04 Jan 2016

Happy New Year from idtPlans!

2016 is here and we at idtPlans would like to take a moment to thank our ever growing client base for making 2015 our best year to date.  2015 brought a record number of new clients, and new system features. We’ve started this year hard at work and we’re very excited to announce just a few of the new and exciting features that we have lined up for 2016 including:

  • Advanced GIS integration.
  • Active Directory and ADFS authentication.
  • Improved event driven architecture and REST API.
  • Enhancements to idtPlans Inspections.
  • Even more payment gateway options & partnership with Link2Gov.
  • Improved mobile and offline support.
  • Improved infrastructure and performance.

Thanks again for all of the amazing references, recommendations, and new feature suggestions. We wish you all the very best in the new year and look forward to another groundbreaking year.

Happy New Year from idtPlans!

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04 Jan 2016

Minor Release Update and Scheduled Maintenance

A minor release update and server maintenance are scheduled to begin on Monday January 4th at 12:00 AM EST.  We expect the application to be fully operational within thirty minutes.  This update includes:

  • Enhancements to the server side copy paste functions.
  • Improvements to the default formatting for permit applications.
  • Improved performance & security.
  • Automated synchronization of Ad-Hoc report databases.
  • Improvements to ESRI GIS integration and how locations are saved.
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08 Oct 2015
05 Oct 2015

Development Update

This week we deployed several exciting system upgrades.

  • ESRI GIS Integration – We have integrated ArcGIS in order to provide for enhanced GIS functionality including:
    • Auto-suggest address and parcel matches during the permit application process
    • Verify addresses & parcels against the GIS system upon confirmation
    • Automatically pull configured GIS layer information such as floodplain, district, township, overlay’s etc
    • Display project locations on a map
  • Expanded permit application form elements to include new GIS address, parcel, and pull fields.
  • Extended functionality for editing permit application form fields.
  • Enhanced administrative productivity – Enable admins to edit application data quickly and easily from one comprehensive view.
  • Project messaging system introduced – This provides a mechanism for flagging projects and displaying messages to authorized users.  Future enhancement to include peer to peer messaging and task assignments.
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02 Oct 2015
16 Sep 2015

Development Update

This week we have made several improvements regarding performance, accessibility, and GIS integration.

  • Bluebeam integration has been completed and we can now support both Adobe Acrobat/Reader and Bluebeam Revu plan viewing, and commenting systems.
    • Reviewers can now easily overlay and compare documents versions.
    • Making text comments on a plan sheet now automatically creates a matching open issue.
    • Deleting text comments on a plan sheet now automatically removes the matching open issue.
    • Automatic and manual document repair functionality is now available.
    • Automatic and manual reduce file size functionality is now available.
    • Document markups can now be automatically flattened when a review cycle is completed, or manually flattened at any time.
    • Manual unflatten feature is now available.
  • ESRI GIS integration has been completed allowing us to improve the user experience for both applicants and administrators on electronic plan review submittals.  We can now auto-suggest addresses, parcels, as well as pull GIS layer information based on location.
  • The document manager and file upload module have been completely rewritten in HTML5.  This was done as a strategic move to move away from Adobe Flash.  Due to the security concerns of flash, and an increasing number of browsers and devices no longer supporting it we have migrated all existing functionality into a newer technology.  This results in faster page loading, better security, and improved user experience in mobile devices such as iPad and iPhone.
  • Administrators can now edit plan review application data on a single page instead of stepping through the applicants view.  This should save time when an administrator needs to make a minor change to the application.
  • Application form manager has been updated to provide more flexibility when creating permit application forms for electronic plan review and permitting.
  • Email system has been improved to allow emails to be addressed to more than 50 recipients.
  • Improved legacy support for IE 8+
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21 Aug 2015
10 Jul 2015

What are the expectations for Electronic Plan Review?

you want it when

Unrealistic expectations are common in the construction industry and lie at the bottom of the ever present sea of confusion, conflict, and confrontation. Pressured by the “time is money” principle owners and contractors will forever be motivated to push for a clearly defined and efficient permitting process.

Well defined Workflows and Business rules are an absolute must whether the process is paperless or not. A good Electronic Plan Review (electronic plancheck) system will provide for unlimited workflows and processes designed to enforce the departments business rules. Just as important is the need to provide clarity regarding the requirements and time cycles of the process. Having an online overview tailored to the unique needs of each stakeholder provides the transparency needed to assure confidence in the process and allay the anxieties that result in constant and unnecessary contact with the jurisdiction.

Realistically speaking there are only a few electronic tools that can help speed an approvers understanding of the numerous complexities involved in a comprehensive review. Accepting this as reality we can move on to focus on the features and benefits that Electronic Plan Review can provide and they are substantial.

The most important, yet least quantifiable, benefit is the level of cooperation obtained when you remove confusion from the equation. People begin to work together as opposed to in conflict with each other. This translates into a good experience for both sides of the counter. It’s a better world when the government can actually help owners and contractors be more efficient and thus more profitable.

To that point, the cost of a paper submittal can be enormous. It’s not uncommon for some jurisdictions to need ten to fifteen sets of submittal documents to adhere to their submittal requirements.

 

 

Eliminating this need altogether can save the development community hundreds of thousands of dollars while helping to improve our environment. After a long history of increasing development fees on a regular basis, it’s very refreshing to a developer to see the jurisdiction actually lowering his cost to do business with the municipality.

Once again, “time is money!” and much of it is saved when the marked up drawings don’t need UPS or FEDEX to reach the respondent. Don’t overlook the cost savings here either…..it can be substantial especially when the shipment has to be expedited. In large building project weeks even months of review time is saved over the life of the project from submission to approval.

  • Applicants
  • Administrators
  • Reviewers/Approvers

 

Applicants come is all sizes. From technically sophisticated owners and developers to the mom and pop operation that just can’t muster electronic resources. A comprehensive Electronic Plan Review system will have a plan B in place to accommodate folks when the best they can do is bring their idea of a porch addition in on a napkin.

 

Administrators require a user friendly interface that presents, in obvious fashion, any critical path issues that have a chance to become contentious. The ability to drill down on the project detail and documentation is a must if the administrator is to provide knowledgeable guidance and advice in the resolution of hot items. Any level of detail should be available to administrators within two or three clicks with no keystroke entries required. Any instructions to the applicant such as Comment Letters, Correction Notices and Approval Letters need to be configurable, selectable and auto fill with all copies automatically archived to the project files..

 

Reviewers should expect to be able to access an organized task board showing all projects that have been assigned and what the priorities and due dates are. An intuitive markup tool set and comment library are absolutes. Status alerts and noticing keeps the reviewer abreast of changes in priorities and deadlines. Being able to work remotely is a huge advantage in managing the occasional yet eventual “Crisis”……walt

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02 Jul 2015
18 May 2015

May 18th 2015 Development Update

This week, some minor fixes, and a new feature to embed images into comments without having to upload files.

  • Fixed a bug where project county wasn’t always pre-populating correctly.
  • Projects without a bid date now show a bid date of ‘-‘ instead of ‘ASAP’.
  • Added mime type support for bluebeam file types.
  • Fixed a display issue in safari where a hidden form field would sometimes display at the bottom of the project documents.
  • Added alternating row striping to review cycle disciplines.
  • Added a new feature to insert inline images into comments without uploading.
  • Fixed an issue with data URI’s when embeding an image into a comment.
  • Added styles for responsive images in IE.
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