Author: Ryan Brown

Why You Don’t Want to Miss the Inaugural SIX Training in London: 14-16 Nov, 2012

Why You Don’t Want to Miss the Inaugural SIX Training in London As a long time user and trainer of D-Tools, I’m especially excited about the release of D-Tools SIX.   I’ve been receiving snapshots of the progress over the past year or so and now that I’ve been beta testing I’m realizing just how fantastic this version of D-Tools is.  I won’t go into all of the specific features that I find so attractive (there are so many that I’m excited about it would take another full post to achieve that).  I’ll just say that it’s obvious D-Tools has been listening to their customers! Now back to the training in London.  I believe this is my 4th or 5th time doing a regional training across the pond and this is the one I’m most excited about – I’m eager to share my enthusiasm for this new version and assist the attendees with their implementation of the best D-Tools software release ever.  It’s been about a year and a half since we were last in the UK – so if you are looking to upgrade to D-Tools SIX, don’t miss this opportunity to attend this comprehensive course.  If you’ve never been to one of our regional trainings, let me explain to you how these courses are organized and delivered.  Seating is limited to allow for quality interaction and personal attention, so hurry...

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D-Tools Training Back in the UK! June 9-10, 2011

After a 2 year hiatus our acclaimed regional training program is headed back to the UK for an action packed 2-day training course! This completely hands-on course empowers attendees to maximize their company’s potential with D-Tools software.  The training is jam packed with effective best practices for implementation, database management, sales technique, design documentation, reporting, business operations, management capabilities and making your company run more efficiently! Make the most of your opportunity to learn in an intimate, hands-on learning environment with a D-Tools expert as well as a pool of your peers.  Networking and mind-sharing are a brilliant side effect to regional training courses that tend to pay dividends above and beyond the obvious benefits you receive from the course itself. I am very excited to be coming back to the UK to teach this course again.  In years past we’ve had wonderful groups of excited, engaged professionals eager to make the most of D-Tools within their companies.  I hope you can join us this year and take part in this learning opportunity.  Our events in 2008 and 2009 were sold out to capacity – if you are interested in taking this course I recommend speaking to Seth Rubenstein sooner rather than later! Course Logistics The course will be held over a 2 days period, June 9-10, from 8:00 – 5:30 each day. The Location is TBD but will...

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Ryan Brown Reviews D-Tools 5.5 Service Pack 3

Ryan Brown, of Certified Partner Media Environment Design Reviews SP3 I saw the list of features for SP3 the other day and noticed some very cool new feature additions. At face value these features may not have a lot of flash or flare and may not seem to be a big deal (to some of you); but to others I’m guessing you’re doing the Jersey Shore fist pump right about now 🙂 .  Many of the new features are efficiency builders; things that as users will make our lives easier and more efficient. That’s exciting to me, after all that’s what my business is all about; making integrators more efficient and profitable. My Top 3 New Features Project revisions have ‘description’ and ‘date created’ fields This is a wonderful feature addition! When using a proper revision management process in D-Tools, this new feature allows you to add descriptions to each revision as a reminder of what that particular revision contains. No more work around methods of tracking revision notes! Hooray! Not only does it allow for descriptions, but it tracks the date created for the revision. SWEET. If you aren’t yet using revision management in D-Tools to track your accepted/ rejected change orders as well as internal revisions to the project, you are missing out on one of the best features Si5 provides! Successfully tracking (and getting paid for)...

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Using the Prefilter Items Option in 5.5 Reporting

I’ve been getting a lot of calls recently about a particular issue with Si 5.5 reporting. I should clarify it’s not exactly an ‘issue’ per se, (there is a very easy resolution – just not something most people know about!) So, I decided to post the resolution here on the blog to help everyone out. Issue: When running a proposal report with filters applied using Phases your packages are removed from the report altogether. The reason for this is that in the D-Tools database, a package does not have a ‘phase’ rather the items inside the package are assigned to a phase in the database. Resolution: This is very easy to fix and this must be completed on each machine running D-Tools. 1.  Open D-Tools and navigate to the Reports tab. 2.  On the Reports tab click on the ‘View/Change Global Settings’ button 3.  This will bring up this dialog box: 4.  Set the Prefilter Items option = True Explanation: Setting this setting = True will cause all of the items in your project to have filters applied to them in advance (on the back end) so that when you do run a report with filters applied, those items residing in packages will filter appropriately. For example if I have a package with Rough-In, Trim and Finish items inside, and I run a report for Phase = Rough-In only,...

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Report Designer: the value of parameters

One of the most powerful attributes of the D-Tools report designer is the ability to use parameters in your reports. These parameters give you the ability to make choices on how a report should be run. The standard D-Tools proposal reports provide many different parameter choices right out of the box such as: ability to hide or show the model number or line item pricing to name a few. The parameter settings can be saved as report definitions (report definitions allow me to setup a report to be run several different ways). Report definitions show up underneath a report template that expands with a “+” sign and look like this: For an overview on how to edit and add report definitions to these standard reports Click Here.  Watch the 4th video down from the top. Adding Report Parameters For the more adventurous report customizer, adding additional parameters to your reports in the report designer might be something you want to investigate. In this post I am going to describe the process for adding a parameter to a new proposal report (created based on the standard report = ‘Proposal’). I am going to teach you to add a parameter to hide the group level pricing field (or not). To add a parameter to a report you must do two things: 1. Add a parameter value to the report in the...

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