November 21, 2005
Web Portal for Construction Firms
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
Each AEC Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the AEC industry, AEC product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!

About this Issue….

Welcome to AECWeekly! In an interview with Brad Mathews, vice president/sales and marketing, Dexter + Chaney, Mathews spoke about the company's new Web Portal for Forefront Construction Management Software customers. The new Portal gives customers and employees of construction companies access to critical data and functions available in Forefront from any computer with an Internet connection. Read the interview in this week's Industry News.

AECWeekly is a news magazine featuring important industry news profiles, a summary of recently published AEC product and company news, customer wins, and coming events. Brought to you by AECCafe.

AECWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News, Acquisitions/Agreements/Alliances, Announcements, Awards, Implementations, Financials, New Products, Around the Web, and Upcoming Events.

AECWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think.

Best wishes,

Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News

Web Portal for Construction Firms

By Susan Smith

In an interview with Brad Mathews, vice president/sales and marketing, Dexter + Chaney, Mathews spoke about the company's new Web Portal for Forefront Construction Management Software customers. The new Portal gives customers and employees of construction companies access to critical data and functions available in Forefront from any computer with an Internet connection. Data can include payroll/timecard and service inquiry and request information, as well as the ability to maintain the company's website content. Security capabilities of the Web Portal make it possible to control access to certain content and to specify who can add or maintain information on the Website.

1) What percentage of your Forefront customer base are in offices and what percentage are in the field?

I assume that you are referring to actual Forefront users at our clients, not the entire workforce. In that case, I would estimate that about 60 to 70% of the users are in the office, 30 to 40% are field users.

2) Do you see your customers who are in the field using the Web portal from wherever they are, wirelessly and what advantages will they see using it this way?

Connectivity options vary depending on a user's location. Some will work wirelessly, others will use a high-speed connection, still others will use a dial-up connection. The big advantage is having access to information and being able to enter data when it's needed. It's a timing issue, do I need to wait hours or even days to get a question answered or to enter timecards or material quantities, etc. or can I do it right now, when I need it? Web Portal makes it possible to work in real time without delays.

3) Will employees be able to customize the Web portal without requiring additional staff, ie. creating forms and maintaining the site themselves?


4) What are some of the highlights of Forefront that will be able to be accessed in the Web Portal?

Flexibility is huge, the portal allows the user to determine a wide variety of information available via the portal. Customer access, the portal allows for customers and others to access information directly via the portal. Real time data entry: enter labor hours, equipment hours, quantities complete, approve information entered by others. All of this information will immediately update the company-wide Forefront SQL database. Security, the portal provides powerful, flexible security to tailor the access allowed to individual users. And the ability to create virtually any content that you want via the portal: create your entire company website if you desire or just provide key
information to targeted users, it's all up to the user.

5) What do you think makes it stand out from other Web Portals available today?

It's a fully-integrated element of the overall Forefront Construction Management Software. It's not a third-party add-on, it ties directly to the Forefront SQL database. It was designed specifically for use by construction companies, their staff and their customers.


Autodesk, Inc. and Rockwell Automation, a global industrial automation solutions company, announce that Autodesk has been accepted into the Rockwell Automation Encompass Partner program. The partnership enables customers of Rockwell Automation who utilize the Allen-Bradley brand of products to reap significant value from using AutoCAD Electrical software, a leading AutoCAD-based electrical controls design application, interoperable with Autodesk's other design applications. Autodesk continues its commitment to delivering technology that enables users to interact with 2D and 3D design information in the same environment.

Mechdyne Corporation announced it will acquire VRCO Inc., a developer of interactive 3D visualization software. The addition of VRCO's rich history and expertise, in conjunction with Mechdyne's acquisition of Fakespace Systems in 2003, reaffirms the company's position as the world's largest and most comprehensive dedicated visualization company, with a reputation for exceptional services and support, the industry's most recognizable brands and the world's largest installed base of advanced visualization users.

AEC Daily Corporation, a Delaware Corporation and AEC Info, a division of Docu Group AG in Switzerland, have formed a strategic alliance to integrate their specialties into each other's websites.

AEC Daily's building product directory will now be managed by AEC Info. Conversely, AEC Daily's continuing education program will be integrated into AEC Info. By leveraging each others' strengths, the two companies will significantly improve the information services they provide to the AEC industry.


Oce, a global provider in digital document management and delivery solutions, announced that Oce Universal Clear Inkjet Film can be used to create film positives for screenprinting applications. This film offers exceptional optical clarity and can attain very high black ink image density, which is ideal for creating digital film masters used to "burn" screens for screenprinting applications.

Avatech Solutions, Inc., announced the company will host the Altogether Smarter Challenge at this year's Autodesk University User Conference and Exhibition, which takes place November 28th-December 1st at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, Orlando, Florida.

faciliCAD will be exhibiting at Autodesk University for the fifth consecutive year. faciliCAD is a facility management software solution that targets both small and large facilities looking for and inexpensive and user friendly CAFM (Computer Aided Facility Management) application.

Jody Reynolds, Director of Application Engineers for Microdesk, Inc., will be speaking on Essentials of Roadway Design with Autodesk Civil 3D 2006 at Autodesk University 2005.


Primavera Systems, Inc., announced the winners of the 2005 Primavera Excellence Awards at its 22nd Annual Conference in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The awards recognize customers for their outstanding accomplishments in delivering value and efficiency to their organizations. The Primavera Excellence Awards were presented in six categories, including Engineering and Construction; Financial Services; Hi- Tech/Telecom/ Services; Power, Energy and Process; Public Government; and Public Construction Owner.

GTM Architects, a full service award-winning architectural and design firm, announced that two of the company's recent projects have been recognized by the Potomac Valley Chapter of the American Institute of Architects 2005 Design Awards competition. The awarded projects include GTM's work with the Avalon Theater and EYA Urban Properties, both located in Washington, DC


Autodesk, Inc. announced that IMAGICA Corp. has added 15 seats of Autodesk Toxik software to its post-production pipeline, along with training from Autodesk Consulting. Autodesk has also released the first feature extension to the Toxik collaborative visual effects and compositing software. This extension, called Blend and Comp, contains tools that make frequent digital compositing tasks easier.

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-- Susan Smith, Managing Editor.

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