Tuesday 22 June 2010

Viewing the NBS specification

Recently I’ve made a number of trips to see practices around the country (Glasgow, London. Sheffield, Aldershot, Brighton, Gosforth…) promoting the latest improvements to the NBS software.

Of all the enhancements, the item that has probably received the best feedback is the free NBS Viewer. The NBS Viewer is installed with all NBS software as part of the NBS Tools or can be downloaded for free from www.theNBS.com/NBSTools

The main primary benefit is in allowing practices with a number of construction professionals to be able to view and publish NBS specifications without having to use up valuable licence seats. Those in the office who have a need to modify specification can do so without the frustration of finding out that there are no licences available. In addition, people in the office who have never have had NBS software on their machine can install this lightweight viewer and see specifications-in-progress without the need to export to PDF or Word.

It should be noted that the Viewer and the other NBS Tools can be downloaded for free by other members of your project team who want to view NBS specifications.

The screenshot below shows the NBS Viewer.

Wednesday 9 June 2010

Upcoming maintenance releases of NBS software

Following some major releases of many of the NBS software products earlier in the year, we have been addressing some smaller items of work over recent months. The following will be released in July/August 2010...

NBS Building, Engineering and Landscape
  • Security issues in Guidance
    The technology we use for the NBS Guidance is Microsoft CHM files. Recently Microsoft have been tightening up security for CHM file use on networks and this has been causing a number of problems for NBS customers. This will be resolved by creating a cache of these libraries locally on users’ machines. 
  • Alignment tweak in the published output
    There is a 2 or 3 pixel alignment problem where a clause follows a sub heading. This will be fixed.
NBS Scheduler (view more detailed blog post)
  • Export dialog
    Enhancements to the export functionality to allow export to Autodesk and Microstation keynote format 
  • Prelims tweaks
    Improvements to Prelims addressing issues where user clauses were not printing correctly 
  • Document completeness
    At the point of publish, an indication to the document completeness is given. 
  • Spell checker in prelims
    The addition of a spell checker in prelims 
  • PDF merge
    The ability to merge PDF documents to create a single document
NBS Contract Administrator
  • Instruction forms
    Additional spaces and clipped text on Instruction forms and improved performance on open 
  • Database upgrade for D&B contractsIssue fixed if Employer or Employers Agent were already in DB. 
  • Practical completion
    Rectification date chanes or all JCT 2005 contracts 
  • Cost Tracking module
    The inclusion of the NBS Tools module and in particular the Cost Tracking that allows tender comparisons, valuations to be summarised and these costs to be tracked. 
NBS Perspective
  • Improved email filing
    Flexibility on how email attachments are filed
  • Ability to set home page to Intranet site
    When Perspective starts up – the ability to choose any web URL to start at
  • Ability to add domains to whitelist
    Whole domains (eg thenbs.com) can be added to the white list
NBS Tools
  • Updating of annotation fileBug fixed where annotation data cache file did not update immediately following the modification of a specification.