AVAIL Release 3.4.1

We’ve learned a lot by talking with our users over the last few months, and many of the new features described below come from listening to you. The best part is, there’s more to come… the next few releases will be really exciting. There is some seriously big new stuff coming and we think you’ll really like what you see!

You can now download the latest release of AVAIL Desktop and the AVAIL Content Browser for Revit HERE.

We’ve been hard at work making a lot of great improvements recently. While many of these improvements are behind the scenes to increase performance, there are several new application features that you will get really great benefit out of!

Here’s a summary of what’s new:

  • ReSync feature automatically updates AVAIL when files are renamed on your network server
  • Large, expandable and full window previews make seeing your detailed content and custom thumbnail previews much easier
  • Collapsing Keys make large tag sets easier to use and manage
  • AVAIL Marketplace has been introduced
  • Improved Flags & Comments Panel
  • Bug fixes and improvements (the Sync Spinner is fixed!)

ReSync
“What happens when I rename a file on my server?” Well until recently, you had to re-index that file in AVAIL to update the index. No more. Now, if you rename a file, AVAIL will automatically repair that index location and filename with no need to re-index. In essence, it corrects your file names without you having to do anything at all, just work as usual.

Large Previews
In AEC, many of the assets in use are very graphic in nature. Whether it’s Revit families, details, PDFs or photos, seeing a picture can make a world of difference. With that in mind, we’ve introduced scaling thumbnails, a large preview pane in the Properties panel, and a full window preview. You can now view that detail or photo in full scale before bringing it into Revit or Photoshop.

Collapsing Keys
With large data sets of Channel contents and Key and Value pairs, the Filters Panel can accumulate a lot of rows. Now, when a Key has no more Values associated with it, the row will collapse and no longer be visible until filters are cleared that repopulate it. This makes the Filters Panel with many lines of Key Values in larger Channels a little nicer to work in.

AVAIL Marketplace
Ever wish digital content could be delivered to you, instead of having to go search for it? Now it can. The AVAIL Marketplace is live!

From the Browse Channels tab, you’ll see a new area called Marketplace. This is where content can be delivered to you, already tagged and ready to download or add to your internal AVAIL Channels, from the outside world. Have a favorite building product manufacturer that you want to deliver their content into your AVAIL ecosystem? Please let us, and more importantly them, know that you want them to be on the AVAIL Marketplace.

Family and Detail Warehouse from ArchVision is the first content available in the Marketplace. F+DW is a great collection of almost 30,000 drafted details and over 1,500 native Revit detail components and other families. This content can be delivered into your firm with Tags already applied, ready to download and put to use immediately!

Other Updates
There are many other updates in this release. Flags and Comments Panel has had a makeover and is easier to understand. Moving / Copying content between Channels is easier as you can now not only search for a Channel to Copy / Move content into, but also Create one on the fly. For Channel Publishers out there, the Primary path for content is now indicated graphically for easier understanding. Among other more minor bug fixes, the Synchronization notifications have been fixed, and now reflect when your content has completed synchronizing.

As always, we want to hear from you so please stay in touch. Until next time!

AVAIL Release 3.1

The first few months of 2017 have gone by so fast that it’s amazing to think what all has transpired! And now with Spring well underway here in Central Kentucky, and AIA, BCS and BiLT conferences rapidly approaching we find ourselves settling into this new year. Headphones on, nose to the grindstone… we are getting A LOT of good work done here at AVAIL.

The Big Picture

Speed is crucial when you’re trying to produce on a daily basis, and it’s something that you should expect from your Enterprise Content Management system. We’ve spent the first quarter of this year mostly behind the scenes in an effort to continually enhance speed and performance. You may not overtly see most of the improvements that were made in this newest release materialized in the interface itself, but you’ll notice remarkably enhanced browsing and searching speeds. As Ricky Bobby famously said, “I wanna go fast!” It’s been our motto around here lately, and we can hear the engines roaring!

New Features

  • Improved and enhanced indexing experience
    • Ability to use regular expressions to include or exclude desired content in very specific ways
    • Use pattern matching such as ‘begins with’ or ‘contains’ options to find relevant content
    • New feature to NOT add tags automatically upon index, just add content and path locations, or use to re-path content
  • Filters Panel is now re-sizable!
  • Faster search and indexing due to optimizations in the AVAIL back end services
  • Minor bug fixes.

At it’s core AVAIL is an Index of your content – and that initial indexing experience is now more powerful. The use of Regular Expressions, or RegEx, is now supported. RegEx is often used in software engineering and is a powerful way to be extremely specific about the results of a search. We have provided some simplified RegEx indexing options in pattern matching such as the ability to specify “begins with”, “ends with”, “exactly matches”, or “contains” in a file path.  This is one of the new features that you will see in the Indexing Filter interface, and AVAIL also supports specific full Regular Expressions.***

As an example, let’s say you want to be able to utilize all of the detail drafting views from previously completed and closed-out school projects, but don’t want to manually go searching through your entire project database to find each one of them. And perhaps you only want projects from the past 5 years. Designed in Revit. But just Elementary schools. Sounds like it will take forever to find these, right? No, it won’t, just use RegEx inside of AVAIL to search for, and find those files, and use the AVAIL Content Browser for Revit to easily access the content buried within them!!***

Automatically tagging content is great, but sometimes, you just don’t want tags to come in automatically. For example, when the path of a piece of content changes and you just need to add a new path. We’ve got you covered! You can now choose to not automatically add tags, and just index to update path locations.

We get lots of requests and do our best to incorporate all that we can. You’ve asked, and we’ve listened. The Filters Panel is now re-sizable! Now… onto incorporating an ‘Easy Button’.   😉

There’s a lot to say about the optimizations that we’ve made behind the scenes, but let’s just simplify it all and say; we think that Ricky Bobby would be happy. It’s fast. And we have no intentions of slowing down anytime soon.

See you next time!

***Let's pretend that your firm standard names project files with a specific format, let's use {ProjectNumber_Project Discipline code_Project Name_Project Phase}.rvt. A matching file name could be: 15224_Arch_Harper Elementary School_Archive.rvt. The project was started in 2015, and the project number reflects this by the leading '15' in the project number. An example  of matching Regular Expression search (though other expressions would work as well) could look like:

^1[2-7][0-9_ ]+_[a-zA-Z0-9_ ]+Elementary+[a-zA-Z0-9_ ]+Archive.rvt$

This expression would return the following results, as well as others matching it:
15224_Arch_Harper Elementary School_Archive.rvt
143766388_Arch_Laurel Elementary_Archive.rvt
134_MEP_Elementary School_Archive.rvt

AVAIL Release 3.1 Coming Soon!

AVAIL Release 3.1 is coming! 

  • Improved and enhanced indexing experience
    • Ability to use regular expressions to include or exclude desired content in very specific ways
    • Ability to use pattern matching such as ‘begins with’ or ‘contains’ to find relevant content
    • New feature to NOT add tags automatically upon index, just content and path locations
  • Filters Panel is now re-sizable
  • Optimization of the AVAIL back end services = FASTER INDEXING!

AVAIL Release 3.0

There is a lot to cover in this one, so get ready. We’ve been hard at work over the past few months making some major improvements to AVAIL. In continuing to build more of the core building blocks of our platform we’ve integrated a lot of really very cool features with this release.

THE BIG PICTURE

The serious technical details are described below, and for those of you who like to talk, read, and ponder life’s mysteries, head over to our blog to read AVAIL CEO Randall Steven’s post about our theories behind all of this. His post is the rug that really ties the room together.

AVAIL as a System of Engagement

NEW FEATURES

  • UI / UX updates
    • Channels Panel list can be customized and searched
    • Graphic interface updates
  • Flags and Comments system added for User Feedback
  • Ability to have Multiple Publishers / Editors per Channel
  • Role definitions can now be customized for Enterprise customers
  • Per-Channel Permissions for shared users can now be modified: Can View, Can Edit
  • Index multiple operations at once
    • Indexing is now done passively
    • Enhanced UI feedback that a data synchronization is in progress
  • AVAIL Content Browser for Revit is reporting data to your Analytics account
  • Push parameters from AVAIL Content Browser for Revit into AVAIL Desktop as tags for content

Most of the UI changes you’ll just have to experience for yourselves, but we always strive to achieve a beautiful modern user interface and user experience because we truly believe that it makes a difference. In this release we addressed some of the user feedback about the not-quite-right terminology that we previously used in the Channels Panel by introducing tabbed lists, and Channel names can now be searched. Let us know what you think!

Optionality in Content Management

Through our new Flags and Comments system you can really dig into the why behind opinions about content. Don’t just rate a piece of content ‘1 star’ and move on…  We believe that someone needs to know why a piece of content is rated unfavorably. Flag that content, and Comment about what is wrong so that it can be addressed. Or, maybe read that Comment that says “for rendering use only” and don’t use it for a purpose that it’s not intended for in the first place.

A great new feature allows you to specify Multiple Editors per Channel so that you can collaborate with others on curating your Channels of content. Now you can share the management of your Channels with other individuals in your firm.

AVAIL originally shipped with two Roles: Publisher and Consumer. For Enterprise customers, we can tweak the definitions of what each of these Roles can, and can’t do. For example, a Consumer wasn’t originally allowed to create their own Channels, but could only see Channels that had been shared with them. If you want to change this to allow Consumers to create their own Channels, but not be able to share them, you now have that capability.  This could be useful to let everyone use AVAIL to organize their local “stash” as we call it.

You can also set what Permissions people have within any single Channel. Users, even if they are in a Consumer Role, can now be assigned the rights: Can Edit, and alternately, Can View per Channel that has been shared with them. These permissions are helpful for those one-off cases where you do want someone in a Consumer only Role to be able to have greater permissions than they’re assigned by default, but on a per Channel basis. Publisher/Consumer are firm wide settings that a Channel Publisher can override with Can Edit to specific members of their team.  This is great for workflows where you’re using AVAIL to help manage projects.

(See chart below for Roles and Permissions definitions)

Multiple operations can now be indexed at the same time. Basically, you can drag ‘n drop a bunch of files into a Channel, and it will process in the background while you move on to index or tag the next set of content, perhaps in a different Channel. This is really useful as you’re getting started or trying to index lots of content. You no longer have to sit and wait for AVAIL to actively process that content in the foreground.

On the AVAIL Content Browser for Revit side of things, we’ve laid the groundwork for future capabilities and opened a connection from the Content Browser plugin to your AVAIL Desktop application and Google Analytics account. You can now see advanced Analytics about what your users are doing! Want to know which wall types are being used regularly, or which details are always being used (or not being used…)? AVAIL Analytics can tell you. Time to get educated about your Revit content, and NOT just family files but content buried inside of .rvt files too!

Because of this bi-directional data flow ability, Publishers can now easily push parameter data that’s buried within a Revit family, as tags in AVAIL. Want to add all your OmniClass number parameters as tags back into AVAIL? Great, just pick that parameter from the AVAIL Content Browser for Revit and push it into AVAIL Desktop as a tag! I know… that’s a little bit too manual of a process for most of you to be satisfied with, but don’t worry, we’re not done yet! 😉

AVAIL Role Definitions Table
AVAIL Role Definitions Table

AVAIL 2.9.5 Release

AVAIL Release 2.9.5

  • Updates to the AVAIL Active Directory (AD) support includes ADFS 2.0 SAML and ADFS 3.0 with OAUTH2 federated identity (sounds impressive!)
  • Ability to suppress “Join AVAIL” invitation when sharing a Channel.
  • New ability to share a Channel with “Everyone in My Plan”
Active Directory integrations are in full swing this fall as AVAIL is “rolling across the enterprise”.  With AVAIL Active Directory (AD) integration it has never been easier to manage hundreds of users.  As new users are added or removed from your normal IT process through AD they’re automatically logged into AVAIL and authenticated.  No login or password required!  AD users can also suppress the “Join AVAIL” emails when sharing a Channel across your firm. If you have 50 or more users contact sales@getavail.com to discuss AVAIL Enterprise Licensing for your firm.
As hundreds of new channels are created in AVAIL each month we’re working hard to fine tune how you can most easily deploy and manage your AVAIL Channels.  With this release of AVAIL we’re adding the ability to easily create a Channel that is shared with everyone in your firm without having to select them individually.  We’re turning this on for existing accounts this week so look for the new built-in group called “Everyone in My Plan” shortly.

Welcome to the AVAIL Blog

We released AVAIL commercially a couple of months ago in late August after the better part of 4 years of development and eight months in beta.  It has been an exciting time and it’s gratifying to work with all of you as AVAIL progresses.

We’ll use this blog to keep you updated on the latest releases and features as well as glimpses of what’s coming next.  We’ve been trying to keep everyone up-to-date via emails which we’ll continue to publish but we thought a more permanent spot for the release notes and other communication was need, thus blog.getavail.com is born!

If you’ve been out of the email loop over the past few months here’s a synopsis:

AVAIL 2.9.3 Release

  • Took care of some nasty problems caused by the Windows 10 Anniversary update
  • Added ability to drag & drop Revit Drafting Views, Schedules and Groups directly into your current project through the AVAIL Content Browser for Revit
  • Added the ability to control auto-update for network deployments

AVAIL 2.9.0 Release

  • Added Analytics
  • Added support for Multiple Revit Sessions
  • Added email notification when an AVAIL Channel is shared
  • AVAIL Content Browser for Revit now includes update detection

Now you can gather the information you need to better manage your content including most accessed Channels in AVAIL and most searched for content.

AVAIL now supports viewing your company’s AVAIL analytics data in Google Analytics.  Setup a free Google Analytics account and enter your Google Analytics Tracking ID in your AVAIL Management Console.  (Be sure to follow the instruction in the Management Console to properly configure your Google Analytics account)

We’ve even created a sample Analytics Dashboard for you with some basics to get you started.  After creating your Google Analytics account simply click this link to import the custom dashboard – https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/template?uid=oWmkDMGbSWysDp2WJp-gbw

Some additional notes:

  • Information is tracked in Google Analytics as “Events” which are made up of Categories, Actions, Labels and Values.
  • To see all of the Events in Google Analytics click on Behavior | Events | Pages
  • Note that by default Google Analytics date range is set one day behind.  If you want to see current data you’ll need to adjust the timeframe to include today.
  • You can monitor Realtime usage of AVAIL but expect a several second delay (it’s like magic!)
  • If you’re using advanced BA and BI tools such as Tableau or Microsoft Power BI you can import your Google Analytics data for further analysis.
  • More to come including AVAIL Content Browser for Revit analytics!