New Features Not Available in SpecLink+
Existing Editing Features are More Powerful and Flexible
Find-and-Replace and Spell Check: These commands now search and check a whole project or search and check only those sections you choose.
Better Options for Embedded Choices: Add, modify and delete Choice fields in a user version of a Master paragraph without interfering with the Master version of the paragraph.
Outline and Short Form are More Flexible and Easier-to-Use: Read about it...
Insert Images: Now insert images into the text — images up to 100K in size, from any of the following formats: Windows bitmap (.bmp), Windows metafile (.wmf), Portable Network Graphics (.png), JPEG File Interchange Format (.jpg, .jpeg) or Graphics Interchange Format (.gif).
Insert Hyperlinks: Now insert hyperlinks to web sites into the text.
More Export Formats: Now export your documents to MS Word, Adobe PDF, RTF, HTML and plain text.
New Import Format: Now import new content directly from Microsoft Word (.doc format) -- without the intermediate step of converting to RTF files.
Submittals Log Report: There is a new report called a Submittals Log, which has been designed as an Excel export for pasting into your customized submittals log template. The report includes the full text of all submittals requirements, organized by section, so it should be a huge timesaver as you set up your submittals tracking spreadsheet for the construction administration phase of your projects.
User-Defined Tags: You can create your own unique tags for paragraphs, and there is now a reporting capability for each tag you create. You can also create a single report for all user-defined tags.
Improved Table Management: In addition to the existing table feature which allows the import of "tabbed text" from MS Word, you can create a "true" table — with borders and text that wraps within cells - directly into SLE. Simply select the location and level within the section where you want the table to appear and use SLE's dialog boxes to select the number of rows and cells as well as a border. Once the table is created, a simple set of editing tools will allow the user to add or delete rows, columns, borders, etc., as well as split existing cells and turn the borders and gridlines on or off for printing purposes.
Upward Compatibility: Existing SpecLink+ projects, including your office masters, are easily "brought forward" into SLE where they retain all their original data and intelligent linking AND all of SLE's new features will apply. (However, you will not be able to carry this work back "down" into SpecLink+.)
MasterFormat 95: Print in MasterFormat 95 as well as the latest version of CSI's format.
User Management and Updating
Now Two Editions adapted to different users' needs:
- The Professional Edition can handle approximately 35 medium-sized SpecLink projects in varying stages of development. Projects can be archived to make room for other projects. The actual number of projects will vary by firm based on project detail. The SQL Server engine for Professional Edition is the Express version of Microsoft's product, and is limited to use of 1 GB of memory, 10 GB of database space, and a single server processor.
- The Corporate Edition of SpecLink-E runs the Standard version of Microsoft's SQL Server database product. This version has no limits on database size, can use multiple gigabytes of memory and servers with multiple processors to boost its processing speed and throughput.
Both versions are embedded in SLE's standard install process and SLE is designed to minimize database maintenance activities, make them automatic and/or easy to use from the tools menus, and obviate the need for a database administrator (DBA) to either install or maintain the systems databases.
Painless Support for Large Networks and Large Numbers of Users: SpecLink-E is designed with a whole new approach to supporting both standalone users and individual users distributed across a network and potentially residing in different offices scattered across multiple states (or even countries). It uses Microsoft's new Click Once installation technology that makes installing this type of software much easier. To install the client, a setup package is placed on a network server in a location where all potential users can reach it. Each user then runs the setup package to install the client locally. Administrative permissions are not required, and no questions are asked during the client installation. The software is installed automatically in each user's Documents and Settings directory (or the Users directory if you are running Vista or Windows 7), and it starts automatically once the installation is complete.
The Software Maintains Itself: Once installed, the software client on each user's computer maintains itself, checking for software updates at the original location each time it starts up. You control when updates are made available: simply place a new setup package in the original network location being checked by the client software.
Automatic Data Updates: To remain synchronized with the older SpecLink+ the SLE data upgrades are currently packaged with each quarterly software release. However, once the updating of SL+ is phased out the updating process will take place unattended. The continuously running BSD Data Server in your office will periodically check BSD's servers in Atlanta and download updates as they become available. This activity can be scheduled to take place at night or on weekends to minimize any performance impact on your network. A high-speed Internet connection is recommended. Subsequent marking of potential updates in each of your projects is also automatic.
Corporate Edition Features
User "Roles": An administrator may name users that have access to the system and assign Roles to those users (such as Standard, Expert and System Manager). The commands and features that each user can access and use are then determined by the user's Role. For example, Expert Users and System Managers have the ability to approve and apply Project updates, while Standard Users do not.
Audit Trail: This is an optional view showing the editor and date of the last edits on individual paragraphs. A view of all editors' changes, only certain editors' changes, or a list of edited paragraphs is also available. Changes began to be tracked with the fall 2010 release, and there is now a printing option that allows you to print an edited document with the editors' information included.
Office Master Project Protection: One or more projects can be designated as "Office Masters" with editing of those projects limited to those designated as System Manager. Users who have the rights to copy a project can copy an Office Master and work in the copy. Users who have the rights to Import from Project can import sections from an Office Master.
BIM Interoperability - a Major Feature of the New SpecLink-E
SLE links to Autodesk Revit via LinkMan-E (LME): Both editions of SLE are easily linked to BSD LinkMan-E (LME). In fact, it's possible to connect an SLE project into an LME "Group" with a single command, use the Autodesk Revit Add-In to connect the Revit Project to the same LME Group, click Refresh to pick up the latest data from both projects, and then use the Synchronize command to automatically turn on specifications text in SpecLink-E that is related to the Revit project objects in use. This is not the only way to use LinkMan — LME provides "dashboards" not only to show the things that are linked, but also to show you, and let you adjust, the things that are not linked. The Revit Add-In delivered with LinkMan-E works with Revit 2009 through Revit 2013, all flavors — Architectural, Structural, and MEP. We think you'll find that LinkMan-E is easy to understand, easy to use, highly flexible, and a real boon to coordination of your project.
Transition from SpecLink+ to SpecLink-E
SpecLink-E is available to all current subscribers. You can easily convert your current SpecLink+ key to SpecLink-E without losing any project information. Please contact us for details.