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Archive for Integration

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 >>

 

AEC Cloud Enterprise Hosting? Three Questions Answered

I was up last night thinking about our business and the services it offers. I realized that some of you out there might not fully understand what it is that we do and how we are different for other “Cloud Hosting” companies out there.

In this post, I will answer four basic questions about AEC Cloud that hopefully helps clarify who we are and how we can help your business transition to the next level of IT infrastructure and operations.

As always, we are here to help you and answer any questions you might have.

Who is AEC Cloud?

AEC Cloud is a full service, enterprise, cloud hosting company, focused on servicing the AEC Industry (Architecture, Engineering and Construction). 

Our roots in the business started back in 1999, working in IT on construction projects with Turner Construction. We immediately saw that there was a huge gap between traditional IT, and the IT needs of a construction company and their projects. Everything from the software used, to the approach that construction companies take in assessing projects and understanding billing was different.

From those humble beginnings, AEC Cloud has become the leading enterprise cloud hosting company for the AEC Industry for over 16 years. We have literally seen it all, and leading construction firms leverage our knowledge base to help them make the correct decisions for their upcoming IT needs.

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What is AEC Cloud Enterprise Hosting?

AEC Cloud Enterprise Hosting is a business that is focused on the AEC Industry and its specific unique needs. Not every cloud hosting company understands or has ever heard of hosting the software you use everyday in the office and on the job site.

Software such as:

Just to name a few.

And then there is integration of these software suites to leverage the job site data you have into information you can use in real time. Combining information from various software and coming up with new ways to see that data to solve problems and maintain a positive bottom line.

Here at AEC Cloud, we have been working closely with the AEC Industry for over 16 years and know any possible issues, before they become and issue.

Why choose AEC Cloud to participate in your IT requirements?

With over 16 years, solely focused on the AEC Industry’s IT needs, we have a deep knowledge base of how to put together seamless projects. Out customers are happy and understand the value of bringing an expert on-board to help guide them through the murky and confusing waters of cloud hosting and technology.

We are NOT a new start-up, that has no history or experience. 

And then there is the overall cost savings and flexibility that AEC Cloud brings to the table.

The following are the other compelling reasons as to why it makes business sense to move your Enterprise Applications to a cloud hosted environment.

  • Staying focused on your core competency vs. IT headaches.
  • Redirecting capital to core business expenses vs upfront costs.
  • Receiving higher quality at a lower cost.
  • Leveraging knowledge and resources from experienced professionals with over 16 years of experience.
  • Production application hosting for all of your software programs.
  • Disaster recovery sites managed.

 

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

Two Workforce Trends to Impact Your Data Integration Strategy

Those looking for trends that will shape data-integration strategies going forward should look no further than the changing nature of the workforce. Trends point towards more mobile, analytical minds entering the workforce, and it has me thinking about how this could ultimately impact things like IT strategies.

It is no stretch to say that employees have a profound impact on the business of construction. In this highly data-driven industry, it is the people who are shaping the ways in which data is being generated and shared. So suffice it say, as the nature of the workforce shifts so too will the way in which data impacts the business.

In particular, I see two workforce trends that will have an impact. One on the way in which data is generated, and the other on what we ultimately do with that data. And in both instances, there is a direct impact on the enterprise integration strategy.

The Connected Worker

AdobeStock_88855189It may seem like the cliché place to start, but the fact of the matter is that the world is growing increasingly connected. And much of this is being driven by millennials, which should account for roughly 75% of the global workforce by 2025.

And that workforce is one that is coming fully equipped with their own devices—complete with their own desires of generating a whole lot of data from those devices. And given the proliferation of mobile apps targeted at construction, it’s safe to say that more and more data will—if not already—be generated through the use of mobile devices.

And with this, it is important to think about how this data will integrate into your enterprise. Today, that level of integration is happening in siloed efforts—if at all—but in time you will need to consider a clear path to linking mobile and enterprise data. And soon enough, that discussion will extend beyond the connected worker and into the connected “things” on a jobsite. But perhaps that’s a topic best left for another time.

The Analytical Worker

With all of that great data entering the business, you now must find a way to use it in the most effective manner.

Earlier this year, InformationWeek published a list of the 10 top tech jobs for 2016. Coming in at #6 was a title referred to Analytics Manager. According to the report, Analytics Mangers are crucial to companies that require someone to analyze and make conclusions about data.

It makes me think about the rapid rate at which data is being recorded within construction and the growing need for companies to make sense of it all. We’ve been talking quite a bit lately about the value of integration and the impact it will continue to have on your organization. A crucial strategy for AEC firms going forward is the ability to integrate key project and client data with the enterprise.

I refer to another article, from CIO, that cites deeper integration of ERP (enterprise resource planning) as a key trend to watch. In the article it states that ERP is becoming more versatile, providing deeper integration with a wide range of different systems. I agree that this is an important trend, and for construction that deeper level of integration includes systems like time tracking, mobile, and even customer-relationship management systems. More and more, data from these systems will need to become more tightly integrated with the enterprise.

For AEC firms, the need to have all of this information aggregated and interpreted will be key to success. While the role of Analytics Manager might not be one that you hire, per se, I would bet that there will be some person on your staff tasked with the role of analyzing and interpreting the data. Therefore, the need to have a strategic integration strategy for your enterprise systems will be a must going forward.

With all of this being said, it is important that your systems can handle anything that comes your way. At AECCloud, we like to say that the most successful integration strategies are those that are built on technology that is open, flexible and (construction) specific. Check out our integration page to help find the right applications to build your integration strategy.

Proven Reliability and Leadership For Over 15 Years

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300AEC Cloud has been on the scene working with the largest AEC companies in the field for over 15 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 15 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

Live Demo of Vista by Viewpoint

Test Drive Vista by Viewpoint on its Demo Environment.

viewpoint-logoVista by Viewpoint enables construction contractors to manage all areas of operations. Fully integrated. Scalable. Configurable. Featuring solutions for Accounting/HR, Project Management, Project Collaboration, Mobile, Estimating, Content Management and Service Management, Vista scales easily, integrates with many third-party software products and provides timely reporting of critical data.

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Helping Contractors Meet Project Profitability

Vista™ by Viewpoint captures the data from operations and feeds it into a single database where real-time reporting shows accounting exactly how the business is performing. Simplified data entry delivers accurate accounting information throughout your company.

  • Efficient multi-company and inter-company processing
  • Securely track valuable employee information – training, skills, awards, grievances, safety history, and reviews
  • Comprehensive regulatory reporting, including EEO, Certified, DOT and OSHA requirements

What Viewpoint Construction Software can do:

  • Full integration of business units including, Accounting, Project Management and Operations
  • Superior technology that provides stability as the industry evolves
  • Flexible user interface that increases efficiency
  • Collaboration that facilitates communication and decision-making
  • Document management that streamlines operations

Take a test drive today and see how Viewpoint can increase your bottom line.

 

Proven Reliability and Leadership For Over 15 Years

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300AEC Cloud has been on the scene working with the largest AEC companies in the field for over 15 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 15 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: 212-505-0381

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

Integration at the Next Level in AEC

Integration. In a word, it’s the promise of a more complete and clear picture of success across the AEC landscape. But as this industry grows increasingly complex, with data coming in from more sources than ever, we must be looking beyond what we typically know about integrated solutions in order to hit the next level of success.

Of course, integration is nothing new. It’s part of that age-old dilemma of trying to merge business data together across multiple systems into one easily manageable and universally understandable platform. For AEC, integration is rooted in the idea that if we can, for example, get our project management database to easily translate to our accounting database then we reduce errors and complexity across the business. And that leads to better projects, higher profit margins and repeat business.

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Attempts at integration over the years have come in the form of middleware, code schema, adapters, and industry-wide standards.

But this is a complicated industry. Simply merging data from two or three disparate systems is no longer enough. Just look at the proliferation of new data flowing in from things like building information modeling, mobile apps, cloud-based programs and more.

Integration means new things in the AEC space. And that means looking beyond the AEC space in order to view a model of success.

Lessons from Healthcare
I look to a case study from Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH,) a two-site community hospital with leading diagnostic services and clinical programs. The need for integration at MSH looked a bit complicated at the outset:

  • The need to support the healthcare data standard HL7, along with other industry requirements
  • The ability to process hundreds of thousands of messages daily
  • Maintaining near-perfect uptime

Sound familiar? Like a business in AEC, MSH needed to meet a high level of industry requirements for data, while also being able to ensure uptime was never compromised. For a solution, MSH turned to Microsoft BizTalk. BizTalk provides out-of-the box, cloud to on-premises and line-of-business application integration. It allows user to connect with any HTTP, FTP, SFTP, or REST data source

In the case of MSH, BizTalk Server was able to provide a platform that made it easy to modify and create interfaces to support the complex enterprise integration requirements for applications both within the hospital and for external partners. Complicated healthcare-related components had an integration path. And industry-specific components tailored how messages were processed for various healthcare applications. In all, BizTalk Server provided tools to help integrate a complex world like healthcare.

(Biz)Talk of Integration in AEC
Microsoft-BizTalk-ServerThe Microsoft BizTalk integration platform is available in a PaaS or Stand Alone deployment model, which means that right off the bat the product is already speaking the language of AEC Cloud.

For AEC Cloud, our solutions help companies that need simplified, secure access to many applications from multiple vendors via one secure, server based solution. This is why our systems are based on a multi-tier configuration that include a dedicated enterprise storage layer, database layer, web services layer, client-server application layer, and collaborative web application layer—all integrated under a Unified Application Management Portal.

So when you look at Microsoft BizTalk, much of the same structure to integration applies. BizTalk will use Extensible Markup Language (XML) as the common data exchange language application integration on the Internet. And the true power, in my opinion, exists within the adapters.

According Microsoft, it will be providing a set of Adapters that connect BizTalk Orchestrations with such applications as Google Apps, QuickBooks, Salesforce.com, SharePoint, and others in a very simple manner. What that ultimately means is the ability to integrate BizTalk Server with all the emerging applications, databases and services that are rapidly becoming a part of the AEC world.

But perhaps more important is the fact that this it will also integrate with all those tried-and-true applications that run your AEC business, like Prolog, Sage, Primavera, Viewpoint, CMiC and others.

In the coming months, I will be taking a deeper look at the topic of integration, and of the Microsoft BizTalk tool in general in the context of the AEC space to see if it truly the tool that can take integration to the next level.

 

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300Proven Reliability and Leadership For Over 15 Years

AEC Cloud has been on the scene working with the largest AEC companies in the field for over 15 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 15 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: 212-505-0381

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

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_167

Enterprise App Hosting: A Predictable Future for Your AEC Firm

AdobeStock_79638758Consider this trend: Worldwide spending on enterprise application software will grow 7.5% this year, reaching nearly $150 billion, and eclipse $210 billion by 2019. In fact, the most interesting point about these stats, as projected by Gartner, is that the majority of this spending will be on “modernization” efforts. That sure sounds like a case of the cloud to me.

A closer look at the numbers reveals this is indeed the case. In a recent survey conducted by Gartner, 45% of organizations say that modernizing on-premise applications is in their top-five IT priorities right now. Furthermore, more than 40% say that this involves extending the capabilities of core enterprise applications.

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As we examined in a previous post, the process of moving business applications out of an on-premises situation can be cost efficient, help reduce maintenance requirements, add flexibility and scalability to resources, on demand user administration, and off site user support.

Those, of course, are the immediate benefits. When you start to look out longer term, the value of hosting your enterprise applications in the cloud one clear advantage begins to emerge: predictability. That statement might fly in the face of your perceptions about the cloud (i.e., you don’t know what to expect), but in fact predictability is indeed what the cloud is all about.

Predictability in cost: Controlling your IT budget comes down to managing expenses. Without the cost of managing the IT infrastructure and the ability to quickly scale up or down as needed, the cloud presents a more predictable cost model. This creates more freedom for you to pursue new business opportunities or market expansion with greater aggression.

Predictability in performance: This is where our expertise at AEC Cloud truly begins to emerge. We have more than 15 years of experience hosting applications and data for some of the largest construction companies in the world. With this experience, we know cloud hosting and help apply that knowledge to help you navigate the options and make the right choices for the future. Our performance makes finding an experienced and reliable hosting partner easier.

Predictability in partnership: As an AEC firm, you need to ensure that you are working with applications that have just as much “equity” in construction that you have put in. In other words, moving to the cloud might seem to have its uncertainties—one of which shouldn’t be the partners you are working with.

AdobeStock_44575060The list of software products that we host is long and deep. The top names in the AEC space, ranging from Oracle to Microsoft to Sage to Viewpoint and more are all part of the AEC Cloud offering. The full list can be accessed here.

With that predictability in the partners you work with, you can ensure they have your best interests in mind. Take a product like Primavera P6 EPPM, for example. This product allows you and your project teams to efficiently collaborate while providing flexible choices in how users access critical project data through a Web-based user interface.

When things become more predictable, your business is able to move forward with greater confidence. Just ask Jois Construction Management System. The project and construction management services company is one of the latest to partner with AEC Cloud to host its business applications. The company works on major infrastructure projects around the globe for highly demanding owners. Predictability in cost and schedule are a must for running its business—something that hosting its business applications in the cloud can provide.

In this market, that can be an invaluable asset—and a competitive advantage that you cannot afford to ignore.

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Proven Reliability and Leadership For Over 15 Years

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_300AEC Cloud has been on the scene working with the largest AEC companies in the field for over 15 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. Hensel Phelps, Turner Construction are a couple names that come to mind.

LeadershipWidget_270_blueFinding 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 15 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.

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  • 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.

Feel free to call us if you have any questions: 212-505-0381

Email us here: sales@aeccloud.com

Logo_AECCloud_Option2_167

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OBA: HotList Detailed Form

78464_TOS_9017_HotList_DetailedForm_Thumbnail v1_0Description: The HotList, 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 #: 78464

OBA: Contract Invoices

78308_TOS_9017_ContractInvoices_DetailedForm_Thumbnail v1_0Description: The Contract Invoices, 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.
***********************

Catalog #: 78308

OBA: Mixing a Little Excel with Your Cloud Strategy

cloud-app-access-via-multi-devicesMore than 30% of construction companies rely on spreadsheets as part of their process for carrying out day-to-day construction tasks. For anyone familiar with this industry, that number shouldn’t come as a shock. But what might come as a surprise to some is the fact that such a stat could have cloud implications.

This figure comes from the recently published report Construction Software BuyerView by Software Advice. I agree with their assessment that most construction firms find it difficult (i.e., cost prohibitive) to relinquish their traditional methods and adapt their processes. But this is where construction companies must embrace a strategy of adopting new technologies while still leveraging current investments.

This is where I believe Microsoft Office Business Applications (OBAs) play a valuable role for the construction industry. For those not familiar with OBA, here’s a quick run down:

  • An OBA is an application written for Microsoft Office and is based on .NET technology that uses Web services to connect to a standard Line of Business (LOB) or other application. This certainly makes OBAs very NIST-friendly based on its Five Cloud Characteristics.
  • OBAs work by using Microsoft Office as the interface to capture information that is sent via Web services in XML format.
  • The most commonly used OBAs in the AEC industry are based on Microsoft Excel.
  • OBAs are different than the use of Microsoft Office in combination with import/export methods—don’t let some vendors fool you! Here’s the difference: OBAs connect to the LOB application via Web Services. A Microsoft Excel-based OBA, for example, allows for a pre-mapped, secure, two-way connection over the Internet between Excel and the LOB—something that simply cannot be done using traditional import/export.

Here is where the cost value truly comes into play. For many construction companies, achieving such level of integration involves developing a custom solution. And that’s where Software Advice’s statement about the industry’s reluctance to relinquish traditional methods holds true. But that doesn’t need to be the case, thanks to OBAs.

Take the AECCloud customer Morley Builders, for example. It was looking for a way to eliminate the need for employees to manually input large data sets of drawing and specification information. The company is using AEC Cloud’s Drawings & Specification OBA, which interfaces with Microsoft Excel and other spreadsheets.

With this, Morley’s employees are able to quickly input a large amount of data all at once, which saves time. Perhaps the greatest time-saving activity comes during the start of a project, when it is not uncommon for certain information to be repetitive.

And this is one of many success stories. For AEC Cloud, we take a very targeted approach to delivering OBAs to the construction industry:

One Source: The OBA Store is our online source for Microsoft OBAs where we have standard OBAs for most features supported by Trimble Meridian Prolog. 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.

One Host: We offer the ability host them, or allow users to host them if that is preferred.

Centralized Management: OBA Online is the source for hosting OBAs, and when combined with the OBA Store allows users to buy, manage, and deploy OBAs in a very efficient manner.

An Eye Ahead: We are always looking to build OBAs for other LOB applications based on client demand. But this necessitates other software vendors opening up their Web service technologies.

So for anyone who tells you that the use of Microsoft Excel and the cloud simply don’t mix—think again. OBAs can make that use of Excel very innovative for years to come.

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About The Cram Group & AEC Cloud
Since 2001, The Cram Group is a leading Consulting, Hosting, and Development services provider focused on the AEC Industry. Core offerings include education about Cloud Computing and Solutions based on the NIST Cloud Definition; Software for Unified Application Management and Role Specific Applications; and Services from Advisory to Maintenance which are available direct and through a nationwide Certified Partner Network.
For more information, call 212-505-0381, or email us sales@aeccloud.com