As we've reported in previous editions of AppraisalPress, progress on the sixth generation of WinTOTAL, codenamed Armstrong, is well under way. And even in these early stages, it's already earned the Certified for Windows VistaTM designation. It's the only appraisal formfiller in the country to earn the title. Only Certified for Windows Vista software has undergone rigorous Microsoft compatibility tests for ease of use, better performance, and enhanced security on PCs running Windows Vista. Microsoft creates the standards and tests, and we worked to ensure that from the very beginning, Armstrong meets them.
Why would we go after certification before the product is even finished? Like a house undergoing multiple code inspections, we're making sure that from the foundation up, Armstrong starts off right. The certification requirements from Microsoft are broken down into four general areas: Security, Compatibility, Installation and Reliability, with a long list of required coding standards and tests for each that must be met. Because every line of code in Armstrong is part of a complete ground-up rewrite, submitting even the earliest Alpha builds for certification and getting recertified as we go ensures the final release will be a clean, stable product. (pq)
Also, the Standard level of Armstrong has been made available to hundreds of Alpha testers. The Standard level is designed to be extremely simple to use, perfect for trainees who need basic software, formfilling on-the-go using a laptop, and for appraisers who don't want all the "bells and whistles" in the Enterprise level of WinTOTAL. Once Armstrong Standard has been released, we'll start work on the Enterprise level.
While the appraisers who've been Alpha testing Armstrong Standard have done a fantastic job helping us refine the product's workflow and identify areas needing further attention, the upcoming labs release will open the feedback floodgates fully. Being available as a free download in the a la mode labs to anyone and everyone will give thousands of appraisers the opportunity to provide feedback on what will ultimately become the platform used by WinTOTAL for many years to come. And in the short term, feedback from the labs release will define what will and won't be included in the Standard version of Armstrong. You'll recall that DaVinci, or field data gathering and integrated sketching software, went through the same design, development, feedback and release process, and it too earned the Certified for Windows Vista designation. DaVinci proved our new labs approach to design and development yields stable, intuitive software representative of appraiser's needs. And Armstrong will clearly benefit from the pioneering approach taken with DaVinci.
As this article goes to press, our target date for releasing a labs download of Armstrong Standard is June 30th. So make sure and visit www.alamode.com/labs to download Armstrong, try it out, and tell us what you think.