FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions about the Next Gen Certification Database

Why did AHRI undertake this project?

The current AHRI Directory, while a huge leap forward from the paper copies (remember those?), was simply not designed for today’s certification program needs. A more comprehensive rationale is available here.

Is data entry easier on the new system?

As with any new system, there will be a learning curve for users, both those who enter data and those who access it. Based on user feedback, AHRI continues to add features to the system to make this as easy and efficient as possible. Once users are familiar with the system, we are confident you will not know how you lived without it.

You can practice by using the testing/training site, at http://nextgen.ahridirectory.org. You may log in using your current Netforum user name and password. Please contact nextgenprep@ahrinet.org if you have difficulty logging into or using the test site. In addition, AHRI is preparing a series of training videos for the new site, so watch for announcements about those.

Do Private Brand Marketers (PBMs) have login access to the NextGen system to control/view their own data?

No, PBMs do not have login access to NextGen. Similar to the current Directory system, the corresponding Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) will manage data on behalf of the PBM.

Will certificates be available for discontinued listings?

Yes, certificates will be available for discontinued listings. There may be a delay in accessing these certificates until sometime after the launch in January.

What do you do with the testing feedback provided by users?

User feedback guides AHRI in determining the critical features/changes users require for the system to launch. This is one reason why user testing is so important! All feedback is under consideration and is being prioritized by AHRI based on need and feasibility. We can’t promise we can accommodate everything by launch time, but we will launch a useable system. We will continue to fine-tune and enhance the system after the launch.

You can see the reported issues log in the Resources box on this page.

What enhancements are being made before launch?

AHRI believes the most critical enhancements are those which allow data to be entered, edited, and viewed easier and faster. We don’t want any company reporting they are unable to access their data. On that note, here’s a preview of the enhancements to be released in the coming weeks (and before launch):

  • Ability to upload .txt (tab delimited) files to add/edit data, provided these .txt files meet the data expectations (i.e. fields, expected content) of our system. This is in addition to the current functionality which allows you to upload completed .xlsx templates.
  • Filterable mass add and edit templates
  • Filters allowing exclusion of records that are locked for editing from mass edit templates.
  • Moving “Sold In” to the top of the Single Add/Edit Record page so it’s easy to know what fields are required based on Sold In selection
  • Adding Brand and Advanced Search filter criteria to View/Download Licensee Data and OEM Data functions. These additional filters will give participants more flexibility to break down large record sets into manageable and meaningful data sets.
  • Adding Advanced Search filter criteria to Coil Descriptor reports. These filters will give USAC and USHP participants more flexibility to break down large record sets into manageable and meaningful data sets.

Other enhancements will be made as time allows.

AHRI also addresses system problems and program-specific issues such as missing fields or bad validations. Critical ones will be fixed.

I was unable to download the User Guide when I logged into the system. Are you going to fix this?

The user guide was unavailable to some users due to a faulty configuration on our server. This issue is fixed as of 9/26. If anyone continues to experience problems downloading the user guide, please contact nextgenprep@ahrinet.org immediately.

I am having trouble logging into the NextGen site. Can you help me?

Two conditions must be met before an individual is capable of logging into the NextGen site and performing any activities as a logged in user:


  1. The user must possess, and enter, an AHRI username and password. This is the same username and password an individual would use to log into AHRI’s website, iSTARS, or to register for AHRI Spring and Annual Meetings.
  2. The user must be configured within the NextGen site, meaning the user is associated with the correct Licensees, Programs, and Login Locations.

If the first condition is not met and the user tries to log in, he/she will receive a “User Name is Not Valid” message. This indicates the user is entering incorrect login information or does not possess an AHRI account. The account will lock after three unsuccessful login attempts, so the user should click the “Forgot Password?” link before that happens. This will instruct the user to enter an email address.

If the entered email address is not recognized, that indicates there is no AHRI account associated with that address. The user should contact nextgenprep@ahrinet.org to request an AHRI account.

If the entered email address is recognized, the user will be prompted to enter some questions and information to change the password on the account. After a new password is set, the user may return to the NextGen site and log in with the correct username and password.

If the second condition is not met, when the user logs into the system he/she will not be able to perform any actions because the Licensee Name, Program, and/or Login Locations will appear blank. The user should contact nextgenprep@ahrinet.org and AHRI will configure the user’s NextGen permissions.

As always, only individuals representing an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) with a current License Agreement on file with AHRI are given login access to the Directory. Any Private Brand Marketer (PBM) data is managed by the OEM. The NextGen Directory also features login access for data subscribers.

Why is AHRI requiring one brand name per record in NextGen Directory?

The current Directory does not require, but allows, a record to be shared by multiple brands. Multi-branded records have frequently been difficult for end users to search, AHRI has had to create one-off processes to transform these records into a format the California Energy Commission (CEC) would accept, and the records have been difficult to manage when a Licensee wants to make a change to only one of the Brand Names. This has compromised the integrity of the data in some cases. Therefore, the NextGen database requires a record to only have one brand name, each with a unique reference number. As the data is migrated from the current Directory platform to the NextGen platform, multi-branded records have been subject to “brand splitting.” These singularly-branded records have been assigned new reference numbers. To maintain continuity, the NextGen system captures both the “old” (multi-branded) reference number and the new (unique) reference number for the record. A public user searching for a record using the old reference number or the new one will have quick and successful results because the system search functions accept either.

If a PBM record is related to a multi-branded OEM record, that PBM record must be re-paired with one of the singularly-branded OEM records. AHRI contacted affected Licensees to provide this pairing. If not paired correctly, the PBM record will not be migrated to the NextGen system correctly and may not be searchable. Similarly, if an ICM record (unitary air-conditioning and heat pump programs) record is paired with a multi-branded System record, the ICM record must be re-paired with one of the singularly-branded System records. AHRI continues to work with affected ICMs to provide this pairing. If not paired correctly, the ICM record will not be migrated to the NextGen system correctly and may not be searchable.

The benefits of brand-splitting are as follows:

  • Easier searching
  • Flexibility for Licensees to independently assign and manage model statuses and/or product ratings of various Brand/Model Number combinations
  • CEC requires AHRI submitted data by individual brand/model number combination
  • Allows consistent treatment of all records in the database
    • provides repeatable/less risky maintenance of the database structure and reporting tools, including a reduction in one-off manual process and data manipulation scripting
    • paves way for future data analytics or need to split brands for other regulatory bodies, if desired/needed
AHRI acknowledges brand splitting creates significantly more records to manage and view for some participants. The mass add/edit and view/download data features are designed to help. AHRI continues to optimize these features based on user feedback. Prior to launch, AHRI is implementing the following functional changes to ease record handling, expedite the uploading/downloading of data, and allow users to better target the data set of interest:



Functionality

Single Add Record

Single Edit Record

Add Multiple Records

Edit Multiple Records

View/Download Licensee Data and OEM Data

Coil Descriptor Reports

Moving [Sold In] to top of the data entry screen so non-applicable data fields are greyed out

Y

Y

Acceptance of .txt (tab delimited) upload files

Y

Filterable templates

Y

Y

Addition of filter choice to exclude locked records – users can avoid time spent trying to unsuccessfully edit such records

Y

Addition of Brand (pick one, some, or all) and Advanced Search filters prior to generating data results

Y

Y

I just added/edited some records in the NextGen system. I’d like to see how my data is going to be published. How do I do that?

If your program is not reported to the Department of Energy AND your records do not require review and approval by AHRI before they can be published, your data will be publicly searchable as soon as it passes record validation criteria. However, if your program is reported to the Department of Energy OR your records require review and approval by AHRI before they can be published, there will be a delay between the time you successfully upload the records to the database and when they become publicly searchable.

In either case, there are several ways in which you can see your data while logged into the system:


  1. To view OEM or PBM records belonging to a specific Licensee and which you added/edited within the past two weeks, go to your Mass Upload Status dashboard and download the desired Uploaded Records file(s). This file will show the reference numbers assigned to the records along with the data you entered for these records. Some fields may not be publicly searchable; however, you may hide or delete these data columns. If looking at PBM records, some public data (i.e. certified ratings) will not appear because that is inherited information from the related OEM records and is not stored with the PBM records.
  2. To view Active and Production Stopped records, download a mass edit template with no filter criteria (or add filters if a targeted data set is desired). Some fields may not be publicly searchable; however, you may hide or delete these data columns. If looking at PBM records, some public data (i.e. certified ratings) will not appear because that is inherited information from the related OEM records and is not stored with the PBM records.
  3. Use the View/Download Licensee Data feature to view records belonging to a particular Licensee (OEM or PBM) and listed with a particular Brand Name. This feature allows the user access to all published and non-published data fields, including fields users have not had access to in the past. A user can create a custom market report by selecting desired data fields, designating field order, and setting filter criteria.

    If looking at PBM records, some public data (i.e. certified ratings) will not appear because that is inherited information from the related OEM records and is not stored with the PBM records.
  4. Use the View/Download OEM Data feature to see records belonging to a particular OEM Licensee and listed under one, some, or all of that Licensee’s Brand Names. This feature allows the user access to all published and non-published data fields, including fields users have not had access to in the past. A user can create a custom market report by selecting desired data fields, designating field order, and setting filter criteria.

Being considered for future system enhancement:

  • Consolidating the View/Download Licensee Data and View/Download OEM Data tools into one View/Download Data feature. This feature would allow the user to select one, some, or all OEM and/or PBM Licensees to which he has access, and one, some, or all Brand Names belonging to the selected Licensee(s).
  • Displaying PBM records with the inherited OEM data
  • Creating a “Quick Published View” option which automatically includes published data fields only
  • Creating a “Quick DOE Preview” option which automatically includes data fields from the DOE template only
What are the new Model Statuses being introduced in the NextGen Directory and how do they compare to the current Directory?

The NextGen Directory:

  • clarifies the intent of all model statuses
  • introduces a new model status, Production Stopped (which replaces the old definition of Discontinued)
  • redefines Discontinued model status (which replaces the old definition of Archived)

COMPARISION OF MODEL STATUSES AND FEATURES

Current Directory

NextGen Directory

Model Status

Searchable?

PDF Certificate Available?

Model Status

Searchable?

PDF Certificate Available?

Active – Model Status of 'Active' means models are currently in production.

Yes

Yes

Active – Models with "Active" Model Status are those that an AHRI Certification Program Participant is currently producing AND selling or offering for sale; OR new models that are being marketed but are not yet being produced.

Yes

Yes

Discounted – 'Discontinued' means that the manufacturer has elected to stop producing, yet stock is still available.

Yes

Yes

Production Stopped – Models with “Production Stopped” Model Status are those that an AHRI Certification Program Participant is no longer producing BUT is still selling or offering for sale.

Yes

Yes

Archived – Models in “Archive” status are those that the Participant no longer produces.

No

No*

Discontinued – Models with “Discontinued” Model Status are those that an AHRI Certification Program Participant model no longer produces AND is no longer selling or offering for sale.

Yes
(for 5 years)

Yes
(for 5 years)

Obsolete – 'Obsolete' means that the manufacturer is required to stop manufacturing due to a test failure in the AHRI Certification Programs.

Yes

No

Obsolete – Models with "Obsolete" Model Status are those that an AHRI Certification Program Participant no longer produces, sells, or offers for sale following a failed test.

Yes
(for 5 years)

No

*Inquiries can be made to AHRI to receive a Confirmation of Ratings



NEXTGEN SEARCH TYPES BY MODEL STATUS

Model Status

Universal Search

Quick Search

Advanced Search

Discontinued/
Obsolete Search

Subscriber Search

Active

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

Production Stopped

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

Discontinued

Y (for 5 years)

N

N

Y (for 5 years)

Y (for 5 years)

Obsolete

Y (for 5 years)

N

N

Y (for 5 years)

Y (for 5 years)




Subscriber FAQs

AHRI is launching a new Directory platform. When is this happening and does it affect data subscription services?

AHRI is launching a new Directory platform, informally referred to as the NextGen Directory, on January 8, 2018. This new Directory includes many enhancements for all types of users, including data subscription holders.

As a Data Subscriber, will the way I access my subscription data change when the NextGen Directory is launched?

Yes! You will no longer receive a weekly email from AHRI requiring you to click a link and download a file containing a “snapshot” of AHRI Directory data. Instead, you will have NextGen Directory login credentials allowing you to access real-time AHRI Certified data whenever you want it.

Will there be other benefits to data subscription service holders in addition to being able to access real-time AHRI Certified data?

Yes! In addition to having access to real-time AHRI Certified data when you want it, you will have the ability to create and save customized queries to target specific data sets. For example, you will be able to create and save queries focusing on certain brands, or products that meet a certain efficiency and fall within a certain capacity range, or whatever criteria you designate to filter data results. A user may save up to 10 queries that can be run, modified, or deleted at any time. The data can be viewed on the screen or exported into an Excel file. As always, data subscription holders are not limited to 250 record download files. The exported data set will be complete based on the query that is run by the user. Finally, data subscribers will also have access to five years’ worth of Discontinued and Obsolete data.

Will existing data subscriptions be cancelled or carried over when AHRI switches to the NextGen Directory?

Existing subscribers will continue under the current agreements through March 31, 2018. In January, we will release the new pricing structure that will be implemented as of April 1, 2018. All subscribers will be changed to an April 1 renewal instead of rolling renewals. If you wish to continue your subscription after March 31, you must sign a new agreement by February 28. New invoices will be issued to continuing subscribers with a prorated share of the old subscription payment applied to your new invoice. For those not wishing to continue, refunds for the prorated remainder of the existing agreement will be processed.

If you are an AHRI member company that currently receives data weekly, you will receive login credentials to continue your access in January 2018.

Can I see how the new system will look/perform?

The Subscriber Feature video demonstrates the new tool.

I am a current data subscription holder. How/when will I receive login credentials to access the NextGen Directory?

Prior to the end of 2017 AHRI will be in contact with you to establish your login credentials.

Can our organization have a shared username and password to access the NextGen system or must the login credentials be individualized?

It is highly recommended login credentials be individualized and not shared by multiple people. Not only does this allow each user to maximize the benefit of the customized, saved query feature, it also minimizes the risk of data misuse. For example, if an organization pays for a subscription and has an employee leave, it’s doubtful the organization wants to keep giving free subscription data access to that individual.