We are always listening to you.

SpecChecker product manager, Eiren Smith, talks about its customer-driven enhancements

We have a very close relationship with our customers. Though we produce general-purpose tools for MicroStation, we enhance our tools to handle specific situations that you communicate to us. Our relationship with our customers is very important. To maintain it, we have to listen to you and give you what you need.

When the MicroStation Today guys asked me to write an article about our recent SpecChecker work, I told them, “It’s not a headliner.” Translation: The work we’ve been doing this year has not been to sell more copies of SpecChecker in the short term – it has been to deliver even more value to the customers we already have, benefiting everyone in the long term. The editors of MicroStation Today said that was just fine.

When we get a request for a new feature, we always ask, “How many users will this help?” Giving the most help to the greatest number of users is always at the top of the equation when we are considering potential new features.

SpecChecker now supports keywords for checking working unit settings.

Enhancements
Starting with one of the bigger enhancements in SpecChecker, the tool that is used to create the list of design files to process, AxiFLP, has undergone a dramatic improvement. Over the last few MicroStation Today issues, we have talked about AxiFLP often. AxiFLP is easier to use than ever and it now supports drag and drop of files from Windows Explorer. It is also faster at searching for files to process. AxiFLP is making its way into products across Axiom’s product line. It has already been integrated into FileFixer, Title Block Manager and now SpecChecker and RuleManager.

We also added new keywords for checking and reporting on working unit settings, from positional units per sub-unit to the master unit label for each file.

Also, we moved some of SpecChecker’s functionality into a DLL (Dynamic Link Library) in order to gain the benefits of professional Windows debugging tools that are better than what MicroStation alone provides. This allows us to find and fix bugs and add new features faster, which is good for everyone. A side effect of this is that SpecChecker is now considerably faster in some circumstances.

We have made tons of carefully considered, subtle improvements in the user interface to make the out-of-box experience as smooth as possible for both new and experienced users. If you are already a regular SpecChecker user, you will feel the difference in time saved, even if you can’t quite put your finger on the exact changes.

Features and fixes
For more details on the changes we have made, please read the “New Features and Fixes” section of your SpecChecker Help file, available via Help | Contents from within SpecChecker.

Conclusion
If you are an experienced SpecChecker user, please enjoy the changes we’ve made for you. If you are a new SpecChecker user, please know that all the changes we’ve made for our existing users are for you too. Because, in the long run, helping our existing users helps everyone. Your road to CAD standards compliance will be easier to travel than ever.

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