Showing posts from March, 2012

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.

Capacity planning questionnaire

Please help us to plan our staffing levels for 2012/13.

Here is a simple questionnaire which will give us the information we need to give you the service you want:

(thanks for your time and help with this, it will make a big difference to us and you)

We're recruiting! Software development apprentices get in touch

We're looking to recruit software development apprentices to work with our web development tool, Alpha Five.

Are you looking to have a career in software development and want to work in a successful company to develop your skills and experience?  Give us a call on 0845 612 2402 and send your CV and personal information through to

If you get in touch we'll want to know that you are keen and serious about your choice of career, so if you've got access to a Windows PC why not download the trial version of Alpha Five and have a look at the product before getting in touch!

Support video: checking the size of a SQL Server database

SQL Server Express has strict limits in terms of the size of database it will store.  This support video shows you how to check the size of the database and make sure that you are not going to hit the limit.

First 50 suggestions received - thank you!

A couple of weeks ago I posted that we had a new on-line system for capturing suggestions to improve our software.

The response has been fantastic with over 50 suggestions received already!

If something bugs you about our software get yourself over to our support web site at and tell us how we can make our software better.

Resource Tracker v1.0.561

This update includes a new option which changes the meaning of the "i" alert symbol in the diary.

Usually, the "i" symbol when shown on an appointment indicates that the project is over-scheduled and that appointment in particular is one which has run over.

The new option changes the way that Resource Tracker works so that the "i"-marked appointments are those which have been invoiced.  This means that you can see at a glance whether appointments have been invoiced or not.

Please contact the office as usual to get hold of this update.

Windows 8 - uh?!

Clients are starting to ask now whether Tracker, Toy Tracker and other systems will work fine on Windows 8, the next generation Windows operating system from Microsoft. So, to start our testing process, we've started to test the Windows 8 Consumer Preview release which is a "beta" quality release from Microsoft aimed at getting feedback from users.

The "big new thing" is the new Metro user interface which sits on top of the classic Windows 7 desktop:

The Windows 8 Metro UI

It makes the PC look very like an Android tablet or iPad - very modern and very slick, but pretty hopeless if you want to do some "real work" with the usual Office products such as Excel, Word, Outlook etc.

You can drop into the classic desktop view to run these programs as usual but there is something obvious missing... the Start button!  This means that there is no easy way to access your program list, the Run dialog box or - most importantly for me - the instant Search box.  I use the Search box to find and run programs, find emails, find documents... and there simply isn't an equivalent in Windows 8.

It looks like I'm not the only one to find the lack of a Search box a pain -

It also means that it isn't obvious how to switch the computer off either - in fact, it is so obscure, I gave that as a test to Dan and Kim and they failed just like I did...

Help us to make our software better and easier to use

We've put up a "suggestions page" so that you can send us suggestions about our software.

Is there a screen which drives you mad?  Is there an aspect of Tracker which you wish worked differently?  Is a report too slow to produce?

Have a look at our support site at and let us know!

New support video - how to install or upgrade Mobile Data Studio on Android devices

I've just posted a new support video answering one of the questions we are asked most often - how to install or upgrade Mobile Data Studio on Android phones and tablets:

Hope it helps!

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