Showing posts from December, 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.

Tracker Dashboard v1.0.115 SVN20 released

This release has a new dashboard-specific flag called "Send if no data?" which enables you to specify whether dashboard emails should be sent if they do not contain any data.

For example, if a dashboard contains actions for the following day but there are no actions present, the email would be suppressed.

Please contact the office if you would like this update.

Tracker Dashboard v1.0.113 SVN19 released

This release of Tracker Dashboard adds an important new feature - it is now possible to set up a "dashboard" which runs some special processing rather than send an email.

For example, you may need to update a CSV file to send to a client at specific times of the week.  Or perhaps some SQL is required to update a database every night.  It is now possible to add this sort of processing into Tracker Dashboard.

Please note - this "special processing" is by its very nature not something which can be defined by you, the  client.  Rather, if you need this sort of processing please contact us so that we can add the required programming for you.

Tracker Dashboard v1.0.97 SVN17 available

The latest Tracker Dashboard has passed through testing and is now available.

Tracker Dashboard v1.0.97 SVN17 has two important new facilities:

1 Colour-coded dashboards are now much easier to set up so you can highlight figures which are above or below target in green or red, for example:

Colour-coded dashboards are now easier to set up

2 Multiple schedules are now possible

Previously, setting multiple schedules was a pain to set up as you had to repeat the same set of dashboard instructions for each occasion that you wanted the dashboard to run.

Now, you can list any number of schedules by putting their schedules in a list as shown:

"Journeyman" review at Countrywide Group

The Countywide Group are a growing, ambitious and very successful legal and tax services company with a Head Office in Kenilworth.  We have been working with Countrywide for over a year now and we are thoroughly enjoying working with such a well-run business.

Over the last 12 months we've been building substantial Microsoft Access/SQL Server systems for them to control their orders ("Tracker"), enable their consultants to access data remotely ("Tracker Extranet") and - now - to log and manage new leads and opportunities ("Journeyman").  The latter two systems are built and powered by Alpha Five from Alpha Software.

Journeyman is a really sophisticated yet easy-to-use CRM system which shares the same database as the other systems and so can be used to "push" business into the main operation.

Today Dan held a full run-through with the first users of the system to get their early feedback.  It is looking good - the changes requested were largely cosmetic and large volumes of data are now starting to go through the system.

Nice one Dan!

Read more about Journeyman here.

Tracker Web Server v1.5.330 SVN34 released

This has a raft of minor improvements including:

- a much improved administrator menu
- more settings relating to the showing of report documents when viewing asbestos registers
- more settings enabling building names and data to be shown in preference to site names/data for particular clients
- a new option to allow search by register ID from the main menu.

Please contact the office as normal if you would like this update.

Happy Christmas from all at Start Software!

Another year has flown by and we're still going strong!  It's been another busy year for us, but a difficult one for lots of our clients as the recession continued.  I have a feeling that 2013 is going to be better - fingers crossed.

We're open every day over Christmas apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day in order to support you and your businesses.  If you have a problem, please log it with us as normal either by phone (0845 612 2402) or via the new client portal

As usual, the money we would have spent on Christmas Cards will be going direct to charity.  This year we're supporting the RNLI who do such fantastic work saving lives at sea.  They are supported entirely by voluntary contributions and so donations are absolutely vital to them.  We'll be sending a cheque for £100 in the New Year.

Thanks again for your business and support in 2012, we really do appreciate that we have to earn your custom and we will continue to do our best to deliver what you need at a price you can afford.  We've got exciting plans for the New Year and we all look forward to working with you in 2013.


Robin, Elaine, Adam, Kim, Dan, Billy, Ricky, Shane & Andy

SL Environmental are latest Tracker users

SL Environmental of Kent have just completed their Tracker installation and training and are already busy with their first Tracker surveys.

Surveyors Joe Cumming and Lucy Smith have used Tracker at previous employers and were keen to bring it to SL Environmental to increase efficiency and to enable capture and transmission of survey data from site on their Android smartphones.

With the installation complete in only 3 days, SL Environmental have proved to be the perfect Tracker Lo-Start customer.

Read more about their installation by clicking here.

Start Software/Alpha Software partnership in Midlands Business News

Nice write-up about our partnership with Alpha Software!

Improved error trapping in Tracker Document Maker Service

Occasionally, Word will generate errors during the process of producing a report via Tracker Document Maker Service.

If Word does throw an error, TDMS will move on to generating the next document in the queue, but it may leave a "hanging" Word process.  Over time, these Word processes (you see them as "WINWORD.EXE" in the Task Manager) may use valuable memory and processor time on the server.

If this issue affects you, we are able to compile TDMS in a different way so that these orphaned Word processes are killed automatically.

Please contact the office if you would like to discuss this.

Tracker Upload Manager v1.0.59 SVN7

This is our latest release with more flexibility in terms of specifying SMTP mail server settings.

Please contact the office if you would like this update to Tracker Upload Manager.

VAT rounding queries with Sage/QuickBooks

Invoice Tracker is able to push invoices across to Sage (most version) and QuickBooks (ditto).

When calculating VAT you may find that Tracker, Sage & QuickBooks may occasionally differ by 1p.

This is not a bug in any of the systems, but a well-known computer system problem called "rounding errors".

If you are concerned, we can adjust the Tracker calculation process to exactly match your particular version Sage and/or QuickBooks.  Please contact the office if you would like to discuss this.

Additional analysis options available in Lab Tracker

Our original versions of Lab Tracker support up to 3 analysis results per sample.

Following updated advice from UKAS, we are now being asked to provide space for up to 8 analysis results per sample.

If you would like us to extend your Lab Tracker to support these additional analysis results, please contact the office.

Tracker Dashboard v1.0.89 SVN16 released

This is a minor bug-fix update resolving issues when blind copying emails (using "bcc") using Tracker Dashboard.

Please contact the office if you would like this update.

Photo issues with HTC One Android smartphones

Some clients have reported issues with Tracker Mobile being unable to read photos created with the new HTC One range of smartphones including the:

  • HTC One X
  • HTC One S
We have tracked the problem down and it relates to the internal file names being used by these devices.

If you are using the HTC One range of devices please take care to check photos carefully and contact the office if you think you may be experiencing the problem yourself.

Resource Tracker v1.0.614 SVN35 released

This is a bug fix release with a number of minor problems fixed in Resource Tracker including one that affects copy/paste operations.

Please contact the office if you would this like update.

Tracker Filer v1.0 launched

Tracker Filer is an exciting new module for Tracker which will be of huge benefit to all Tracker customers.

Tracker Filer links your email system and the Tracker project folders.  It works quietly and efficiently reading emails sent to it (at the special email address and then filing the emails and attachments in the appropriate Tracker folder.

How does it know which folder to use?  It reads the email looking for Tracker project numbers! What if it can't find a project number?  It emails you back to ask you which project number to use!

You can even "cc" or "bcc" emails to Tracker Filer - so, for example, when you send an important email to your client with the plan of works for the job, cc trackerfiler@ and the email (and attachments) will be filed for you.

v1.0 is now in beta and is available if you contact the office.  The module price can be found here.

Tracker Web Server v1.5.322 SVN28 available

This release of Tracker Web Server has a number of minor bug fixes and a new feature.

The bugs fixed all relate to document handling for companies with 10-character project numbers eg: SP12-00023.  If you use Tracker project numbers in this format, please do contact us for the update.

The new feature enables TWS to display additional information from the buildings tab (on the Survey screen) in Tracker to identify what sort of survey was undertaken at that building.

For example, if the survey was a refurb/demo specifically for the bathroom, whenever Tracker lists the buildings it can now show "(R&D to bathroom)" after the building name helping your client to find the information they need.

Here is an example:

Start Software at The Gadget Show Live!

Here are a few shots from our Christmas outing to the Gadget Show Live at ExCel London - don't miss Elaine's and Billy's dancing (scroll down)!

Close to the action - here's Jason Bradbury
Never seen Billy so excited

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