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Sep 26 2017

Codebook Evolution

Today’s blog is a little different, I wanted to take a look back at CodeBook over the years and  to see how far we have come forwards. CodeBook has been developing BIM software since 1993 far before the word BIM hit the mainstream. It was first developed as a tool by Peter to aid his own work. Given just how useful it was found to be Peter started to develop Codebook full time.

There are many versions before the version I am going to start with, but its incredibly difficult to find archive data going back 20 + years (before reliable cd/rw because mainstream)

Cast your mind back 12 years! Version 8.1 is hot off the press it’s the year 2005, people are still using Autocad 2002 (unless you use Micro GDS, Archicad! Or Microstation) and this is what CodeBook looks like:

Version 8.1 was I believe one of the first versions that dealt with Room information as well as the equipment lists being a massive step forward from version 7.

What’s amazing however is the fact that this still works, and runs on an operating system is was never built for or designed for, Even more amazingly the core functions of CodeBook can be seen, and are still very much in use today. Equipment list comparison, C-Sheets, Rds reports and the equipment library manager are all here.

26 different types or report:

Next up we have version 8.2

8.2 was very much the same as 8.1, small incremental updates with the addition of supported cad platforms and office updates. It’s important to note that importing room data and equipment is not possible with this version, a feature that is taken for granted today.

 

Next up we have version 8.4 which never got a formal release in the UK, 8.4 although looking the same was a massive move on from 8.2 in the terms of the backend database connectivity. For the first time 8.4 made the import of Room data directly from an XLS possible as well as being translatable in to other languages.

The next big version to release was version 9.

Version 9 occurred at an interesting shift in IT and architecture, v9 was released for both 32 bit windows XP and 64 bit windows XP. V9 was the first Codebook version to implement a floating licence manager tool (earlier versions of 8.4 did support a hardware lock and dongle)

 

V9 was a lot of CodeBook firsts, it also supported the first versions of Revit

 

While supporting MicroGDS, Autocad, Microstation and Archicad. V9 also called for a massive database re-design. It’s a feat that up until this point the database structure has remained fundamentally unchanged since the first implementation of CodeBook. The Project database underwent an upgrade but the real work was the splitting of the CodeBook library files in to two library databases rather than just the one.

Although sharing the same layout of 8.2 the overall style and forms had an update:

You can now quick select in the library, the tab structure in the Room Editor has been updated.

Reports have been overhauled and the CSV replaced by XLS as well many additional reports:

The CodeBook settings have been updated to a new tree style and now Revit shared parameters can be mapped!

 

V9 also now comes with a constraints manager, it’s the first time CodeBook admins can make types of data un-editable for users based on a username and password.

CodeBook v10

CodeBook version 10 was the first version of Codebook to support SQL server. This was a great improvement over MS access both as regards data security and data speed.

 

We also for the first time implemented the user interface option that controlled how the form looked based on the level of access required by the user

CodeBook gains a lot of new features, the main one being able to be implemented in a cloud environment for the first time a massive bonus for offices who are trying to collaborate over WAN’s where MS access was a bad solution to the problem. Although a lot of backend work has gone on with new features and functions, mostly towards Revit functionality the only outward difference over earlier versions is a new dashboard.

Codebook V11

Codebook undergoes a massive re-design

Every single menu, form, control gets a re-design and is arguably one of the biggest changes in Codebook history. The design up until this point has been an evolution over time with small changes and improvements, v11 brings about a complete change to reflect the changing workflow and the new Microsoft Windows and Autodesk visual styles. What you see above if you are a current CodeBook user is very similar to what you will be working with now. Older CodeBook users will mark this as a dark moment where one had to learn where we put all the new buttons!

In v11 Codebook mobile was still in use, a pre RDC and ADC like tool.

CodeBook v12

CodeBook v12 is an evolution of v11, we have at this stage taken a lot of feedback from the user base as regards visual style and layout and implemented a lot of GUI changes as well as returning some features that we had removed to streamline the user interface. Additional support of office and Revit/Autocad have been added with older versions now removed. Most changes implemented have been small features and speed improvements.

 

CodeBook Pro 2015

What’s in a name, A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. 2015 is an exciting time for CodeBook as we re-brand CodeBook for a number of reasons, firstly we have released two new products CodeBook Asset data collector, and CodeBook Room data collector to bring products inline we have renamed CodeBook or Pro. As a software tradition however there is also underlying reason, if we hadn’t of changed to Pro, version 13 is the next logical release. In the software industry no one wants to call a version 13.

As well as a name rework, CodeBook gets support for the latest cad and Revit versions. Door and Finish integration with Revit is greatly improved. Some of the menus are re-worked and icons updated. The Revit C-sheets function is updated to reflect client needs as well as items like a Room tasks function being implemented. Changes of the surface look small but Pro is one of the busiest times we have had for the addition of new features and functions to the software.

CodeBook PRD

CodeBook was renamed again, to fit better in line with the naming of the RDC and the ADC, CodeBook’s main application was renamed to be called PRD. CodeBook has continued an organic development from Pro, responding to client feedback and market derection. The reports have been re-worked with the addition of RPG reports (instant creation) with CodeBook continuing to support all new versions of Cad and BIM.

And here we are, all the way up to 2017 from 2005. It’s amazing to see the changes and growth that has occurred, not least the fact that the dataset I opened up in 8.1 is the same dataset that I have open and running in version PRD 2016. There really are not many software providers that could maintain an upgrade route with ease over the course of 12 years.

This was a nice blog to write, and a fitting one as it will be my last for CodeBook. I would like to thank all of the clients I have dealt with over the last 10 years with every version of CodeBook and every problem conceivable. It’s been a great pleasure to work with each and every one. I would like to especially thank Peter for an amazing 10 years of working together.

 

Best Regards,

Sam Oliver

CodeBook support.

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