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New AIA Docs Web App: AIA talks to Architosh about its new plans

The American Institute of Architect discusses its upcoming AIA Contract Documents Web Based software with Architosh. The new software as a service (SaaS) model will bring new changes to the AIA and will put Mac users on an equal playing field for the first time with Windows-based colleagues

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Apple, the iPad and Development Details

AFR: You mentioned to me that the desktop version was developed by a third-party who didn’t have much depth with Mac development. Are they doing the online version or is that another third-party developer?

YC: We have a second third-party developer working on the new online application. This is a web-application and it requires separate development expertise. The new AIA Documents online application will be very modern and run on some of the world’s best and most secure servers.


AFR:  You mention that all that is needed is a modern supported Web browser. And Apple Safari is one of them. Does that mean it will work on the iPad or even the iPhone too?

YC:  I personally have the first generation iPad and have been testing it without issue. The AIA is not going to officially say it is supported just yet, but it appears to work.

I can also tell you that a device like the iPad isn’t the appropriate device to be editing a 30 page document. But certainly smaller forms, like the Change Order form, would be fine and useful.

AFR: So users with iPads may be able to work with it but the may encounter small glitches.

YC:  Yes, and official support for the iPad will have to come later.

AFR:  You mention multi-party support. Does this mean multiple parties can work on a document at the same time?

YC: No. The licensed user–we call her the Author–can provide access to her document reviewers via email even though they don’t have a license so that they can review and edit a document online with a track changes-like experience. The minimum requirements for a reviewer are an email address and an Internet connection. The Author can distinguish the edits of the various reviewers as they will be shown in different colors. If the Author prefers a more traditional review process, she can email to her reviewers a draft document in Word or Adobe PDF format.

AFR:  You say that the security is better than the desktop version. Can you elaborate on this a bit?

YC: Absolutely, the security is better because say you have AIA Documents on your laptop computer. That can get stolen or lost. There goes your data. Even if you are password protected, they can hack your password. Now sensitive data in in the wrong hands.

And then there is the hard drive failure and users today do not backup, typically, like they should. So from this perspective the average security situation is improved with the online version.

AIA Documents online will be fully encrypted on the server. We are working with one of the leading global hosting providers and they have state-of-the-art security and backup systems.

Beta and New Offering

AFR: I know you are expecting starting beta trials in late September. Are you still on track and how do users get involved in helping to test this out?

YC:  We are on schedule to start trials in September and users can email me at: [email protected]

They should ideally be be a mix of current users of AIA Documents software and new users. There are a number of enhancements to help new users find the right documents geared to their specific needs.

AFR: When will the system go live?

YC: We are planning for Q1, 2012. We will get more precise later this year.

AFR: Thanks for talking to me today about the new AIA Contract Documents Online application.

YC: Thank you, it was a pleasure.

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