A Way Out of App-ageddon
Written By Amber Zinky

With the number of apps and plug-ins available to BIM professionals, you’d think all 2 million offerings from Apple’s App Store were all for AEC and fab shops! Most add-ons to Autodesk and Revit help some functions of the programs run easier, but to do other things, you must access multiple programs, apps or plug-ins.

Welcome to Appageddon—where you need to open more than one program or app to achieve a relatively simple goal. Let’s face it: relying on multiple platforms to perform a task, like exporting data or sharing files, is a necessity in a digital world, but it leads to multiple complications:

  1. The multi-step shuffle: In order for you to accomplish the needed task, you might find yourself in different software to accomplish each step of the process. Hangers for an example. You may find a plug-in within Revit to automate the process of placing the hangers based predetermined settings. Then you find yourself needing to export your view in Revit to import it into another software like Navisworks to run a clash report for coordinating the hangers. Then after finding the clashes, needing to go back to Revit to fix the clashes. Once you have coordinated your hangers, you may find yourself using a yet another different software or plug-in to place layout points to get the location of the hangers to use a Total Robotic Station. On top of that, you may have other software or plug-ins to create drawings of your hangers and exporting data. Instead of staying in one software to accomplish a task, you are jumping around to multiple software and plugins to do one aspect of what is needed.
  2. Updating: Having programs, apps and plug-ins over numerous computers in a firm can lead to mismatched versions of the software, causing compatibility issues.
  3. Outdated: Developers stop servicing and updating less popular apps over time because there’s a new product that does the same thing or they’ve reached a point in the product lifecycle where it’s no longer profitable to support the product. That leads you to having an app that suddenly stops functioning with other programs as it had done so efficiently in the past, leading you on another hunt for a solution.
  4. Wallflowers: On occasion, your apps simply don’t get along. Whether they were developed in different operating systems, or one uses an outdated version of another, and you simply can’t get them to cooperate, leading you to improvise a solution by opening and closing files to use independently in another app.
  5. Dutch treat: The apps you use likely didn’t appear in one day—subscriptions were purchased over time, at different times. If you multiply that by the number of computers, tablets, and smartphones in your company, you can imagine the headache caused by trying to track and pay for all of them.

In an ideal world, all these difficulties would be remedied automatically, with your system syncing subscription dates, versions, and updates with your coworkers. Perhaps that day will come in the future, but it won’t be anytime soon. In the meantime, systems like eVolve MEP provides you an all-in-one software to help you automate your workflow process and allows you to stay in one software to complete your needed tasks. Alleviate the conflicts caused by patchwork processes. Choose eVolve.

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