The new update of Sharpesoft’s Integrated Project Management (IPM) system is now available.
Among the highlights in this update are tools to help you avoid data loss from unsynchronized mobile inspector systems, as well as improved support for synchronizing systems with newer versions of Microsoft SQL Server.
In addition, we have expanded item-numbering options in the Bid Items window, allowed for alternates in the Item Funding budget, and added new processing options to the Pay Estimate reports.
Continue reading to learn more about these and other improvements in the new 2016A.5 update for IPM.
Mobile Inspector™ Synchronize Alerts Added
To help prevent data loss from inspectors forgetting to synchronize their Mobile Inspector™ systems with IPM™, inspectors will now receive alerts if the publication expiration is approaching and they have not yet synchronized their systems.
When they have allowed two days to pass without synchronizing, inspectors will begin to receive alerts, like the one shown below, each time they log into their Mobile Inspector™ systems.
After 30 percent of the publication retention interval has passed, the message is displayed in bold and after 50 percent, it changes to red, to further emphasize its importance.
Inspectors can click the Synchronize button to proceed with synchronization or click Skip for now to postpone synching and open Mobile Inspector™. If they choose to skip synchronizations, the notifications will continue to appear each time they log into their MI systems.
However, once 70 percent of the retention interval has passed, the Skip for now button is disabled and the inspector no longer has the option to postpone synchronization.
In addition, note that the Synchronize Mobile Inspector notice that appears when an inspector has allowed his or her publication subscription to expire has been changed to place a stronger emphasis on the imminent data loss when re-establishing publication.
Sync Date Indicator Linked to Retention Interval
In the IPM™ Mobile Inspectors window, the instruction at the top now indicates that inspectors must synchronize their his or her Mobile Inspector™ field data with IPM™ within the publication retention interval set in the Setup Publication window. Previously, the time was fixed at 14 days, regardless of the retention interval.the synchronization indicator now alerts the user when an inspector has not synchronized his or her Mobile Inspector™ field data with IPM™ within the publication retention interval set in the Setup Publication window. Previously, the indicator was set at 14 days.
Additionally, when an inspector has allowed at least half of the interval period to pass without synchronizing, the Last Sync Date column for that inspector will be highlighted in red as a warningn indicator. Previously, the warning was fixed at 7 days, regardless of the retention interval.
Improved Bid Item Numbering
By client request, a new bid item numbering default preference setting has been added that allows system supervisors to set the number of zeros that precede digits when numbering bid items. This allows for longer consecutively numbered bid item lists without having to manually renumber.
In the Defaults menu > Preferences > Bid tab, use the drop list next to the Bid items default number of digits option to select the number you want (up to 6 zeros). For example, if you want your numbering to start at 001, you would select “3” as your default.
Include Alternates in Funding Budget
A new Use Preferred Alternate Package selection has been added to the Item Funding Budget window Options menu, which allows you to include bid items from the preferred alternate package in the funding budget. Using the engineer’s estimate, you can then assign estimated funding for the alternates before the project is put out to bid.
When this option is selected, the alternate package bid items will now be available in the Select Bid Items window and you can add them to the budget the same way you do bid items and change orders.
Once you have added and funded your alternates, their costs will be reflected in the totals panel at the bottom of the Funding Budget window. In addition, any underfunded alternate items will be included in the Under-Funded Items window.
When alternates have been added to the funding budget, they will appear in the window regardless of whether the Use Alternates option has been selected or not. After the project has been awarded, the option will no longer be available for selection.
Support for Mobile Inspector™ synchronization with latest versions of SQL Server
Although IPM™ itself has was always already supported on the latest versions of SQL Server, due to earlier changes by Microsoft, Mobile Inspector™ has been unable to synchronize with IPM™ on any version newer than 2008R2. With recent changes implemented by Microsoft, synchronizing Mobile Inspector™ with IPM™ using SQL Server versions 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2017 are now supported.
Mismatched SQL version notification
When setting up the Mobile Inspector™ database, the SQL Server version for the subscriber MI laptop must match those being used for the publisher and distributor system(s), or users will not be able to synchronize their Mobile Inspector™ laptops to IPM™. To emphasize this, during the Test Connection procedure, if mismatched SQL versions are detected the system now displays an alert advising the user to either upgrade or downgrade their subscriber SQL version so that all three match.
Pay Estimate Reports – Include Materials on Hand
Also by client request, an Include Materials This Estimate processing option has been added to the Pay Estimate - Active Project report. When selected, two additional values are displayed in the report summary, which show the costs for materials on hand and for materials on hand deductions for that pay period.
Note that when this option has been selected, the words “to date” are added to the overall materials on hand and materials on hand deductions lines in the report summary to differentiate those figures from the “this estimate” numbers.
Daily Labor & Equipment Details report
In the Daily Labor & Equipment Details report, it was noted that when the Print Item Details (Hours) processing option was de-selected, the header in the printed report would appear misaligned on the page. This has been corrected.
Also, note in the report header that the report title has been shortened to Daily Labor & Equipment Activity.