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

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!