AEC Cloud Expertise Applied to Microsoft OBA Experience

“Does Excel count?”

I couldn’t help but chuckle at this statement from respondent in a recent construction technology survey. This obvious tongue-in-cheek response to a question about integration sheds light on the fact that while as an industry, construction has indeed come very far with regards to adopting advanced IT applications, in many ways it still relies on some of the tried-and-true tools with which the industry originated.

What’s more; nearly two in every 10 respondents to that same survey name Microsoft Excel as their primary tool during the estimating process. Think about that for a moment: A rather substantial number of construction firms are relying on Microsoft Excel at perhaps the most critical stage of their projects.

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With all of this in mind, to that respondent’s statement I reply, “Yes! Excel absolutely counts.”

And perhaps much of that has to do with the fact that Excel really isn’t what it used to be—it’s much better than ever. This is thanks in large part to fact that Microsoft has made some rather substantial investments behind the scenes to ensure its suite of Office applications can integrate better with the broader range of applications in use across business today.

obasCentral to that strategy are Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs). As applications written for Microsoft Office and based on .NET technology, OBAs uses Web services to connect to a standard Line of Business (LOB) or other application.

For instance, a Microsoft Excel-based OBA, allows for a pre-mapped, secure, two-way connection over the Internet between Excel and the LOB. This has proven to be a somewhat cumbersome process using traditional import/export methods. OBAs work by using Microsoft Office as the interface to capture information that is sent via Web services in XML format.

What this means is that you can perform work outside what some perceive to be as the constraints of a LOB—collaborating with extended team members, for example—yet still remain connected to the Microsoft Office system.

This presents the ease of using familiar Office-based applications while still being able to connect to other enterprise applications. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the most commonly used OBAs in construction are based on Microsoft Excel.

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Beyond Excel The value of OBAs goes beyond Microsoft Excel. In fact, OBAs can be developed to extend LOB applications to more and more products. For instance, the ability to build a workflow application for managing documents. Or implementing an application that consolidates multiple user interfaces into a single Office system document or SharePoint Server Web page.

Important to note on that last point is the fact that while OBAs and SharePoint have a common technology foundation, OBAs do not require SharePoint to run. However, as SharePoint and Microsoft Office evolve, the lines between SharePoint and OBAs continue to blur, to which another class of applications called Office Web Applications (OWAs) have emerged.

A Smooth and Specific OBA Experience Some companies choose to buy OBAs from their application vendors, or go the route of building their own. Of course, there are challenges associated with both routes; the former working with a vendor that does not have the expertise, and the latter requiring in-depth programming knowledge and resources.

When it comes to the use of OBAs that are specifically designed for the AEC industry, AEC Cloud is the pioneer.

We have been building OBAs as products for this industry since 2009. We offer an online source called the OBA Store, which contains both pre-build content, along with the ability to help your custom build OBAs. We manage the OBA content that we build, along with the related licensing.

The OBAs we provide are designed, written, packaged, licensed and managed by AEC Cloud. This means that the OBA Store—along with the OBA Cloud, which is used for OBA hosting—is designed and managed by us, allowing us to have full control over the OBAs.

Trimble Buildings/Meridian Systems were the first AEC software provider to openly provide web services that could be used with Microsoft’s OBA technology—and we were early adopters. But that doesn’t mean our OBA options are strictly limited to Trimble Buildings/Meridian Systems. In fact, we work to help customize OBAs specific to your environment.

Our OBAs are commercial applications, and that is the way in which we manage them. We help you understand which ones are most popular, can help provide you with better assistance with regards to support agreements, version control, and more.

obasWorking with OBAs specific to the AEC industry shouldn’t be taken lightly. As you look to extend the capabilities of your LOB applications to ensure that you can effectively work offline and capture critical information that lives in spreadsheets, work with a partner that has deep expertise and knowledge of the industry, along with a track record of success. It will help ensure you experience is one that is both seamless and specific.

This sounds great. Where do I get OBAs?

At the OBA Store!

Start browsing the largest collection of AEC related OBAs now!

Sign Up Here or Login if you already have an account.

 

 

Proven Reliability and Leadership For Over 16 Years

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300AEC Cloud has been on the scene working with the largest AEC companies in the field for over 16 years. Leaders in the industry rely on our expertise and proven track record to help their companies stay ahead with their Enterprise Application Hosting needs. Just ask Hensel Phelps or Turner Construction.

Finding an experienced and reliable hosting partner is critical in seeing a successful outcome.

Here at AEC Cloud, we know what you need before you do. We have been hosting applications and data for some of the largest companies in the AEC space for over 16 years. We can help guide you through the maze of cloud hosting and determine exactly what your company needs today, and what it will need tomorrow.

  • Find out what AEC Cloud can do for your business migration to the cloud.
  • Schedule a live demo today and see for yourself the possibilities we can offer.

Call us today to get started: 866 417-7230

Email us now with your questions: sales@aeccloud.com

Eliminate Import/Export Of Data: Use Excel to Update Your Line of Business Apps

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OBAs, Microsoft Office Business Applications, are a great way to extend your Line of Business (LOB) applications so you can capture critical information that lives in spreadsheets and work offline without missing a beat.

Would you like to…

  • Use Excel to update Prolog, Primavera, Viewpoint and other AEC Industry applications?
  • Utilize standard forms your employees already understand?
  • Update information in one location and have it update in multiple applications?
  • Work online or offline from anywhere anytime?
  • Stop mapping fields and supporting import/export issues?

 

obas

 

Advantages of using Microsoft Office Business Applications:

  • Users can work in Microsoft Excel to manage information related to submittals, punch lists, and most other features.  
  • You can use our standard forms or base them on yours.
  • OBAs can be used with any application that has web services.

Want to learn more about connecting your Line of Business Applications with Microsoft Excel?

Fill in the form to the right >>

 

Seven OBA Updates Released In OBA Store

Updates for seven OBAs have been released in the OBA Store. Click the link for each OBA title to view the details and specifications for each.

 

Office Business Applications

(OBAs) built on the Microsoft Office Business Application framework, are a great way to extend your Line of Business (LOB) applications so you can capture critical information that lives in spreadsheets and work offline without missing a beat.

Would you like to…

  • Use Excel with Prolog and other AEC Industry applications?
  • Utilize standard forms everyone already understands?
  • Update information in minutes vs. hours?
  • Work online or offline from anywhere anytime?
  • Stop mapping fields and supporting import/export issues?

A common example of using OBAs in the AEC Industry is with Prolog (a construction project management application).  Users can work in Microsoft Excel to manage information related to submittals, punch list, and most other feature.  Using an OBA based on Excel, you can use our standard forms or base them on yours.  While OBAs work great with Prolog, OBAs can be used with any application that has web services.

The OBA Store is the online source for Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs).  We have standard OBAs for most features supported by Prolog and are always looking to build them for other Line of Business applications based on client demand and Vendors opening up their web service technologies.  Get a free account to access and browse to the largest catalog of OBAs for the AEC Industry!

Sign Up Here or Login Here if you already have an account.

The OBA Cloud is the online source for hosting Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs).  When combined with The OBA Store there’s simply no better way to buy, manage, and deploy your OBAs.
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Catalog #: 78589, 78590, 78763, 78764, 78863, 78862, 78998

Oracle's Primavera P6 Enterprise Project Portfolio Management

Offerings_Hosting_370x320Experience Cloud Hosted Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) products!

We host all Oracle Primavera EPPM software.
Over 15 years hands on experience cloud hosting for some of the largest construction firms in the industry.
Project Planning with Oracle is undeniably the industry leader and standard. Cloud hosting Oracle Primavera EPPM software opens up the door to a large array of powerful tools and possibilities.
From the smallest project to enterprise level projects, Oracle EPPM delivers. Our cloud hosted solution offers a robust platform for mobility and real time communication between all the team members involved on a project.
Managing, executing, prioritizing and planning has never been easier. These are just some of the features you can expect:
  • Powerful Oracle Primavera P6 software. The industry standard.
  • Infrastructure is managed by our professional team with over 15 years experience.
  • Mobility. Real time access and communication keeps the project moving ahead without unnecessary delays.
  • Team collaboration. Team members all have access to the same set of data and updates.
  • Realization of a reduced IT budget by minimizing hardware and OS management and costs.

Organizations that have made a sound choice in implementing Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management (EPPM) range of applications such as P6, Contract Management, Unifier, continue to majorly invest in maintaining and procuring Software, Platforms, and Infrastructure like servers, storage, services - costs which could be minimized by moving to cloud hosted environments.

Moving applications to cloud hosting environments enables organizations to gain huge cost savings by paying for only what they need and not be hindered in worrying about procurement, maintenance of related software and hardware and focus entirely on ensuring the success of the construction projects.

Oracle Software We Host:

So what are you waiting for? It is time to at least see a demo of what this technology can do for you and your business' productivity and bottom line.

See our offerings in action. Schedule a live demo today!

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300

AEC Cloud Updates Portal Software with Patch 20: Unified Application Management

Home_Slider_Software_840_100pAEC Cloud recently released Patch 20 for the Portal Software. This new patch covers some bug fixes of the Portal Software, giving users and administrators control over application access and management. "Unified Application Management" is the key feature of Portal Software.

Fixes Fix #1:

  • The user count issues in Companies Page. a. Application Section shows incorrect count in the list. b. Assign Application section shows inactive users in the list. c. Related Accounts section shows  incorrect count in the list.

Fix #2:

  • 'Related Users' matrix displays incorrect applications on following scenario. Scenario: Remove all apps from a user  via the Contacts page, save and then reassign only on App to the user - Matrix will display access to all/other apps

What is Portal Software?

Developed with a cloud mindset, the AEC Cloud Portal Software is purpose built for:

  • Companies seeking a unified end user
  • Unified application administrator experience
  • Currently used by more than 20,000 users
  • Seamless self provisioning experience

Major Functionality includes:

  • Central company/contact repository
  • Secure launching, provisioning and single sign on for various applications
  • Activity based billing module
  • Integrated with Active Directory
  • Includes a web services layer that can be used to leverage certain features for other integrations

 

If you are thinking about moving all or part of your business to the cloud, give us a call and let us show you how to leverage the myriad benefits of cloud hosting.

Trimble Prolog Upgraded to 9.92 MR3 on AEC Cloud

Offerings_Hosting_370x320AEC Cloud has updated the Trimble Prolog to version 9.92 MR3 in our hosted software offerings. The new version has many new features, the most important is the ability to view data on mobile devices.

From the Meridian Systems website: The Trimble Prolog software is the leading construction project management software available on the market today. Manage all aspects of your project from record keeping, from the construction site to the office.

Here is what's new:

  • New in the Browser: Prolog Converge 9.9
  • New UI
  • Broader Browser Support
  • Forms in New Windows
  • Reports with attachments
  • New Admin Functionality
  • New Default Configuration
  • Company/Contact Improvements
  • In-form videos
  • New in Mobile: Prolog Mobile 9.9
    • File Library

Other Improvements

Significant enhancements have been made in terms of performance improvements and usability, including:

  • The Drawings & Specs form has been added
  • Streamlined Initialization Process
  • On-Demand Record Refresh
  • Record Locking & “Add Comments”
  • Multiple Checklist Enhancements
  • Snapshots of Pin Locations may now be captured and attached to records
  • Additional Annotation Controls improve markup capabilities
  • Camera Enhancements

Product release information: http://www.meridiansystems.com/products/prolog/whats-new/

 

AEC Cloud Hosting has over 15 years of hands on real world experience in protecting data for the largest construction firms in the industry. We have the know how and expertise so you can rest at night knowing your data is secure.

Find out what AEC Cloud can do for your business migration to the cloud. Schedule a live demo today and see for yourself the possibilities we can offer.

 

Portal Updated: Columbia Soft Document Locator to Version 7.1

Offerings_Hosting_370x320We are happy to announce that our proprietary Portal Software, has been updated with the latest Columbia Soft Document Locator to version 7.1 The new version has many new features, the most important is the ability to view data on mobile devices.

From the Columbia Soft website: WebTools version 7 is engineered using the latest HTML5 technology to provide an intuitive,easy-to-use navigation.

 Here’s what’s new:

  • Works on all major browsers, including Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
  • Faster page loading and improved speed performance.
  • Designed for easy finger-friendly navigation on touchscreens and tablets.
  • A “Favorites” selector makes it easy to build a list of everyday files.
  • Informative context menus are available at a right-click.

Product release information: http://www.documentlocator.com/downloads/docs/versionreleases/version7.pdf http://www.documentlocator.com/downloads/docs/versionreleases/version7-1.pdf

 

AEC Cloud Hosting has over 15 years of hands on real world experience in protecting data for the largest construction firms in the industry. We have the know how and expertise so you can rest at night knowing your data is secure.

Find out what AEC Cloud can do for your business migration to the cloud. Schedule a live demo today and see for yourself the possibilities we can offer.

 

Enterprise Cloud Application Hosting

Free your IT department to more than monitoring and patching.

cloud-saasHosting your business applications at AEC Cloud brings resource, financial and innovative benefits to the company.

Allow your IT department to bring value

If you are still hosting your business applications on premises, then you already know that your IT staff's time is consumed with patching software, upgrading hardware and monitoring backups. Many research groups have found that up to 80% of IT staffing time is consumed by "keep the lights on projects."

By moving your business applications off premises, you can free up your IT staff to do more innovation that brings real value to the company.

Business application performance and scalability

Users of business applications need on demand performance and reliability to do their job efficiently. Cloud hosted applications deliver this whether in a private cloud, public cloud or a hybrid solution configuration. Users can be added or decreased on demand allowing for fast elasticity of resources. Scalability in a word.

So what are you waiting for? It is time to at least see a demo of what this technology can do for you and your business' productivity and bottom line.

See our offerings in action. Schedule a live demo today!

 

Software we host:

OBA: Contracts Detailed Form

78307_TOS_9017_Contracts_DetailedForm_Thumbnail v1_0Description: The Contracts Detailed Form OBA is an Excel-based form that enables users to create, read, update and delete the details of Contracts records in Prolog Manager depending on Prolog Security settings. Installation Requirements

  • Operating System:
    • Windows 7 (64 bit) / Windows 8.1 (64bit)
  • Microsoft Office:
    • Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2013 (64 bit)
  • Prolog Connect:
    • Prolog Connect Version 1.01.0128
  • Other Softwares:
    • Microsoft .Net 4.0 Framework or higher

 

You can learn more about this OBA by viewing the PDF file here

 

Office Business Applications

(OBAs) built on the Microsoft Office Business Application framework, are a great way to extend your Line of Business (LOB) applications so you can capture critical information that lives in spreadsheets and work offline without missing a beat.

Would you like to…

  • Use Excel with Prolog and other AEC Industry applications?
  • Utilize standard forms everyone already understands?
  • Update information in minutes vs. hours?
  • Work online or offline from anywhere anytime?
  • Stop mapping fields and supporting import/export issues?

A common example of using OBAs in the AEC Industry is with Prolog (a construction project management application).  Users can work in Microsoft Excel to manage information related to submittals, punch list, and most other feature.  Using an OBA based on Excel, you can use our standard forms or base them on yours.  While OBAs work great with Prolog, OBAs can be used with any application that has web services.

The OBA Store is the online source for Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs).  We have standard OBAs for most features supported by Prolog and are always looking to build them for other Line of Business applications based on client demand and Vendors opening up their web service technologies.  Get a free account to access and browse to the largest catalog of OBAs for the AEC Industry!

Sign Up Here or Login Here if you already have an account.

The OBA Cloud is the online source for hosting Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs).  When combined with The OBA Store there’s simply no better way to buy, manage, and deploy your OBAs.
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Catalog #: 78307

Cloud Hosted Software is the Present

Hosting your Software in the Cloud

Home_CaseStudiesWidget_DECC_370x320Hosting software on external cloud server has now become the standard for business. The overall cost advantage coupled with lower maintenance has made this option the "go to" for IT departments globally.

Access to the software is no longer tied to the office environment, freeing your workforce to be productive where ever they are located.

This new method of accessing software has revolutionized the workspace and business operations overall.

Software We Host

We can, and do, host almost any software out there. Below is a list of some of the software we are currently hosting.

If you don’t see yours in there, just call or email us to find out more information.

Software

Platform

  • Citrix
  • Microsoft

Infrastructure

  • Cisco
  • EMC
  • Equinix
  • Juniper
  • Microsoft
  • VMWare

See our offerings in action. Schedule a live demo today!

OBA: Submittal Packages, Detailed Form Released to the OBA Store

78031_TOS_9017_SubmittalPackages_DetailedForm_Thumbnail v1_0The Submittal Packages, Detailed Form, OBA is an Excel-based form that enables users to create, read, update and delete the details of records in Prolog Manager depending on Prolog Security settings. Installation Requirements

  • Operating System:
    • Windows 7 (64 bit) / Windows 8.1 (64bit)
  • Microsoft Office:
    • Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2013 (64 bit)
  • Prolog Connect:
    • Prolog Connect Version 1.01.0128
  • Other Softwares:
    • Microsoft .Net 4.0 Framework or higher

 

You can learn more about this OBA by viewing the PDF file here

 

Office Business Applications

(OBAs) built on the Microsoft Office Business Application framework, are a great way to extend your Line of Business (LOB) applications so you can capture critical information that lives in spreadsheets and work offline without missing a beat.

Would you like to…

  • Use Excel with Prolog and other AEC Industry applications?
  • Utilize standard forms everyone already understands?
  • Update information in minutes vs. hours?
  • Work online or offline from anywhere anytime?
  • Stop mapping fields and supporting import/export issues?

A common example of using OBAs in the AEC Industry is with Prolog (a construction project management application).  Users can work in Microsoft Excel to manage information related to submittals, punch list, and most other feature.  Using an OBA based on Excel, you can use our standard forms or base them on yours.  While OBAs work great with Prolog, OBAs can be used with any application that has web services.

The OBA Store is the online source for Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs).  We have standard OBAs for most features supported by Prolog and are always looking to build them for other Line of Business applications based on client demand and Vendors opening up their web service technologies.  Get a free account to access and browse to the largest catalog of OBAs for the AEC Industry!

Sign Up Here or Login Here if you already have an account.

The OBA Cloud is the online source for hosting Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs).  When combined with The OBA Store there’s simply no better way to buy, manage, and deploy your OBAs.
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Catalog #: 78031

AEC Cloud Updates Portal Software with Patch 19: Unified Application Management

Home_Slider_Software_840_100pAEC Cloud recently released Patch 19 for the Portal Software. This new patch covers some bug fixes as well as extends the functionality of the Portal Software, giving users and administrators control over application access and management. "Unified Application Management" is the key feature of Portal Software.

Enhancements Enhancement #1:

  • To Upgrade Contact related pages to auto create user in Account Management/Passport Database when the user has AM Application access.

Fixes Fix #1:

  • Contact Page – Windows username validation issue: When the contact's windows username contains single quote (‘), edit record feature is throwing an error. This issue is fixed in this release.

Fix #2:

  • MyProperties>Configuration Manager> Number of Records to be Listed setting issue. The MyProperties>Configuration Manager> “Number of Records to be Listed” setting is not reflecting in Portal/Passport List Pages. This issue is fixed in this release.

Fix #3:

  • Citrix Receiver Download Link for Mac: Seamless Plugin Installer page is displaying invalid citrix receiver download link for Mac. This issue is fixed in this release.

The full release documentation can be viewed here.

What is Portal Software?

Developed with a cloud mindset, the AEC Cloud Portal Software is purpose built for:

  • Companies seeking a unified end user
  • Unified application administrator experience
  • Currently used by more than 20,000 users
  • Seamless self provisioning experience

Major Functionality includes:

  • Central company/contact repository
  • Secure launching, provisioning and single sign on for various applications
  • Activity based billing module
  • Integrated with Active Directory
  • Includes a web services layer that can be used to leverage certain features for other integrations

 

If you are thinking about moving all or part of your business to the cloud, give us a call and let us show you how to leverage the myriad benefits of cloud hosting.

Experience Our Cloud Hosted Apps and Portal Software in Live Demo

Try it before you buy it!

virtual-desktopWe have a live demo environment where you can see our Portal (Unified Application Management) and our Virtual Desktop, Desktops as a Service (DaaS) in action. It can be configured to test any hosted software we currently are hosting, or let us know what software you are looking to use.

If you have never used a Virtual Desktop, this is a great opportunity to experience the power of this revolutionary approach to user desktop configuration and access. Users can access their desktop from anywhere, and are not tied to the office environment. This results in increased productivity and decrease in overall IT budgets.

The Portal Software suite is an powerful tool to allow internal IT Administrators quick configuration of current users.

Contact us today to schedule a Live Demonstration!

AEC Cloud Now Hosting On Center Software's On-Screen Takeoff

Offerings_Hosting_370x320AEC Cloud is proud to announce another software suite that we are hosting for a client. On Center Software's On-Screen Takeoff has an integral role in our construction software solutions for plan viewing, quantity takeoff, estimating and project management.

On Center Software's On-Screen Takeoff is one of the many software suites that we host and make accessible via the cloud.

AEC Cloud hosts the software making it accessible to your company users via a virtual desktop. No more upgrades or licensing to worry about. AEC Cloud takes the headache out of IT, and IT maintenance and support.

On Center Software’s On-Screen Takeoff® (OST) started the industry in 1994. OST effectively scales to support small contractors and global construction enterprises. From plan viewing to quantity measurements to estimating to project management–it all starts with OST.

Reduce Costs:

  • Just preparing to submit a bid is an expensive endeavor:
  • Make estimators more efficient and lower the cost to bid
  • Eliminate the need for paper plans, reprographics costs, colored pens, and storage for plans
  • Bid more work with the same number of estimators in the department

 

Save Time:

  • A quantity takeoff is no longer a labor intensive process:
  • Automation of the takeoff process allows Construction Estimators to spend less time preparing each bid
  • Separation of takeoff quantities into bid areas saves a great deal of time for estimators
  • The powerful plan viewing and takeoff tools helps takeoff quantities with blazing speed!

 

Spot Plan Changes:

  • Never miss another costly addendum:
  • Avoid the headache caused when the architect or GC forgets to properly cloud and document a revision.
  • On-Screen Takeoff clearly shows the differences between 2 sets of plans by overlaying them and then marking deleted items in bright red and new items in blue.

For more information about On Center Software's On-Screen Takeoff, visit their website: http://www.oncenter.com/products/ost/

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Using AEC Cloud Increases Efficiency and Decreases Your Bottom Line

[infobox]If you are thinking about moving all or part of your business to the cloud, give us a call and let us show you how to leverage the myriad benefits of cloud hosting.

From virtual desktops to application hosting to data storage, we have you covered!

[infobox_button link="http://aeccloud.com/contact/" color="red"]Call Us Today[/infobox_button][/infobox]

AEC Cloud Now Hosting Bluebeam Revu

AEC Cloud is proud to announce another software suite that we are hosting for a client. Bluebeam Revu takes paperless workflows to a whole new level.

Bluebeam is one of the many software suites that we host and make accessible via the cloud.

AEC Cloud hosts the software making it accessible to your company users via a virtual desktop. No more upgrades or licensing to worry about. AEC Cloud takes the headache out of IT, and IT maintenance and support.

Bluebeam Revu combines powerful PDF editing, markup and collaboration technology with reliable file creation. Push the limits of project communication with one of Revu's three editions: Standard, CAD and eXtreme. Simply put, it will change your life as you know it.

Create

Revu gives you the power to turn Microsoft Office documents and CAD drawings into PDFs with one mouse click, and that's just the beginning. Batch convert unlimited Windows files to PDF, or 10 other file formats. Export scanned PDFs as editable Office documents. Assemble PDF packages for easy access to multiple PDFs, and transform scanned images into text-searchable documents. The possibilities are endless.

Comment

Point, click and release is all it takes. Markup PDFs with Revu's customizable markup tools, including text, notes, clouds, CAD symbols, stamps and highlights, and save custom markups in the Tool Chest for easy reuse. Embed photos and videos into markups for added clarity. Track all annotations in the integrated Markups list, which can be filtered, organized, customized and exported to Excel. What are you waiting for?

Collaborate

Revu's integrated cloud-based collaboration solution, Bluebeam Studio™, helps teams manage projects anywhere, at any time - regardless of Internet access. Store and share an unlimited number of PDFs and any other file type in the cloud for free. Or, collaborate in real time with project partners around the world on the same 2D and 3D PDFs. There are no limits to what you can do when leveraging the combined power of Revu and Studio.

Organize

Do more with your PDFs. Easily edit PDF content by adding, deleting or rotating pages. Create bookmarks from page labels or PDF content instantly, and automatically generate unlimited hyperlinks by File Name, Page Label or Page Region and automatically slip-sheet large document sets. Search PDFs for keywords or symbols and electronically compare document revisions.

For more information about Bluebeam, visit their website: http://www.bluebeam.com/us/products/revu/

[infobox]

Using AEC Cloud Increases Effeciency and Decreases Your Bottom Line

[infobox]If you are thinking about moving all or part of your business to the cloud, give us a call and let us show you how to leverage the myriad benefits of cloud hosting.

[infobox_button link="http://aeccloud.com/contact/" color="red"]Contact Us Today[/infobox_button][/infobox]

Your IT and the Cloud: Are they Compatible?

Today we present the second of three articles about Cloud Hosting specifically for the AEC Industry. We look forward to your comments


Offerings_Hosting_370x320Just because your AEC business is running legacy technology doesn’t mean it cannot make an easy transition to the cloud. In fact, many of today’s most successful matches between the cloud and construction are based on the process of “cloud-enabling” existing IT systems.

AEC Cloud has been hosting early every construction software available since 2000. It just comes down to a matter of compatibility.

You see, running an AEC business requires such core systems as project management, document management, accounting, estimating and job costing, for example. For the most part, these systems are not native cloud applications. No problem. Service solutions available today can ensure that what isn’t “cloud native” in your IT department can certainly become “cloud ready.”

Of course, the ultimate compatibility test is made up such factors as time, cost and security. But such issues have become relative non-issues as cloud services and solutions are faster, better, cheaper and more secure. Just ask our clients, such as The J. Companies and Morley Builders.

A Secure Package Let’s take The J Companies, a builder/construction manager based in New York, as our first example. The company started down its cloud-based IT path in 2005 by hosting Prolog Manager from Meridian Systems using our AEC Cloud. Over time as the needs of IT expanded, so too has the role of the cloud.

For example, with clients located across the country, and with multiple construction, consulting or development projects going on simultaneously, the need to compile information and keep documents organized has become the priority.

Today, you can find Microsoft Office, Microsoft Exchange, Document Locator from ColumbiaSoft, and Master Builder from Sage, accompanying its Prolog Manager application up in the cloud. A custom solution gives employees access to an integrated package of virtual desktop, document management, accounting, and project management tools that can be accessed anywhere and anytime.

So let’s talk security. Document Locator is essentially the core of the business for The J Companies. With the AEC Cloud, an unlimited library of documents has become stored in the cloud. Given the high quality document security, that means that there is never a risk of information being left unsecure in the cloud.

Just ask David Brot, the Principal of The J Companies, who says that he has never needed to worry about his company’s information. Document security and stability in the cloud has never been an issue.

Low Cost and Connected Now let’s address that issue of high cost. Back in 2013 when we first engaged with Morley Builders the company was talking with many different software vendors about developing a custom solution. The company was looking to have its employees maintain large amounts of drawing and specification information and stay connected, while working at construction sites or back at the office.

It was an exercise that, as many other AEC companies have figured out, is prohibitive in terms of time and cost.

This is where an OBA can come into play. This is an application written for Microsoft Office applications based on .NET technology that uses web services to connect to a Line of Business (LOB) application, or other applications. OBAs that are built on the Microsoft Office Business Application framework are used for extending LOB applications. This means that AEC companies can capture critical information in spreadsheets and work offline.

Today Morley Builders uses our Drawings & Specification OBA. This allows its employees to input large volumes of data all at once. The fact that the OBA interfaces with Microsoft Excel and other spreadsheets makes it easy for employees to get up to speed learning the tool very quickly.

Like The J Companies, Morley Builders works with Prolog. This is where the direct connection from the OBA comes in handy, making the process of batch revisions an integrated process between the programs.

Cloud Considerations It’s not difficult to find these types of success stories within the AEC industry. More and more, we see companies coming to us to help make the cloud a critical part of the way they run their IT systems across the company.

Applications like Dropbox, Evernote, Box and others have catapulted the idea of “the cloud” into the IT discussion these days. But the truth of the matter is that the cloud has long been a part of doing business in construction, tied to core operational systems.

Legacy IT systems are necessary in construction. So too is the cloud. Ensuring they are compatible can be the most powerful investment your company can make in 2015.

[infobox]If you are thinking about moving all or part of your business to the cloud, give us a call and let us show you how to leverage the myriad benefits of cloud hosting.

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Upgrade to Prolog 9.91 Completed

Our development team has announced the recent upgrade of the popular Prolog software to the latest version 9.91. Trimble Prolog from Meridian Systems, is one of the many software suites that we host and make accessible via the cloud.

Prolog software is the leading construction project management solution, offering the most complete system of record for capturing and managing project information, from the field to the back office.

New in the Browser: Prolog Converge 9.9

  • New UI
  • Broader Browser Support
  • Forms in New Windows
  • Reports with attachments
  • New Admin Functionality
  • New Default Configuration
  • Company/Contact Improvements
  • In-form videos

New in Mobile: Prolog Mobile 9.9

  • File Library
  • Other Improvements Significant enhancements have been made in terms of performance improvements and usability, including:

    • The Drawings & Specs form has been added
    • Streamlined Initialization Process
    • On-Demand Record Refresh
    • Record Locking & “Add Comments”
    • Multiple Checklist Enhancements
    • Snapshots of Pin Locations may now be captured and attached to records
    • Additional Annotation Controls improve markup capabilities
    • Camera Enhancements

More about Trimble Prolog Converge 9.9 can be found on the Trimble website here.

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Using AEC Cloud Increases Effeciency and Decreases Your Bottom Line

[infobox]If you are thinking about moving all or part of your business to the cloud, give us a call and let us show you how to leverage the myriad benefits of cloud hosting.

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Case Study: Morley Builders Increases Efficiency with AEC Cloud

Case Study: Morley Builders Increases Efficiency with AEC Cloud

The Problem: A Need for Streamlined Data Entry and Greater Efficiency

Morley Builders is an employee-owned construction company that provides services through two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Morley Construction Company and Benchmark Contractors Inc. Headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, the company needed a way for its employees to maintain large amounts of drawing and specification information and stay connected, while working at construction sites or in the office.

“We work on a variety of building projects, from commercial and retail to multifamily residential complexes,” said Erin Khan, Project Manager at Morley Builders. “We needed a way for our 200 employees to easily input project data and share information.”

 

The Solution: AEC Cloud’s Office Business Applications

While researching various options, Morley Builders heard about AEC Cloud’s office business applications (OBAs). “We talked with other vendors about developing a custom solution, but the development time and cost were prohibitive,” explained Ernest King, Operations Technology Manager.

“Then we found out about the business application offered by AEC Cloud, and it sounded like the right solution at a great price.”

An OBA is an application written for Microsoft Office applications based on .NET technology that uses web services to connect to a Line of Business (LOB) application or any other application. OBAs built on the Microsoft Office Business Application framework are a great way to extend LOB applications so companies can capture critical information in spreadsheets and work offline.

In 2014, Morley Builders began using AEC Cloud’s Drawings & Specification OBA. The application allows employees to quickly input a large amount of data all at once, which saves time – especially at the start of a project, when certain information is repetitive.

“Previously, our employees had to manually input large data sets of drawing and specification information, which was very time consuming and labor intensive,” Khan said. “Now, we can input data much more quickly. The OBA interfaces with Microsoft Excel and our spreadsheets, which makes it easy since most end users already know Excel. You can also see a lot of data at once for editing, instead of just one record at a time.”

Morley Builders recognized the value of working with a company that understands the construction industry and supports the software it uses. “AEC Cloud has extensive knowledge of the software we use and how it all works together,” King said. “The Drawings & Specification OBA has a direct connection to Prolog, which makes updating information very easy. We just have to push one button to make a batch of revisions.”

Morley Builders also appreciates AEC Cloud’s technical expertise and customer service.

“In addition to delivering on the OBA, they also investigated and helped us solve another Prolog integration issue we had been experiencing for months,” Khan said. “Their knowledge and willingness to go the extra mile for us as a new client really sets them apart from others in the industry.”

Morley Builders plans to continue partnering with AEC Cloud.

“AEC Cloud stood out with their volume of offerings through the OBA Store,” Khan said.

“The Drawings & Specification application was easy to install, works seamlessly, and has increased our efficiency since we started using it in our production environment. We’ll watch for other solutions from AEC Cloud that may work for us in the future.”

 

About AEC Cloud’s OBA Store

The OBA Store is the online source for Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs).  We have standard OBAs for most features supported by Prolog and are always looking to build them for other Line of Business applications based on client demand and Vendors opening up their web service technologies.  Get a free account to access and browse to the largest catalog of OBAs for the AEC Industry!

Sign Up Here or Login Here if you already have an account.

The OBA Cloud is the online source for hosting Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs).  When combined with The OBA Store there’s simply no better way to buy, manage, and deploy your OBAs.

************ About Morley Builders Morley Builders is owned by nearly 200 employees and has a total craftsman payroll that ranges from 300 to 600, depending on the number of self-performed field projects under construction. Morley Builders has more than 65 years of experience in the construction industry and contracts its services through two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Morley Construction Company and Benchmark Contractors, Inc.

For more information, visit www.morleybuilders.com.

AEC Cloud Updates Portal Software with Patch 18: Unified Application Management

Home_Slider_Software_840_100pAEC Cloud recently released Patch 18 for the Portal Software. This new patch covers some bug fixes as well as extends the functionality of the Portal Software, giving users and administrators control over application access and management. "Unified Application Management" is the key feature of Portal Software.

The full release documentation can be viewed here.

What is Portal Software?

Developed with a cloud mindset, the AEC Cloud Portal Software is purpose built for:

  • Companies seeking a unified end user
  • Unified application administrator experience
  • Currently used by more than 20,000 users
  • Seamless self provisioning experience

Major Functionality includes:

  • Central company/contact repository
  • Secure launching, provisioning and single sign on for various applications
  • Activity based billing module
  • Integrated with Active Directory
  • Includes a web services layer that can be used to leverage certain features for other integrations

 

If you are thinking about moving all or part of your business to the cloud, give us a call and let us show you how to leverage the myriad benefits of cloud hosting.

AEC Cloud Hosting Update: Upgrade to Document Locator V7 Completed

AEC Cloud Hosting has completed the upgrade of our offering of hosted Document Locator software to latest version 7. Our clients will now enjoy the most advanced document management tool available to the industry, with all of its latest upgrades and updates. Document Locator v7 | Enterprise Document Management

Web access is entirely new in version 7, making it easier than ever to access your files online! The new WebTools companion for the Windows integrated document management software offers finger-friendly navigation on touch screens and tablets. Employees, vendors, clients... anyone you authorize can access files in the document management system.

WebTools version 7 is engineered using the latest HTML5 technology to provide an intuitive, easy-to-use navigation. Here’s what’s new:

  • Works on all major browsers, including Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
  • Faster page loading and improved speed performance.
  • Designed for easy finger-friendly navigation on touchscreens and tablets.
  • A “Favorites” selector makes it easy to build a list of everyday files.
  • Informative context menus are available at a right-click.

Document Locator is integrated with Microsoft Windows Explorer and Microsoft Office, making document mansgement seamless and intuitive. Version control, document workflow, paperless scanning, email management, and a full complement of document control features are available in the document management system.

View all the features of the new version of Document Locator V7 here.

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AEC Cloud hosts Document Locator V7, among a long list of other software specific to the AEC industry. The benefits of letting AEC Cloud host your software applications, is that you will never have to worry about product updates again. All updates are handled internally and updated on down times during the weekends. The updates are fully tested before release to ensure a smooth transition to the next version.

In most cases, you will not even know there was a product update until we announce it.

If you are thinking about moving all or part of your business to the cloud, give us a call and let us show you how to leverage the myriad benefits of cloud hosting.