programs’ function. For LAN versions, uninstall each QA Workstation (you may need the NWA Quality Analyst installation CD or the location of SETUP.MSI on your network). All existing NWA Quality Analyst Data Sets will be retained.
  5. Install the new NWA Quality Analyst 7.1 according to the Installation Guide.

Note: If you are updating from a version older than 6.1, review your NWA Quality Analyst Settings and change as described in the Version 6.1 Update Notes (available from on request).

Licensing/Activation Keys

Updating to NWA Quality Analyst Version 7 requires a new "Activation Key," which was provided separately as a part of the upgrade process along with download instructions. You will be prompted to enter the Activation Key when you first start NWA Quality Analyst after installation. The activation key is different from that used for version 6.3 and earlier.

You will note that licensing has changed significantly for NWA Quality Analyst 7 and is now cloud-based. Each NWA Quality Analyst user must now have an internet connection that can access the license server.

License keys are still either single-use or concurrent and require a key specific to the license type. Please review the NWA Quality Analyst 7 Installation Guide “License Activation” section for more information. Contact your NWA Account Manager ( for questions regarding your current licensing and QA Tech Support ( if you have problems with the licensing process.

Configuration Files

If in NWA Quality Analyst 6.x versions you were using the LicensePath in the configuration file (QAEDIT.CFG) as the common location for the QA settings file (QA.NWC), note that this has been changed to "SettingsPath" in NWA Quality Analyst 7.1. You will need to edit the QAEDIT.CFG files on each user's computer accordingly, changing "LicensePath=" to "SettingsPath=".

See the Installation Guide for details.

Note that the QAEDIT.CFG file location is now “C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\NWA". The first time NWA Quality Analyst 7.1 is run by a user, that CFG file is copied from “C:\ProgramData\NWA\QA\Configuration". If you edit the CFG file in

“C:\ProgramData\NWA\QA\Configuration" before starting NWA Quality Analyst, the users will read the settings from that location when they run QA.

The default location for QA.NWC, as previously, if you have not set up to share it, is "C:\ProgramData\NWA".

Icons and Start Menu Entries

The installation will create a Start Menu entry for NWA Quality Analyst 7.1 and a shortcut icon on your desktop. If you have created additional shortcuts pointing to different “Start in” folders, remove the existing icons and create new ones. Also note that the default “Start in” folder has changed from “C:\Program Files (x86)\QA\Tutorial” to “C:\ProgramData\NWA\QA\Tutorial”.

Data Set Compatibility with Previous Versions

While NWA Quality Analyst 7 will read Data Sets created by earlier versions (6.3, 6.2, 6.1), these Versions 6.x (6.3, 6.2, 6.1) and earlier will not be able to read Data Sets created or saved by NWA Quality Analyst 7. Note that NWA Quality Analyst 7.1 will automatically save Data Set “NWH” files created by previous versions in the updated format that can’t be read by the earlier versions. The DAT portion of the Data Set has not changed and can be read by any version of NWA Quality Analyst – the changes are to the NWH file only. We strongly recommend you create a backup of all your NWA Quality Analyst data sets before installing NWA Quality Analyst 7.1.

Note: For earlier versions of NWA Quality Analyst (5.x and older) that use header files with the extension “.HED”, contact QA Tech Support ( for assistance converting the older format to “.NWH”.

Database Connectivity

Data Sets created in NWA Quality Analyst 6.x connected to external data sources should work with NWA Quality Analyst 7 without modification if you follow the recommendations below. Note that NWA Quality Analyst Version 7 uses 64-bit database connections, including both ODBC and Office application files (Excel and Access). Previous versions of NWA Quality Analyst used 32-bit connections only. Please review the following notes and contact if you have questions.

For ODBC connections

You will need to create new, 64-bit ODBC definitions (DSNs) to replace the 32-bit ODBC connections used by Versions 6.x (6.3, 6.2, 6.1). Make sure they are configured identically so they work with your existing Data Sets. NOTE: If you use the same DSN names for the 64-bit ODBC definitions as used for your 32-bit definitions, NWA Quality Analyst will be able to use your existing connected Data Sets without modification.

For Office data sources

Your existing Data Sets connected to Excel files or Access databases should work as-is since NWA Quality Analyst stores the file locations in the Data Set NWH file. Note that you must have either 64-bit Office or the 64-bit Office Runtime installed on your system for NWA Quality Analyst 7 to connect to your Excel and Access files, and they must be in the more current .xlsx and .accdb formats.

Run File Compatibility

The basic Run File syntax has not been changed, and NWA Quality Analyst 7 can read and execute Run Files created for NWA Quality Analyst Versions 6.x (6.3, 6.2, 6.1).

Running NWA Quality Analyst 7.1 with previous versions of NWA Quality Analyst

On the same network:

While it is possible to manage separate groups of NWA Quality Analyst Version 6 and 7.1 users on the same network using separate locations for Data Sets, Northwest Analytics strongly recommends that ALL USERS BE UPDATED AT THE SAME TIME. This avoids file and configuration conflicts and the inevitable modification of NWA Quality Analyst 6 users’ Data Sets by NWA Quality Analyst 7 users, which can make them unreadable using NWA Quality Analyst 6.

On the same system:

Running NWA Quality Analyst Version 7 and earlier versions of NWA Quality Analyst on the same system is technically possible, but can cause multiple issues, including file compatibility and configuration problems. Contact QATech ( if you have questions.

Other Topics: What isn’t in this release of NWA Quality Analyst 7.1

The following items are not included in the initial NWA Quality Analyst 7 release but are planned for inclusion in future releases:

  • The Run File Wizard for creating new Run Files was not implemented in NWA Quality Analyst 7 (a replacement is planned for a future release). Run Files can be created and modified using a text editor such as Notepad or Notepad++, which is how most users manage existing Run Files and create new ones.
  • Support for Pirouette® (IPAK component) Multivariate Models will be included in NWA Quality Analyst 7.2 (expected release July 2024).

NWA Quality Analyst 6.x Functions Removed

The functions listed below have been fully deprecated going into NWA Quality Analyst 7. Many of these functions date back to NWA Quality Analyst 5 and were already noted as obsolete in the User’s Manual. Note that Fixed-Field import and NEWVAR still work with existing definition files.

  • Wonderware Historian (Industrial SQL Server) connection wizard. Connections to Wonderware and other Historians are best configured using the SQL option on the External Database Setup form and including Historian- specific SQL commands or using Stored Procedures on a linked database server.
  • “Fixed-Field” data import definition wizard. Fixed-Field is an older data transfer format no longer in common use. Note that the Fixed-Field import function still works with existing .FFD files and you can create additional .FFD files using a text editor if you use the correct syntax.
  • Run File commands APPEND, CPLOT, CPRINT, CSCREEN, SHELL, SYSTEM have been removed. These commands are obsolete or no longer work with newer versions of Windows.
  • The “NEWVAR” Variable Definition wizard. The NEWVAR Run File command still works using existing .VDF files but the Wizard for creating them is no longer included. The function of NEWVAR has been replaced by NWA Quality Analyst’s built-in calculated Variable capability. Note that you can create additional .VDF files using a text editor if you use the correct syntax.
  • The NWFixKeys utility, which was included for use by NWA Technical Support to attempt to correct problems with Key Columns and parameters linked to specific Rows in the Data Set. Contact QATech ( if you have problems with Key Columns.
  • License and User Count Paths are no longer used. See “Configuration Files” above and the NWA Quality Analyst 7 installation guide.