This week I was able to update my own firm, Burns + Beyerl Architects, with the beta test version of ArchiOffice v8.5d. In this version, we’ve made our first foray into using the FileMaker Web Viewer technologies. So anyone who runs ArchiOffice in FileMaker 8.5 or greater will be able to experience this. The first change is in the Contacts module. When clicking the Map button, or the Directions button – instead of going directly to your web browser and leaving ArchiOffice, we now go directly to the map site from within ArchiOffice.
So what does this mean for you? Lots. Currently we are considering returning to a module that was in our original prototype but didn’t make it into the commercial version. Originally, we called it “Library.” It was in this area that we kept track of all our product binders and material samples. We used the CSI numbering format and had a fabulous list of manufacturers with full contact info, including address, email and website. Plus – any materials they sent us were described here and catalogued.
So what about a new area called “Products”? A couple of things can happen here. One is we can work with manufacturers to ensure that their products are properly presented to Architects directly within ArchiOffice. So, without naming any names (to protect the innocent), let’s suppose that a building product manufacturer (or supplier), has a website. Somewhere deep in the site is the actual information you, as an Architect, are looking for. This might be specific cut-sheets or specifications. Rather than searching on the web – finding their site home page and navigating down in search of the specific item – we can ask that they provide us with the links specific to you. In ArchiOffice, you can click that manufacturer – or pick the product type and see a list of manufacturer’s we have in our database, then go directly into their product selections. Clicking on a “save” check box – can add that particular URL to your favorites for this product type and/or manufacturer. You get the point.