Showing posts from October, 2011

About Start Software

Start Software is an award-winning developer and leading publisher of asbestos software, systems for the legal services industry and more.

Want to know more about asbestos software Alpha Tracker? Alpha Tracker is the most used asbestos software in the UK, Australia & New Zealand with more than 60m items of asbestos data stored.

Our legal services software Alpha Legal helps will writers, accountants, solicitors, IFAs and estate agents to communicate securely with clients. Read about developments here on the blog.

Or need help with Alpha Anywhere or Alpha Transform projects or software development? You'll find useful info here.

Resource Tracker performance improvements on the way

Resource Tracker can be slow to start up and it something that bugs us and Resource Tracker users.  With some users processing literally 100,000s of diary entries some delays are inevitable, but that hasn't stopped us from looking at every line of code to see what can be improved.

We are well on the way to making huge performance improvements through optimised database access coding.  Watch this space!

Tracker Web Server v1.5.264 on general release

This v1.5.264 version of Tracker Web Server has a much-improved order tracking facility for client use.  Using this facility (which can be switched off and on per client), your customers can see the progress of work that you are doing for them and they can also place orders for new work.

Also in this release is a new link (optional, default on) which appears on the project screen to enable your customers to quickly jump back to the site screen relating to that project.

Contact the office to request the update.

Alpha Five v11 launched - even better, quicker web-application development

Alpha Five is one of our favourite development environments when creating applications to run over the web.

Traditionally, it has been very difficult to build fully-functional web-based apps as the Internet was really only designed to display information (web pages) and not allow the sort of sophisticated interaction which database applications require.

Alpha allows us to build web-based systems (software which runs entirely within a web browser and needs no software to buy or install on your desktop or laptop) really quickly and with lots of functionality and flexibility.

Recently, for example, we've created a system for an international charity which enables them to capture data from anywhere in the world in order to assess the success of their projects.  We've also used it to build an "Extranet" (ie private system hosted on the Internet) for a national legal services business.

v11 builds on v10's power and ease of use and now enables deployment of applications to all handheld devices as well as PCs and Macs - so this means that we can now build software just as easily for iPad, iPhones, Android phones and Android tablets.

Do you want to make some of your company data available live on the web?  Have you started to build an application using more traditional development tools and are you finding it a very long and costly process?  Do contact us to discuss your requirements - we can help!

Price rises

We've had to increase some of our prices in line with inflation.  You will see the new prices on estimates issued from the start of our new financial year (1 October).

Since we started trading, through careful management of the business, we have managed to reduce our prices in real terms so these increases are disappointing but unfortunately increased costs (especially fuel) have impacted on us in 2011 and so these increases were necessary.

If you have any concerns about our charges please do contact me to discuss.

New "open" Tracker client

We've just started a new implementation of Tracker in an "open" format - the customer wants to develop Tracker in their own direction and they have staff and software development experience to enable them to do it.

This is the first time that we've implemented a Tracker in an "open" way from day 1.  We have other customers who have bought development licenses for use with existing systems, but this is the first time we've done it from the outset.

Do you have Tracker and your own software development/IT staff?  If so, ring in to discuss the options you have available to develop Tracker in your own business.

Start Software financial results announced - best year yet (again)

Our 2010/11 financial year has just come to a close (we run October - September).

We're really pleased to announce that group turnover and profit are both up on last year's record-breaking figures which means that this is another best year yet.  These figures are all the more remarkable because we have invested over £50K in a major new software product (to launch in 2012).

These figures are due to hard work from the staff, lots of focus on doing the right things and actively deciding not to work for clients who expect the earth and either don't pay on time or don't expect to pay at all!

We know we're far from perfect but we do try to do the best for our loyal customers.  We are committing to further expansion in the coming months to ensure that you are getting the service you want and deserve.  We are also going to launch some new service offerings to help you to make the most from our software.

Thank you for your continued business and support - we all really appreciate it.

Start Software expansion: first phase complete - new developer joins the team

We are expanding our business over the next 3 months starting with an increase in our development capacity.

We're delighted to announce that experienced developer Ricky Davies has joined the team adding his exceptional range of software development skills to our existing mix.  Specifically, Ricky add skills in these areas:
  • C#
  • VB
  • CSS
  • T-SQL / SQL
  • Windows Forms
  • Windows WPF
  • Graphic Design
  • Flash + Actionscript
We have been trying to poach Ricky for some time (he has been working on a project-by-project basis up until now) and he has finally given in and agreed to work with us!

Software developer Ricky Davies at his new desk
Ricky's next project is our new Resource Tracker Diary Sync service so watch this space!

Live Order Tracking now available within Tracker Web Server v1.5.256

We've updated and improved the live order tracking facility within Tracker Web Server.

You can now show your customers their orders in progress, orders complete this month, and all finished projects live from their login page on Tracker Web Server:

Example of the "Reports completed this month" view

Really usefully, the customer also has a live link to the project (for completed projects, shown as '1' above) as well as a prompt to send you a purchase order number if they haven't supplied one for that job ('2')!

There is even an automatic email facility to prompt the customer to send you new business:

The order tracking facility can be enabled and disabled per client and is off by default.

If you would like this update to Tracker Web Server and have a current support contract in place, please contact the office.

Tracker Dashboard v1.0.59 released

Our new version of Tracker Dashboard is v1.0.59 with several cosmetic enhancements and a new facility to show descriptive text with each table in a Dashboard email.  This helps recipients to understand the information sent to them.

If you would this like free-of-charge update and are within a current support/maintenance plan, please contact the office (

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