Standardisation in the construction industry encourages innovation and facilitates the dissemination of new technology. Standards create a common ground for actors to exchange information by resolving issues related to interoperability, semantics and organisation of processes. Standardisation is therefore a central building block to any software developed to service the ever-rising data management needs of the construction sector.
In the development of new products such as Cobuilder Collaborate, Cobuilder expert teams have based all relevant functionalities on the upcoming standards for structured semantic life-cycle information for the built environment developed by CEN/TC 442. openBIM standards are making BIM data easy for access and implementation by everyone and are therefore embedded in the software logic. However, to truly enter the digital era, Cobuilder have also looked at a different set of market standards – standards that truly bring the benefits of BIM-enabled data structures and processes at the fingertips of the user – the UX/UI (User Experience and User Interface) standards.
A common visual language
In 2014 Google introduced Material Design – a visual language and a philosophy that has for the last 4 years become the most-universally applied market standard for user-centric digital design. As Google have put it – Material Design aims to ‘Create a visual language that synthesizes classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science’. Much like the BIM philosophy, Material Design aims at creating a single, unified system that works across multiple platforms. As a common visual language, Google’s Material Design enables all organisations to take advantage of a uniform set of principles that help users of all sort of systems feel familiar with the interface logic and understand what is required of them regardless of the specific context.
Cobuilder have employed an internal team of UX/UI designers to make continuous improvements and positive changes to the company’s IT systems. Operating on the market for over 20 years means managing а number of ‘legacy’ systems. As older systems tend to be large, chunky and not up-to-date with the modern principles of design, Cobuilder has taken a firm course towards revising the value we provide through our software and translating it to the modern language of cutting-edge IT and design.
Instead of being stuck in waiting mode, a product developed as the successor of a legacy software operated by Cobuilder for over 6 years is ready for launch. Cobuilder Collaborate is so different from its predecessor that is a new product all together. It offers consistency, fluidity, and, most importantly, a high standard of Google Material design principles.
Software development in the new era
In terms of the new technologies used, Cobuilder Collaborate takes advantage of the market-leading cloud services provided by Microsoft Azure Cloud. This means that the system is hosted in the cloud and can easily run complex data-intensive queries from any data center in the worldwide Microsoft network. It uses the latest international cloud privacy standards and ensures the security of data and its controlled accessibility. Moreover, Cobuilder Collaborate is developed as a Single Page Application (SPA). This enables a completely fluid customer experience as the interface is updated dynamically while the user interacts with it. All these features make sure that the online service provided by Cobuilder Collaborate is fast and reliable.
By introducing Cobuilder Collaborate, Cobuilder wishes to make a firm statement that the organisation is devoted to developing valuable, unifying and high-end IT platforms. They will enable every actor in the construction industry to focus on their core competencies, while backed by a seamless and simple process of keeping data well stored, analysed, and re-applied further in a meaningful way. Only by basing everything that is done on the available standards, be it for BIM, data management or user experience, Cobuilder will succeed at connecting the global construction supply chain and enable it to engage in a meaningful dialogue trough using IT platforms.
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