Synchro Software’s 2017 release is truly multi-dimensional — ranging from a re-designed user interface to a new Cloud offering.
COMING IN MAY, one exciting “new dimension” is Synchro’s recent partnership with Microsoft for the roll out of Synchro on the Microsoft Azure Cloud Platform. “Migrating to the cloud represents a major turning point for our customers. At the core of this offering is Synchro Workgroup Project and API services,” says Greg Demchak, Synchro’s Director of Product Management. “Coupled together, these two technologies open the door for real-time collaboration while allowing users to interact with Synchro project data in entirely new ways.”
With the 2017 release, users have the option to move their Synchro Projects into the cloud seamlessly--automatically enabling real-time collaboration. “With Synchro Workgroup Project, you’re no longer working with files—you’re working with a shared database that can be accessed by anyone on the team—we’re talking about the entire project lifecycle,” says Demchak. A Workgroup Project can be accessed from any of Synchro’s applications: Synchro PRO for 4D Planning and Project Management, the free Open Viewer (OVR) for viewing models, Scheduler (SCH) for CPM Scheduling, SITE for tracking progress in the field, and the brand new SITE for HoloLens app.
The Azure Platform brings with it all the value of Microsoft’s Cloud architecture, including security, scale, and reliability. In addition to connecting to Workgroup Projects hosted in Azure, Synchro is also announcing the ability to run Synchro PRO and Open Viewer as remote apps that leverage the power of the Azure N-Series Virtual Machines. “These machines are stacked with high-end Nvidia GPUs designed for graphics intensive applications, which makes it a perfect fit for the type of massive models being produced by our customers across the globe,” says Demchak. “End-users will feel like they’re launching PRO from their desktop, but all the computing is actually being done in the Cloud and we’ve optimized the graphics for a seamless experience.”
In addition to the cloud offering, there is a new release of all the Synchro products, loaded with improvements and sporting a totally re-designed user interface. “We spent a lot of time on this design and involved customers in the effort. We really wanted to streamline the user experience and solve some tricky problems,” says Kate Hester, Senior User Experience Designer. “Included is a re-designed Ribbon layout, new Navigator dialogs, and re-designed Properties dialogs.”
Other improvements include the introduction of Resource Groups for Task-level growth simulation; Issue Tracking for creating and assigning issues to user in the Workgroup Project; the ability to load custom Headers and Footers for printing; the ability to Synchronize to/from Excel; an 11 point Schedule “Health Report”; integration with a rendering farm for processing Nvidia Iray animation renderings; and over 150 additional improvements across the entire application. “We have a really active and vocal user base. We get feedback on a daily basis, and many of the improvements you see are direct responses to interactions with our users,” says Hester. “I’m really excited to see what people think, and can’t wait to see what our users produce with the 2017 release.