Philip Johnson has been a software developer for over 36 years and has been involved with Abraquest since 2004/2005. He is the director of Spherical Software Limited (www.sphericalsoftware.com), the company that owns Abraquest.
Future Abraquest Releases
We are planning new releases of Abraquest approximately every two months for the foreseeable future. This post explains what will be in some of these releases.
Having just completed Abraquest 2.5.0, which has a new menu system and new documentation including online help, we are already thinking ahead to the next few releases.
We are going to produce a new Abraquest release approximately every 2 months, which will be automatically available via the auto updating mechanism introduced in 2.5.0.
We will focus entirely on our customers needs, the main objectives are making Abraquest as easy as possible to set up, introducing Cloud features, and a new pupil interface with a number of different identification schemes (for pupils) that looks better and is even easier to use than the present one.
Release 2.6.0, due by 30th November 2015
This release will try to remove as far as possible, the need for us to be on site to set up Abraquest and enter books. Our site visit will still be available but hopefully just for half a day or a day to provide some overall guidance (for those that request it). It should be possible for almost anybody to setup Abraquest from the download without having any outside help. How can this be achieved?
The first step already has - the new online help system in Abraquest 2.5.0.
Release 2.6.0 will build on this - possibly improving the documentation if this is necessary, however the main new features will be:
- Cloud based book lookup which will access our Cloud based books database and make it much more likely that book details are known. This system replaces the books CD that Maeve used to bring round on installation days to help speed things up.
- Redesigned add books dialog, which helps the user understand exactly what needs to be done more clearly than the old one.
- New Abraquest setup Wizard, available when logged on as sysadmin, which will take you through the initial set up steps.
We would like to reduce Abraquest setup to running the setup wizard, sticking Abraquest barcode labels on each of your books, and then scanning the two labels on each book (ISBN barcode, Abraquest barcode). Release 2.6.0 will go as far as possible in this regard to make Abraquest easy to download and setup without any help whatsoever and in the shortest possible time.
Release 2.7.0, due by the 31st January 2016
We have two choices with this release (the other choice will be in the release following).
We will introduce a new pupil only interface that makes Abraquest even easier to use for pupils with different identification schemes that can be configured (e.g. some schools use barcodes, others use pupil name and class or for older pupils date of birth).
The other option is to expand the cloud based features first of all, to include options of automatic Cloud based backup (to save all your data in the event of PC failure) and other features that the Cloud system enables.
We will continue to focus on our customer needs and on expanding our cloud based system to help meet those needs in innovative ways.
Please refer back to this blog in the future, we hope to post details of future releases at roughly the same time as each new release and will expand more on the details of what exactly is coming in the next release.
Meanwhile we welcome all customer suggestions via our contact page. Suggestions that are taken on board will be rewarded by a free 3 month subscription to the Abraquest cloud based package, when available.