US vendor e-Builder has launched ‘e-Builder Professional’ – described as “an economical solution tailored to meet the specific needs of design professionals”.
The new offering combines a “low price point” with “full document management capabilities, drawing management view and markup, and collaboration capabilities, … unlimited storage options … [and] the ability to add specific modules on a per project basis.”
e-Builder president Ron Antevy says: “We continually hear that architects and engineers love the capabilities provided by these systems but simply cannot justify the cost. We’re simply listening to our market. This new offering provides all of the capabilities at the lowest possible cost.”
In my (mainly UK-based) experience, designers may express concern about the costs of a collaboration platform or ‘extranet’, but it is contractors who have been more vocal in wanting lower-cost solutions (in both cases, particularly if only deploying the system on a project-by-project basis, the costs will normally be passed on to the ultimate client as part of the overall fee charged for delivering the project).