Well it's got to be better than the old HighPerForm in DOS. :lol:
I used to use that. Have been on ACI for about 3 years. I think it has a similar set of features as the new WinTotal, although I've only messed around with a demo of WinTotal a bit. ACI has plenty of features I don't use, at least not at this time. It generally works pretty well, with a few little bugs and irritations as usual. You can download a free demo of WinTotal if you didn't already. Also try searching this forum, there's been discussion of both programs. :wink:
Ed, what our tech should have told you is that we don't recommend ME with WinTOTAL, not that it won't run at all. We found many cases where ME was simply unreliable as an OS, having nothing to do with WinTOTAL at all. One indication that we were right is how quickly even Microsoft backed off on promoting it.
ME will run WinTOTAL, but it was the only Windows OS on which we gave a thumbs down recommendation. It was our opinion that the simple upgrade to XP would save a user a lot of aggravation for very little cost.
You just saw the reason I believe Alamode software is the best. DBiggers is the president of the company.
I teach the registered appraisers course for Jones Real Estate College here in Colorado Springs and I recommend Alamode to all my students. It is the most comprehensive program available and it outsells everyone else combined.
I think Ala Mode has a decent product. I think for most offices it will do most of the things anyone will need. I like the way it handles receivables, makes maps (if you have something other than dial up). Does basic form filling pretty good.
I think the best is probably Appraiser's Toolbox. IT has many features that most dont. Complete neighborhood databases, auto-adjustments, all forms are on one page, you just scroll through them. I can type and compelte an appraisal in Tool Box in about one third of the time on Tool Box as I can on Ala Mode.
There are trade offs though, as I said, Ala Modes office management software is second to none and this is a pretty big deal for many office. I have made suggestions to them about the neighborhood databases, adjusting, a better comp database. I was told when Athena came out it would do all of this. I was then told, after I got my copy, that speed to market was more important that the additional features.
I think that if they can get a few more features for actually compelteing the appraisal, it will be the best performing software, not just the best selling.
Bill, we are indeed revamping the comps database. We're adding what we call a "comps dashboard" into the forms view (where you can see the thumbnail of the comp as well as basic stats while you're in the grid, etc.), as well as a completely new comps database front end. It's been a big topic on our beta users forum.
As for the auto adjustments, we did indeed add that into Athena, so I don't know who told you we somehow cut it to get it out quickly. The Worksheet Powerview is linked to any number of fields on the form, and is most often used in conjuction with the comps grid for auto calcs. It does far, far more than the simple Toolbox adjuster. In fact, it's funny that on the Toolbox forum on Yahoo, they're asking for Bradford to add a full-blown built in spreadsheet like we have instead of the limited adjuster.
As for the neighborhood database, that's something I think we handle well already due to the flexibility of our Text Database (it can start in any field and fill in a whole range in one step, so thousands of our users do indeed use it as an instant neighborhood database with no limitations). However, we have been talking about a cool geocoded approach too -- since our net.X servers provide latitude and longitude to WinTOTAL automatically, we can automatically detect whether there are old reports within some user-defined distance from your current report and allow you to immediately suck the neighborhood in from any one of them. For example, it could tell you that there are four old reports within 500 feet of the current subject, and instantly pull in the data from any one of them you choose. That way there's no need for even remembering to create a neighborhood database. But that's just a thought. What's your opinion?
Finally, on the forms, we did add the ability to scroll vertically through the forms (top to bottom, in "toilet paper roll" fashion). It's in testing while we work out some bugs. Even that being said, we did from the very beginning change Athena so that all of the forms are loaded at once, which dramatically speeds up scrolling. You don't have to wait while it loads each form as you scroll around like you did in Olympus.
Anyway, just thought I'd explain where we are on the things you requested. Thanks for the office management comments.