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Re: Minitab to JMP : Understanding file saves


New Contributor


Apr 20, 2017

I've been through "Moving From Minitab® to JMP®: A Transition Guide" and introductory lessons and manual, but still cant follow how the graph files, data files, and projects are being saved, vs what Minitab does.


In minitab, I could open a project, put in multiple data files, and associated plots, and save it all in one *.mtw file. I can open mtw, change some data files, plots and save project with a different name. It is all contained.


With JMP, I have to save each data file seperately, and keep an eye on where I save it, save each plot seperately, and then before I know it, have one sub folder swell with all these files. (In minitab these would be corraled in one mtw file). On saving plots, I am asked if I need to embed data file, which I do, realizing that if the original data file changes, this will remain the same. Now if I open a plot, and it opens the embedded file, and I change something in this file data file, what happens? Now I may have two files with same name, different contents. Sometimes I may need same data file but with different rows excluded, so now I have to save each data file seperately?


I have created JMP projects and added documents (graphs and plots) to get a semblence of minitab project files, but files seen inside JMP prj are pointers? If I move files to different directory what happens?


I hope someone can help here. It would also be nice to have a one page slide on file structure differences. This aspect is the first one a minitab user faces and I havn't seen a clear description.




Super User


Jun 22, 2012

Let me start off by telling you that I understand your frustration.  Moving from one system to another is almost always a frustrating experience.  And it seems that the more knowledge and experience one has in the first system, the tougher it is to see how all of that will be possible or easy in the new system.  I have worked with both Minitab and JMP for many years.  Both systems have their strengths and weaknesses.  

I will also say, that as you move towards the level of understanding in JMP as you obvously have with Minitab I think you will find JMP has some features that Minitab just can not compete with.

But let me attempt to address some of your stated concerns.

Your statement about the ease of opening a project in Minitab, and then having it save automatically all of the data tables, analyses, graphs, etc. is very nice.  And it works well with small to medium projects.  In my opinion, the current JMP project structure works far better with large projects, with data from multiple sources.  Minitab data tables, excel spreadsheets, raw data tables, webpages, etc can all be integrated into the project, and that project can be saved and passed to a collegue, and when opened, the complete file structure of all of those folder and files are available to them, in the same structure as the originator of the project.

More often than using a project, I use Save Session Settings.  This is a great feature, that lets you save the entire envionment you are working in, to a single file.  And then at a later point, go back and run that saved file, to recreate the total environment you were running in.  I would check it is a nice feature.  And, you can save as many of the different Session Settings as you want.

Concerning your statemet of saving each data file separatly, and each graph separatly, I think this is a point were the JMP pardyme is different than Minitab.  JMP has a very strong scripting environment behind the scenes of all of JMP.  And JMP uses it to make the system work to its advantage.  You stated that you have been saving your graphs to JMP Reports, which require you to embed the data into the file.  What I believe you should start looking into, is the saving of the graphs, into the JMP data tables.  Well, actually the graph isn;t saved, the the script that will regenerate the graph is saved.  And, you can save as many of them as you want into that data table.  And it isn't just graphs, all of the platforms in JMP can save their scripts to the data table.  And then brought up and redisplayed whenever you want them.  Additionally, any Local Data Filters are saved with the scripts. Using this technique, multiple data tables are not opened up like they are if you save your graphs as JMP Reports.

One final comment.  One of the major paradyme differences is the concept of interactivity.  Minitab, for the most part, generates static output.  Making changes to analyses and graphs, requrie that you go back, (CNTL/E) remember that key pattern, and rerun the graph, or analysis.  JMP assumes, that you are exploring your data, and the filtering, setting, colors, etc should be done interactively, and that maybe from what you discover on the display, you need to take the identified data and move on to additional analyses.  That capability is where JMP really shines.


I hope this provides you with some insight on helping you move more smoothly into the JMP world.  If you have more questions, don't hesitate to post them in the Discussion Forum.


New Contributor


Apr 20, 2017

Thanks, Jim, for your great input. I'll try the suggestions you made. I hope JMP staff can generate a mini white paper, hopefully visual, on how the file structures work. Kudos!


Community Member


Dec 13, 2017

Welcome from Fairyland to nightmare...

I need now to use JMP for over a year after 13years of minitab...


JMP works wellf or R&D,

Minitab for automatisation (due to exact macro writing, and all in one file sturcture, that is really helpfull in compare to JMP.

The only way to get near results like minitab is to >save script (upper left red arrow) and  then "to data table..." this way you can reopen (most of the time) the graph as it was closed before.

but Printing to pdf or do a dokumentation, copy to powerpoint in a propriate format are features that are missing yet...


If all have JMP you can use also journal like a chronological workbook... but due to license issues (no floating license) for production companies this is not an option. in medical with more JMP license may this works fine.


another trial is to save the graphs as "save as" "Interactive HTML with Data" or without data... but this works at the moment 80%...(if your're lucky)


Hope this will be improved soon......