Plumbing Company Modernizes Services with Revelation Software
By Joyce Wells
New England Water Heater is a plumbing services company specializing in water heater repair and installation based in North Waltham, MA. The company provides a centralized service through a network of geographically dispersed plumbing companies in the surrounding region, including its own company, Home Services of New England (HSNE) Plumbing.
NEWH’s services include the sale, lease, installation, and repair of water heaters for non-commercial customers in the New England states, as well as other plumbing services, ranging from fixing leaking faucets to handling oil-to-gas conversions.
To support this work, the company provides a customer hotline in Massachusetts for more than 20,000 accounts. Revelation Software is the backbone of the overall IT system.
Today, businesses of all types are changing the way they operate. They are adopting hosted services rather than purchasing and maintaining software and hardware on-premises, and, as a result, employees also now frequently work remotely.
With the advances in IT services that have taken place over the past 5 years, NEWH saw an opportunity to move to a cloud-based system to support its employees and customers. The goal was to improve its overall quality of service while also enabling office staff to access systems from home.
In addition, the company wanted to eliminate the overhead costs of office space, a local area network, and shared printers. Critical to the new set-up was the ability for its affiliated plumbing companies, as well as its own HSNE staff, to input information about service visits and billing into the system and access new assignments while on the road.
In September 2015, NEWH and HSNE decided to eliminate their physical offices, where each employee was provided with a desk, telephone, shared printer, and a desktop computer connected to a local file server to perform their job, said David Harmacek of Harmacek Database Systems, who specializes in Revelation Software products. The process of publishing the company’s 28-year-old Advanced Revelation application to the cloud was handled by Harmacek, who has been a consultant to NEWH since 1994.
When the decision was made to migrate the system, NEWH had a typical Windows Server, internet connections, IP phones for customer support, and a range of website-oriented support interfaces, as well as a hybrid Arev (Advanced Revelation) 32 and OpenInsight 9.4 database system.
To modernize the operations, Harmacek put a plan in motion to switch to a hosted system and began implementing this new approach in February 2016.
The Arev32/OpenInsight system was migrated to a Parallels server. Since the telephones were already on an IP system, no adjustment needed to be made, but office documents and storage outside of the database needed to be moved to Microsoft Office 365 and OneDrive.
As a longtime Revelation Software customer, NEWH uses a system on Revelation’s OpenInsight 9.4 for business processes such as document management, phone calls, and customer support—everything but accounting.
Because the system is so critical to its business—handling processes such as document management, phone calls, and customer support—the NEWH migrated the system to the Parallels 2X RDP server, while also maintaining the physical system, to make sure that everything transitioned flawlessly.
Eventually, even though the company had not yet moved from its physical office space, it began using only the remote services, as if all the employees were working from home, said Harmacek. The dual on-premise and cloud approach lasted until late spring. By June 2016, the company no longer had physical offices, said Harmacek.
“Working with a 28-year-old application, we found that there are many features that are no longer in use, while other capabilities are leveraged all the time and have been just working forever," said Harmacek.
“The biggest challenge was eliminating the dependence on a local network for file storage and local printing, since the employees could no longer walk over to an office and hand someone a piece of paper, and they could no longer print anything,” he said. This issue has been solved by using the feature in Parallels 2X that allows a local folder to be managed from the application. Reports and PDF files can be placed onto the remote desktop. Files, both PDFs and images, can be uploaded and integrated with the hosted database. “Anything that needed to be done had to be accomplished by interacting with the system. I had to find all the places in the processes where this was needed and change the system to allow it to be done that way.”
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OpenInsight 10 Alpha v9 is available
OpenInsight 10 Alpha v9 is available to all Works Members and can be found on the Works Downloads section of our web site.
The Alpha v9 is available as a full install. This is a 64-bit version of OpenInsight and includes many enhancements to the IDE, Form Designer, Menu Designer, Table Builder, Git, O4W, Compiler, Editor, Arev32, CTO, Console and License Authorization process.
Alpha v9 is set to expire on August 8, 2017.
List User Locks Administration Tool for OI v9.4 released
This RDK contains an updated LIST_USER_LOCKS window, along with supporting LIST_USER_LOCKS and RTI_LH_INFO procedures. This utility has been tested with OpenInsight 9.4 and above and the Universal Driver 4.7.2 and Universal Driver 184.108.40.206.
Execute the window LIST_USER_LOCKS. The window will display a list of locked records. Each line item will display computer name, volume, table and record keys. With the Universal Driver 220.127.116.11 the computer name will include the network logon and process ID so that you can determine exactly which session holds the lock on a terminal server.
Works members can download
this utility from the Works Downloads section of the web site.Read On....
Listbox Patch for OpenInsight 9.4 released
The Windows 10 Creators Update has caused Listboxes to no longer display properly in OpenInsight 9.4. This patch resolves this issue. The patch is a replacement of OInsight.exe. OpenInsight will show the version as 9.4.2 which can be viewed in the top left corner of the IDE.
Works Members can download the Listbox Patch for OpenInsight 9.4 from the Works Download section of our web site.
This patch includes all previous fixes for OpenInsight 9.4 and replaces the original "Roll Up" Patch v1 released on March 3, 2016 and the second "Roll Up" Patch v2 released on March 8, 2016.
OpenInsight 9.4 "Roll Up " Patch v3 released
The patches included are as follows:
- BUTTONDOWN Event Handler Patch for OI 9.4
- SQL Connector Patch for OI 9.4 v2
- Buffer Overflow Error Patch for OI 9.4 v2
- RevelationDotNet 9.4 "Roll Up" Patch
- RTI_TASKMANAGER 9.4 Patch v2
- O4W Validation Patch for OI 9.4
- QBF Patch for OI 9.4
- Arev32 Descending Sort Issue Patch for OI 9.4 v2
- Single Sign On Patch for OI 9.4
- CTODICT.MFS Patch for OI 9.4 v2
- Arev32 Conversion Utility Patch for OI 9.4
- Socket Functions Patch for OI 9.4
- O4W Popup Patch for OI 9.4
- Base64 Encode/Decode Patch for OI 9.4
- PREVVAL Patch for OI 9.4
- O4WGRAPHDATA Patch for OI 9.4
- RTICDOMAIL Patch for OI 9.4
- Banded Report Writer Patch for OI 9.4 v2
- Engine Server Patch for OpenInsight 9.4
- Listbox Patch for OpenInsight 9.4
Works members can download this patch from the Works Downloads section of our web site.