Showing posts from July, 2014

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.

New link from Tracker Upload Manager to AlphaValidator

The latest Tracker Upload Manager has been released with important new functionality.

Tracker Upload Manager v1.0.141 SVN25 can automatically run appropriate data validation tests via AlphaValidator as soon as data is uploaded by a surveyor providing them (and the admin team) instant feedback by email if any data is missing or invalid.

For more information about the new AlphaValidator module, click here.

New Alpha Tracker module - AlphaValidator

We're delighted to announce the immediate launch of AlphaValidator, a new software module (part of the Alpha Tracker family) designed to implement a comprehensive range of data checks prior to the production of an asbestos report.

The new module is fast, flexible and fully integrated into the Alpha Tracker "survey" screen and provides an instant colour-coded traffic light indication of possible data problems:

AlphaValidator results
As well as a standard set of data checks, it also enables survey-specific tests to be undertaken prior to specific report types being produced.  All settings are accessible via the Alpha Tracker system repository.

You can find out more about AlphaValidator by clicking  AlphaValidator is available as part of the Alpha Tracker July 2014 update (SVN570+).

Alpha Tracker Document Maker v1.4.317 SVN48 released

More improvements to our automated quotation, project documentation and asbestos report writing engine!

The latest version of Alpha Tracker Document Maker, v1.4.317 SVN48, has improved drawing processing code.

Download from as usual.

YouTube video of the June 2014 Alpha Tracker update

We blogged yesterday with the notes from the June 2014 Alpha Tracker release.

Here is a YouTube video which runs through the key changes:

Tracker Web Server 1.5.496 SVN75 available for download

The latest release of Tracker Web Server, the online client portal for asbestos consultancies using the Tracker software system, is now available for download.

Version 1.5.496 SVN75 of Tracker Web Server improves the presentation of non-asbestos registers.

Please do contact the office if you need any help to update your system.

Alpha Tracker Document Maker v1.4.315 SVN47 released

The latest version of Alpha Tracker Document Maker is available for download from our web site here.

v1.4.315 SVN47 introduces a whole new type of table available for use in quote templates - this "crosstab" register type will enable asbestos consultancies using Alpha Tracker to generate quotations with more flexible tables of prices, previous works, services etc.

If you need help with the update or would like to find out more about it, please contact the office.

June 2014's major update to Alpha Tracker released (SVN530)

We got there - eventually - after holding back the release for some last-minute change requests.

(thanks Kim for your testing and the release notes below - we're too tired to write them ourselves!!).

In the June 2014 release of Alpha Tracker (SVN530) you will find a lot of new features to help you work with Alpha Tracker more efficiently and some bug fixes too.

All new features are fully documented in the updated User Guide which is part of the update and which you can download straight from the home page of Alpha Tracker:

New features

  1. There is a new option to create a Re-inspection project from an existing survey and send the items to be re-inspected to a specific handset.
  2. The Site Reference copies to the new project, as do the Buildings.
  3. The following fields are not copied to the new project: Project Opened, Order Received, Client Order Number, Client Project Ref, Estimated Total Project Value, Status, Project Notes, standard and additional milestones, Quotation ID, project's Special Instructions.
  4. Buttons on the Clients screen let you create a site, quote and project without having to return to the menu.
  5. The Site tab auto-refreshes to show new sites added.
  6. New fields on the Clients screen enable you to record an Account Manager and Account Support, selecting the name from your current members of staff.
  7. You can now record a mobile number for Client and Site Contacts as well as a landline telephone number.
  8. Buttons on the Sites screen let you create a project or a quotation with one click.
  9. You can now create multi-type and multi-site quotations, entering full details of sites, project types and costs.
  10. Prices are continued into the price builder/total price
  11. When producing your survey reports there is a new option to “Produce DRAFT Report” which produces the report as normal but with “DRAFT” at the front of the filename so that it is clear it is not a final or authorised report AND it doesn’t appear on Tracker Web Server by mistake.
  12. There are also settings that let you include the site name and / or the project type in the filename of your survey reports.
  13. There is a new setting to update or not update the report produced milestone.
  14. NAG items are now highlighted in pink on Survey Items, just like the No Access records.
  15. Selecting a Site Name on a Quotation now pulls through the landlord and the postcode to the quotation, and the display of the Site Name dropdown is improved.
  16. The Other Info button is available on the Quotations screen as soon as the quotation is given an ID.
  17. Figures on Invoicing screens are all displayed Net, without VAT.
  18. There are new additions to the range of standard reports.
  19. The Client Portal is fully available, giving your clients their own login to view their data.
  20. The whole of the Bulk Samples menu can be hidden in the Client Portal by using a new repository setting.
  21. There is an “Other Documents” button on the client portal allowing upload and download of documents for policies/procedures, training and approved contractors.
  22. The Client Portal includes fully searchable registers.

Bug fixes

  1. Exporting data from View Survey Data to an Excel spreadsheet
  2. When an enquiry is saved then changed to a quotation it no longer changes back to an enquiry.
  3. The correct Home Page should now be displayed for all users.
  4. The Edit/View Photos option displays the photographs for the survey.
  5. Recommendations are updatable in the survey data.
  6. Fixed errors encountered when creating projects from quotations.
  7. Fixed errors encountered when deleting drawings from Documents.
  8. Fixed errors encountered when adding appointments to the Calendar.
  9. Documents containing an ampersand (&) in their filename can now be uploaded to the Documents folder.

There are many more changes and bug fixes - the above is just the list of the most important.  I'll post a YouTube video of the changes when I get chance.

If you need any help updating your system, give the support line a call and they will be pleased to help.

More asbestos surveyors receive their Alpha Tracker training

We've had another busy week of asbestos surveyor training with another 12 asbestos surveyors receiving their Tracker Mobile and Alpha Tracker asbestos system training.

I've never seen such a variety of handsets too - everything from Sony Xperia smartphones to Kazam Thunders (first time I've seen them!).  Tracker Mobile supports virtually all types of smartphone and tablet for asbestos surveying on site - watch this video for more information:

Here are some of the photos from this week's training sessions:

Surveyors and admin staff having fun with their new handsets

Nice one Dan!

We just received this lovely comment from a new customer:

"I would like to take this opportunity to say that Dan is an excellent ambassador for your company – he is a bright and enthusiastic young man, who is focussed and hard working.  It is a pleasure to work with him.  He has quickly gained an understanding of our system and gives me confidence that we will get all issues resolved".

This is a new customer who needed help to complete and then support a large Alpha Five web-based system which had been developed by another software development house.  It isn't always easy for us to take on systems like this but we're making good progress and we're looking forward to a long working relationship with our new customer.

If we can help you with your Alpha Five or Alpha Anywhere software system, please do get in touch.

First Environment go live with Alpha Tracker

First Environment ( have had their Alpha Tracker system training today so we have another asbestos consultancy up and running!

First Environment's informative web site
The experienced asbestos surveying, management and removal staff at First Environment will be using Tracker Mobile on their Sony Android smartphones to capture asbestos survey data on site and will then be using the automated survey reporting features within Alpha Tracker to generate asbestos reports with just one-click.

Here are some of the photos taken at this morning's training session:

First Environment's head office at the Cannock Chase Enterprise Centre

Surveyors hard at work, learning Tracker Mobile

Admin staff and surveyors ready to produce their first Alpha Tracker reports

Help Desk stats for June 2014

We've had our best month on the Start Software Help Desk ever with over 96% of high priority calls getting resolved on time:

In time (%)
In time (H) (%)
In time (total)
In time (H) (total)
Total solved

You can see the improving trend over the last quarter in this chart:

Improving trend - Start Software solves 90%+ of problems in time
June's performance was especially pleasing as it was a busy month with 499 calls received in total.

Providing quality support like this is expensive and not easy and is only possible with prompt payment of support contract invoices - so please do make sure you keep your support contract account in good order so that you can help us to help you.  Thanks in advance!

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