RATS Version 8 is now shipping for Windows, Macintosh and UNIX. Version 8 features very extensive changes to the documentation, with a new "Introduction" book taking the place of the old "Getting Started" and also replacing the first three chapters of the "User's Guide". This emphasizes the process of getting information in to and out of RATS in an efficient and accurate fashion, describing each of the window types, the wizards and the interface. The main documentation ("User's Guide" and "Reference Manual") has been edited extensively to address issues that have come up in forum and on the discussion list over the past three years.
The biggest changes with RATS version 8 are actually below the surface, as we redid much of the internal structure to permit expansion of the supported data types to now include more complicated structures such as vector of vectors of series. This will make it easier for us to expand the programming language in the future.
Another emphasis with version 8 (versus 7.3) was the general improvement of the data handling. We added the ability to read MATLAB .mat files, and cleaned up some issues with certain types of Excel 2007 files and older Stata files from 7.3. The data wizard has been improved quite a bit, allowing you to select the target data scheme, even if different from that on the data file. The READ and WRITE instructions can now take data from and to spreadsheet files like Excel, which was a frequently requested option.
For more information on the new version, you can read the newsletter at:
To place an order, just go to http://www.estima.com and click on the "Online Orders" link.
If you want to check out the new Introduction book, you can download that here:
If you have an older version of RATS, the key changes to the interface are in:
Section 1.3.1 Series Edit Window
Section 1.3.2 Report Windows, particularly the ability to reformat and export to TeX
Section 1.4.1 and 2.4. The Data Wizard, which can now scan multiple sheets in an Excel file, and includes options for compacting data.
Section 1.7 The RATS Data file wizard
Page Int-118 The TOP, LEFT and NOLABELS options on DATA and the new ORG=MULTIROWS, all of which make it easier to read data from data files which have non-standard layouts, like descriptive text and marginal comments.