category-assignmentsUsers of previous versions of System Integrator are no doubt aware of the importance of category name in product data. Since D-Tools uses category and subcategory to determine which shapes to draw, changing category names often meant manually re-assigning shapes on a model-by-model basis. Additionally, in version 4 and earlier, category was used as a database key, making it difficult to merge price list information (from local files) with D-Tools product library data.

Fortunately, with the release of SIX 2013 earlier this month, we are finally free from restrictions placed on category names. Users can change category names freely, and both shape and database relationships will continue to work. Categorize your database any way you like, and SIX 2013 will keep on working with all of the efficiency you’re used to.

On our side, the D-Tools Data Team will continue to publish data using our current categorization, which focuses on how products are used and provides an initial estimate for how long products take to install. And now that we’re free to update categories on older models, we’ll finally be able to go back and correct many of the inconsistencies that exist in the database.

So, for any of you still running an older version of SI, I urge you to look into upgrading to SIX 2013. This is the platform we’ve been working towards for years, and the data handling & performance is vastly better than anything we’ve put out to date. Plus, there are some really great updates to shapes and drawings that I know you’re going to like if you are an experienced Visio user.

For those of you already on SIX 2013, enjoy your freedom! In the coming months you can expect updates to the category and subcategory of many older products, and with the Update From D-Tools feature, you can choose whether to update to our new categories, or keep the ones you already have. It’s up to you. And that’s the way it should be.

P.S. If you find a group of products badly categorized, please send us a Data Error Report so we can update accordingly. We appreciate your assistance!