The Pivot Table tool featured in AVAprojectFusion allows users to easily create a virtually unlimited number of tables and data comparisons - all using data from existing projects.
Pivot Tables have been a popular feature of many data-driven software packages, from its first incarnation in the 1991 release of Lotus Improv, to the ubiquitous Microsoft Excel which first offered the feature in 1993. Many users may initially find the notion of using Pivot Tables a bit off putting, because of their apparent complexity; but nothing could be further from the truth.
A Pivot Table is nothing more than a means to compare one set of data against another. For example, one may wish to chart the usage of a given manufacturer's products for each estimator in their organization. In this case, the table can be imagined as an X-Y chart, with the estimator names listed along the top (the 'X'), and manufacturers listed down the left side (the 'Y').
A basic Pivot Table with estimator names listed across the 'X' side, and manufacturers listed down the 'Y' side. Red highlights added as a visual aid to show that estimator Colin Contreras supplied 147 Arrow products.
At each point of intersection, one could display a total count of all the products supplied by the given manufacturer that were used by the given estimators. They could also choose to display a total dollar value, or any other numeric value contained in the database.
In addition to the many standard data export tools offered by AVAproject, it is also possible to export reports directly to Microsoft Word or Excel - complete with page formatting.
In this era of digital communication, the most common file format used to exchange formatted documents is undoubtedly the trusty PDF. Initially created by Adobe in 1993, the PDF (Portable Document Format) was developed as a means to encapsulate formatted test and images in a single file that could be easily distributed and shared. More importantly, the contents could be viewed or printed, regardless of whether or not the recipient had a copy of the software used to generate it. Adobe released a free "PDF Reader" application that could be used to open the files with their formatting perfectly intact.
AVAproject offers a variety of data export facilities that support the most common data exchange formats. Project data can be exported to anything from a basic text file to XML, MDB, and even SQL databases. While each of these export options provides access to the data contained in AVAproject, none of them preserve page formatting. While an openings schedule can be easily reproduced in any spreadsheet based application, specialized reports such as hardware schedules are presented in very specific format. This makes the PDF file format an ideal choice for digital distribution; all the data is presented in its intended presentation style.
Despite the global acceptance of the PDF format as a standard, there remain individuals that prefer to receive certain reports and schedules in an easily editable format such as MicrosoftWord or Excel. Importing raw exported data into these applications, however, results in a document this is entirely unformatted and the user is left attempting to recreate it.
AVAproject offers a convenient tool to address this very specific need. Select reports and schedules can be exported directly to files that are readable by MicrosoftWord and Excel - complete with page formatting.
A data breach resulting in the leak of over 100 million users' private data raises serious concerns over the security of cloud based data storage.
In a breaking story that shook the foundations of both the technology and financial sectors, it was announced Capital One's servers had been breached. Approximately 100 million credit card applications had been leaked, complete with personal information such as social security numbers, credit scores and transaction data.
What makes this data breach even more significant is where that breached server resides. The data is hosted by Amazon Web Services(AWS), arguably the largest cloud providers on the planet; 47.8% or the total e-commerce market share, with Microsoft coming in second with 15.5%. AWS provides the web based platform and storage facilities for countless major companies and software applications. Such applications include accounting/ERP applications and even some detailing/estimating packages used throughout the architectural industry.
AVAproject provides a variety of time saving tools and features designed to make the tasks of specification writing, detailing and estimating fast and more efficient. One of the most widely used of these features is the 'project template'.
'Project templates' provide a starting point on which to create new projects - as an alternative to beginning with a virtual blank slate. Standard sets of data, such as hardware lists, hardware groups, standard openings, elevations and door types can be easily reused from one project to another.
This can be an especially valuable timesaver when estimating and detailing projects that are part of existing chains or building developments, where product preferences remain consistent from one job to the next.
Many specification writers maintain a standard list of hardware items that they prefer, and tend to use over and over again in many projects. A project template can be used to load that predefined hardware list as a starting point for new projects.
The process of creating a project template involves nothing more than creating a standard project file. A project template itself is nothing more than a project file from which information is recycled for use in another project. In actuality, any existing project file can be used as a project template.
To begin a new project based on a project template, simply highlight the arrow located to the right of the "New" option in the file menu and select 'Browse for Project Template'.
Once a project template has been chosen, it will be automatically loaded and "anonymized" in preparation for its use. All the project-specific information, names, dues dates, billing and shipping details, and the internal 'project log' are cleared for the new project. Product and openings information, however, is retained.
As with any project file created with AVAproject, it can be shared easily with coworkers or made available to users throughout the company. Commonly used templates can be stored in a location, accessible to all users and modified over time as project requirements and product preferences evolve.
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