Softrock announce Future Software Directions

25 June 2010

As a matter of importance, Softrock has made some decisions on software development, which may impact on the future plans of our clients.

Autoslope

Today, our Managing Director, Bernie Malone, has made this statement.

Our current Autoslope program is written in Microsoft VB6.  This language is getting a little outdated now and Softrock has been designing an upgrade to Autoslope to be written in vb.net.  It is important that our programs are kept up to date so that they can operate affectively on the new OS platforms of the future.

After much discussion, we have decided to partner with Leica and use their GeoMos as our future control platform.  We are in the process of trialling Leica software at particular sites over the next 6 months and suggest to Leica any changes and additions that we feel should be made.  The reason for our decision to use GeoMos is threefold.

  • The very high cost of re-writing Autoslope which would need to be outsourced.
  • The range of instruments available to Autoslope has been reduced to the Leica range.  We originally started with the Geodimeter ATS which is now superseded.  The Topcon range didn’t lead to expectations. Trimble has not released their command codes to Softrock.  Leica instruments have always been reliable & accurate work horses for our software.  With this in mind, it is both practical and mutually beneficial for Softrock Solutions to align with Leica.
  • Although the current Autoslope is a highly accurate and user-friendly product, we feel that using proprietary software from the instrument manufacturer is better QA in the long term.  This will mean that Softrock can focus on supplying the add-on software and tools that have no impact on the actual measurement process, but make the whole process a more rewarding experience.

The reason for stating our intentions here is important because some of the functionality requested by our clients may already exist in GeoMos.  For example,there are 3 alarming levels.

The GeoMos software is quite powerful but is a little unfriendly to use in some ways. Softrock will be developing tools to ensure that GeoMos will have the same (or better) functionality than Autoslope.

GeoMos can also utilize GPS updates which will add a new degree of functionality and help maintain data accuracy in an automated capacity. This can be used to monitor and automatically adjust control or even monitor sensitive assets.  This feature, when used as a 24 hour average using the GNSS/GPS system, can attain accuracies well under 5mm.

Quikslope

Quikslope version 4 has been around for over 10 years.  We feel that it has lived up to its expectations and performed very well over this period.  There has been a steady stream of upgrades that are available to all registered users.

We see that the current version 4 will continue in its current form to around 2014. Again this program is written in Microsoft VB6 and has a limited life as new operating systems come into use.

Quikslope5

Quikslope version 4 will be ultimately replaced with Quikslope5. You may be aware of our software product called“Analyzer”, which we hope will become the industry standard analysis tool for prism (and other) data. We are re-branding this product Quikslope5 to avoid any confusion with other products on the market.  Leica have a similar product called “Analyzer”, which is available with GeoMos. The Leica Analyzer is a fairly basic program, and it may be quite confusing to present 2 products with the same name.

Quikslope5 will be compatible with both GeoMos and Autoslope databases.  It will be able to handle automated and manual data. It will include many advanced graphing, calculation, exporting, importing, and CAD tools.

SoftrockAlert Software

GeoMos has very extensive alerting features.  There can be three levels of alarm.  It can trigger on all sorts of items, but these alerts need to be managed and acted upon in some way.  SoftrockAlert is a new software product that will control all alarming features of GeoMos. It will be a standalone heartbeat type monitor with features like:

  •  Graphical interface to show current measurements
  •  Graphical interface to show current alerts
  •  Email control for alerts
  •  Email control for reports
  •  SMS control for alerts
  •  SMS control for reports
  •  Alert on GeoMos Limit Class
  •  Alert on sensor communication failure
  •  Alert on data write failure
  •  Control of physical alarms
  •  3rd Party Alarming system connection

Software Upgrades & Cost

  • Autoslope to GeoMos upgrade will available in October 2010.  We expect there to be a nominal charge for this in a special upgrade offer to be announced soon.
  • There will be a nominal upgrade fee from Quikslope v4 to Quikslope5.
  • SoftrockAlert will be released in December 2010.

Support & Maintenance

  • Current support costs will be maintained with minimal annual increases.
  • Support for Quikslope v4 and Autoslope will continue till 2014.  This support will be available to users of operating systems up to Windows7, running in XP mode.
  • Support for Leica GeoMos and GPS Spider will be available.

Training & Support

  • Softrock is committed to providing high levels of support and training.
  •  Training manuals and videos to be available to users on the web site
  • Software upgrades will be available to registered users.
  • Phone & email support is also available for all Leica and Softrock products that we sell.

Why upgrade at all?

  • You don’t have to!  Softrock will support your current software and hardware till at least 2014.
  • By upgrading to GeoMos, you can be assured that your organization will be working at global best practice and industry highest standard.
  • Softrock can concentrate on the integration of survey total stations, GNSS/GPS units, inclinometers, extensometers and piezos, all in the same SQL database.
  • For a limited time, Softrock will be offering discounted pricing for existing customers to upgrade from their existing software and training based at the Softrock Solutions office making the changeover as affordable and efficient as possible.

Softrock will continue to provide systems integration, training and support for both Leica products and our traditional software. We look forward to providing an even better level of support for a new and exciting product range utilizing the latest technologies available.

I would like to thank our current clients for your support through the years.  I think that this new direction for Softrock will be of great benefit to you. It will ensure a universal approach to monitoring, which strengthen staff understanding and training.  It ensures a high level of data security and the ability to audit any process. We trust that you will also see this as a positive step forward for the industry as a whole as we move towards the next generation of slope monitoring solutions.

Thank you so much,

BernieMalone

General Manager

June 25th, 2010