Reassessing Your Database Needs

It is no secret that economic conditions have made today’s market very challenging.  Now is a good time to reassess your database needs and take advantage of automation and customization, letting the software work for you and help you to stay on top of your business needs.  Robbins Engineering customers currently have two database management programs available to them.  The first program, InfoStar, is designed to support large databases and multiple users.  InfoStar runs on Microsoft Access 2002 - 2007 and Microsoft Sql Server 2000 or 2005.  The Job Manager Database is a trimmed down version of InfoStar and runs on a runtime version of Microsoft Access 2002.  Both management programs are linked directly to our engineering program, Online Plus.  Trusses, engineered wood products, wall panels, and hangers can be exported to the databases.   These management programs offer job tracking, pricing, and customizable reports.  Additionally, InfoStar also offers inventory control, production scheduling, delivery scheduling, labor tracking and is completely customizable.



InfoStar version 14 is currently available which includes updates to allow exporting of engineered wood products and hangers from On-Line Plus.  Other new developments in InfoStar have focused on making our user interface more modern, efficient and user friendly.  We’ve added new buttons to our main form to speed the input of new quotes or jobs, and added Quick View as an alternative to the Item Outline.  From Quick View the user has a variety of options to sort and filter data on the fly, in real time, and paperless, with many of the features of the Item Outline. In the future, we will be expanding on this format, allowing users to have multiple tabs and possibly using this format as a basis for developing a web based interface.


InfoStar development has also focused on linking with Microsoft Office products.  For example, Quick View allows data to be filtered in InfoStar and then exported to Microsoft Excel for additional manipulation.  Our new Job Status Tool not only updates other data fields when the status is changed, but can also send an email to the appropriate people informing them of a change in Job Status.  We have also created an option to automatically create a new Task in Microsoft Outlook to remind the user when they need to follow up with a customer. 


As remote internet access becomes more prevalent outside the office, we plan on exploring links to GPS positioning software and delivering InfoStar content via the web.  Plus, we are looking at new ways to send the same engineering quote to multiple customers, and help customers develop systems to track not only the quotes they were awarded but also the ones they lost.--and why.


Job Manager Database

Job Manager Database version 9.008 is now available.  This version includes the necessary tools for exporting engineered wood products and hanger products from On-Line Plus.  Also included in this version is a new Profit Report tool and new classes for your engineered wood products.  When entering data with the new "Ewp" classes (Ewp_Ijoist, Ewp_RimMaterial, and Ewp_Other) you only need to enter the different sizes and types of material, lengths are not required.  When attaching an "Ewp" product, you will be prompted for the LF in addition to the quantity.  Pricing is based on lineal footage.  Also, a new option in tools lets you define inactive and active classes.  When a class is defined as inactive it will be hidden to the user.  For more information on obtaining this version please contact Gary Cox at 813-972-1135.


- Employee Spotlight - Cecilia Bogan


Cecilia BoganCecilia Bogan is one of the longest continuously employed members of the Robbins family, having joined On-Line Data back in 1978.  Over the years she has held a variety of positions and for many years was the smiling voice you heard when calling On-Line Data or Robbins Engineering for technical support.  Her years in the truss industry have allowed her to form many friendships and provide her with first hand understanding of how it all fits together.  Cecilia’s problem solving talents are second to none.  Since migrating to the support and development of InfoStar and Job Manager Database, she has been behind the release of each new version and is instrumental in maintaining the link between InfoStar and the engineering platforms -- most recently including MiTek 20/20.  She will be exploring linking InfoStar with MVP (MiTek Virtual Plant) while continuing to develop solutions in InfoStar such as Scheduling, Pricing, Labor, and Inventory.  To continue enhancing her database skills, she is an active member of a local Microsoft Access Users Group which meets once a month.   She is a lifelong resident of the Dallas, Texas area and is married with one son.   In her spare time she enjoys gardening, jigsaw and crossword puzzles and playing video games or riding 4-wheelers with her son.


6904 Parke East Blvd Tampa Florida 33610
Phone: 813-972-1135  Fax: 813-971-6117  Email: