September - October 2012


In This Newsletter

It’s Not Too Late to Book a Trip to Las Vegas!

Windows 8 Release Date Announced

Fusion Accounting Interfaces: The List is Growing

Steve Wozniak Speaks Out on Cloud Services

AVAproject Tip: New Feature - Row Sequence Numbers

Catalog Updates

 U.S. Price Books:

  • Air Louvers
  • Cal-Royal
  • Curries
  • de La Fontaine
  • Design Hardware
  • Dorma D.C.
  • Dorma E.D.
  • Dorma L.K.
  • Falcon
  • Hager
  • HES
  • Markar
  • Reese
  • Securitron
  • Steelcraft

 Canadian Price Books:

  • Dorma E.D.
  • HES
  • Markar
  • Securitron
  • Stanley
  • Stanley D.C.

It’s Not Too Late to Book a Trip to Las Vegas!

For those who haven’t yet made plans to be in Las Vegas for the DHI convention… there’s still time!

The annual Door and Hardware Institute (DHI) convention has rebranded; this long established event will be forever known as “CoNEXTions” or “DHIndustry Convention”. (Or they’re certainly hoping it will be)

The DHI show offers all of us a once-a-year opportunity to get face time with the people we deal with on a regular basis, but are separated from

To all our valued customers (and those we hope soon will be), we look forward to the opportunity to meet with you, in person, at the convention. AVAware will have representatives from the sales, support and development teams to answer questions and discuss upcoming product releases. We encourage you all to visit us at the AVAware booth. (No. 1135).

While in Vegas, the AVAware

contingent will do their best to monitor their voicemail and email as well as keep in touch with the office. Anyone wishing to contact a member of the team, can do so via a special email address that will be monitored constantly throughout the convention week.

We look forward to seeing you all in Vegas!

due to geography. This, in and of itself, makes the annual convention and event that’s not to be missed.

If that still hasn’t compelled you to call your travel agent, there is one more important fact in bear mind. Due to scheduling issues, the DHI has no convention planned for 2013. It’s even more important than usual to make an effort to attend this year, as this may be that last opportunity many people will have to meet their peers in person until 2014.

Each year AVAware compiles a collection of demonstration material and informative articles and assembles a “convention CD” that is given out exclusively at the AVAware booth.

In addition to its distinctive annual theme artwork (meticulously crafted by AVAware graphics designers, this CD is an extremely helpful resource for anyone interested   in   learning   more

about AVAware’s products and the application of technology in the architectural openings industry. Don’t forget to ask for a copy on the show floor!

AVAware at DHI CoNEXTions 2012

Booth Number: 1135
Team Email:

Windows 8 Release Date Announced

Depending on whom you ask, the newest version of Windows could either be the most revolutionary release since “Windows 95” or the biggest disaster since “Windows Vista”. In either case it’s arriving later this month...

While there is no doubt that opinions have been very much divided amongst industry insiders and Microsoft developers, what everyone does agree on is that Windows 8 represents a bold departure for Microsoft and its flagship product. The new operating

system is essentially two separate and distinct user interfaces combined in a single product. Anxious to capture a portion of the newly emerging tablet market (that so far has belonged almost exclusively to Apple’s iPad) Microsoft created a touch-centric

version of Windows. Amongst other notable differences, the most pronounced is the new “Start Screen” that has replaced the tradition “Start Menu” (both pictured below)

The Windows 7 Start Menu

The Windows 8 Start Screen

For the past two years Microsoft has promoted this new touch-based user experienced under the name “Metro”. When the use of that name was recently challenged by German retail giant Metro AG, Microsoft quickly began substituting “Window 8 style” and “Modern” in place of the “Metro” moniker.

The entire development process that preceded the Windows 8 launch has been handled much differently than ever before. Public “previews” have been readily available for download to any interested parties since the early part of 2011. In the past, these types of previews were reserved for select developers and journalists.

Microsoft has announced October 26th as being the date when Windows 8 goes public. At the same time, they will also release the first ever Microsoft-branded computer. First announced earlier in the summer, the Surface tablet represents Microsoft’s first foray into the PC business.

Although no technical or pricing details were made public, the Microsoft tablets were generally well received by the press. It has yet to be seen how well these products will fare against the hugely successful iPad.

The Microsoft Surface Tablet

AVAware has thoroughly tested all their products (AVAproject, AVAcad and Fusion) on the new operating system and all are fully supported.

We do wish to offer one word of caution to our users, however.

Microsoft is initially releasing 2 very different versions of Windows 8. The full (aka “Pro”, aka “Intel”, aka “Desktop”) version is the one that runs on typical PCs and supports all or most current Windows applications. The newer offering is the “Windows RT” product. This version of Windows 8 is designed to run on ARM based devices (i.e.: tablets) and will only run Metro (aka “Modern”, aka ”Windows 8 style”, aka “Windows Store”) applications.

Confused yet? You are not alone.

Anyone who may be tempted to buy a Microsoft Surface tablet later this month should be aware that only the ARM-based Windows RT version is being released this year. The version of the tablet that supports classic (aka “Desktop”, aka “Windows 7”) applications (such as AVAware) will not be released until January!! “Why”, you ask… we’re all confused.

Fusion Accounting Interfaces: The List is Growing

With integration modules for the first wave of supported accounting systems complete, AVAware expects to have the next set ready before the end of this year.

The selection of software in which a company is going to literally entrust their entire operation is a very serious decision that often involves a very arduous process. That process begins with whatever front-end applications are needed to manage a company’s specific line of business (ie: detailing and estimating software), and eventually concludes with the selection of an all-encompassing accounting/ERP package. The real problem facing most companies is that for the most part, any given front-end system will only provide support for a single (or very limited list) accounting package. In effect, your front-end software vendor wants to make your choices for you!

What’s even more preposterous than this, is how often it actually occurs; not surprisingly, with less than stellar results. Companies often have to compromise functionality and are left with very limited support options. Those unfortunate enough to have been saddled with a “proprietary” accounting system are really out of

luck. Their support options are limited to the software’s developer and no accounting firm will likely have any experience (or interest) in supporting the application.

In terms of accounting systems, AVAware has always maintained the following position:

  1. No single accounting or ERP package is going to be a perfect fit for absolutely everyone.

  2. Businesses should be able to choose a package and a developer that is well established and widely supported. Preferably, they would choose a system that their accountant has experience with or even access to.

  3. A mechanism should exist to allow the migration to alternative packages should the chosen one prove unsuitable or should the company’s business processes



change sufficiently. Many companies find themselves “outgrowing” their current accounting system, regardless of how well it may have served them in the past.

It was this philosophy that led to the creation of AVAproject Fusion. Put simply, Fusion avoids the age old problem of having to commit oneself to a single accounting package. AVAware has committed to providing support for as many popular accounting systems as possible, and as such providing the much needed choices that companies need and want.

The order in which system interfaces are being built is based upon the relative popularity and demand for each. Modules have already been created for Intuit QuickBooks, Sage 50 and NetSuite. The following screen captures demonstrate a sample transaction originating in Fusion and as it would appear in the target systems.

Fusion exporting a Purchase Order to both Sage 50 and Intuit QuickBooks, respectively

With the successful completion of these first interfaces, AVAware has already begun work in the next wave of integration modules. Developers will focus on the Microsoft Dynamics family of products and expect to have interfaces for GP (Great Plains) and NAV (Navision) in beta before the end of this year.

Related AVAware Article in DHI Magazine
    "Software in an Integrated World"

Last year, AVAware published an article in the DHI Magazine that spoke to the issue of accounting/ERP systems in the architectural openings industry. A copy of the article is also available on the Downloads page of the AVAware website.

Steve Wozniak Speaks Out on Cloud Services

In recent issues of AVAwire, a great deal of attention has been given to the emerging trend of ‘cloud computing’. In the August edition, we discussed several reasons that suggest this technology is not quite ready for enterprise-scale use. Apparently one of the technology industry’s most iconic figures is in agreement.

For those that don’t recognize the name, Steve Wozniak is the well respected and much adored co-founder of Apple Computer responsible for inventing the computers that first led to their success in the technology industry. Since those early days, Wozniak has become a real celebrity amongst technology fans due largely to his honest commentaries and legendary good nature. In recent years, "Woz" has even made appearances on popular television shows such as "The Big Bang Theory" and "Dancing with the Stars".

During a recent on-stage appearance with Mike Daisy of "This American Life" fame, Steve Wozniak made several brutally honest comments on the emerging practice of storing crucial data in public clouds.1

"I really worry about everything going to the cloud. I think it's going to be horrendous. I think there are going to be a lot of horrible problems in the next five years."

There is no doubt that cloud-based computing is an exciting new technology with a tremendous number of features and benefits. Having said that, it is a brand new technology; and like all new technologies there are going to be issues. It seems both individuals and companies have flocked to cloud-based storage and solutions without perhaps really considering all of the implications.

"With the cloud, you don’t own anything. ... The more we transfer everything onto the web, onto the cloud, the less we’re going to have control over it."

This is especially worrisome for companies who have already begun to, or are considering, entrusting public clouds with sensitive (and perhaps confidential) data. Once your data is out of your control and "living" on someone else’s hard drive, you have a potential for disaster. In a previous issue of AVAwire, we detailed a number of precautions that users can take to minimize their exposure and help safe guard against some of the potential pitfalls.

Users should at least recognize that cloud-based computing is a brand new technology and should consider the possible ramifications carefully before entrusting sensitive or confidential data to an outside party.

1 Source: "Woz: The cloud is a nightmare", Chris Matyszczyk,, August 8, 2012.

A Little Help Navigating the Clouds

Those who have been following AVAwire regularly may have noticed that we’ve gathered a great deal of material surrounding cloud-based technologies in recent issues. The reason is simple: A great deal of interest has been expressed by our users and industry members in general around this new techno trend.

“Cloud-based” or “off-site server” network configurations will undoubtedly become an important part of the computing landscape in the years to come. However… and there is a “however”, a failure to properly implement this technology or an accompanying security plan could just as easily cripple a business as help it grow.

As a service to our users, AVAware has assembled a collection of articles from recent issues of AVAwire. This single document contains articles discussing the exciting opportunities presented by cloud computing services, some potential pitfalls and a number of tips for securing your identity and your data in the cloud.

The collection of articles can be found on our Downloads page, or you may click here to open it directly.

AVAproject Tip: New Feature - Row Sequence Numbers

This month’s tip highlights a brand new feature set that first appeared in AVAproject in the 2012 release.

AVAproject’s Openings Schedule provides a myriad of sorting options; individual columns can be sorted with a single ‘click’ and complex multi-level sorts can be built “on the fly”.

Despite this flexibility, our users came up with one more item on which the list couldn’t be sorted (until now)... order of entry. The “Row Sequence Numbers” identify the order in which row data was entered by the user, regardless of the Opening Numbers or any other piece of data. This can be extremely useful when transcribing information from manual sources that were not entered in any specific order.

Typically, the Openings Schedule rows are numbered sequentially as shown below. (The numbers in the row headers are simply referred to as “row numbers”.)

Typical row numbering in the AVAproject Openings Schedule

Instead of using traditional “row numbers”, users can elect to use “row sequence numbers” by selecting the corresponding option in the “Openings” tab of the “AVAproject Preferences” dialog.

The AVAproject Preferences dialog

Upon doing so, the “row numbers” will be replaced with “row sequence numbers”, identified by a decimal following each one. Please note that initially, the sequence numbers are restarted at “1”. Each new row added will be given a sequence number as soon as any data is filled in.

The AVAproject Openings Schedule with row sequence numbers enabled

The really interesting part happens when the data is re-sorted. In the following illustration, the schedule has been re-sorted by Opening Number. Please note that the original sequence number assigned to each row has following its corresponding row data.

Row sequence numbers after sorting by Opening Numbers

At any point, while working on this project the original sequence of rows can be restored by clicking on the top-left corner of the sheet or by highlighting any range of rows and selecting “Sort by Row Sequence Number” from the context menu.

The context menu shown when right-clicking the top-left corner of the Openings Schedule sheet

Upon doing so, the Openings Schedule will return to its original sequence.

Row order restored to row sequence number order

If one wished to preserve the sequence of data (as it is currently shown), they may do so by simply selecting “Reset Row Sequence Numbering” from the context menu. This will cause the number to be restarted from “1” through to the last populated row of the schedule.

We welcome any questions, comments or suggestions about any topic mentioned in this edition of AVAwire. Please visit our website for more information, or contact us directly at (416) 239-9099.