MacDirectory Magazine

Fall-Winter 2010 (#43)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 62 of 147

AEC Software is a leading developer of project-focused and business productivity software for Windows, Mac and Palm. AEC Software products aid users in planning, tracking and managing their projects easily and efficiently while enhancing communication and achieving business goals. Founded in 1985, AEC Software is known for delivering software that is easy to use, intuitive, and flexible. AEC Software supports a global customer base numbering in the hundreds of thousands. These users represent a wide variety of industries and job functions. Some of the major industries utilizing AEC Software products include aerospace, architecture and construction, information technology, marketing, publishing, advertising and design, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, facilities management, the federal government, and education. The latest brainchild of AEC Software is FastTrack Schedule, which really brings product management on the Mac into modern life. Gone are the days of the Gantt charts that depicted different projects in a grid format. Just about everything in FastTrack can be modified in fine detail. For example, each bar can display sub-bars for scheduled, revised, and actual time. Each sub-bar can have its own color fill, pattern, border, and start and end points. The user can customize each of the views to suit his needs and then save the layout to reuse with other documents. Then there are the toolbars. FastTrack has lots and lots of them. The toolbars can even be grouped together into custom tabbed palettes. Version 9 of FastTrack Schedule consolidates files into a master schedule, allowing very complex projects to be carved up into smaller documents but periodically brought together for a big- picture view. FastTrack also sports automatic archiving, which saves an archive copy of the project file at user- selected intervals. Distinct from a backup, archive copies accumulate instead of overwriting previous versions. FastTrack now reads and writes Microsoft Project files, giving Mac users a way to share Project documents without resorting to Windows. FastTrack also imports Mindjet MindManager documents, grouping parent and child branches into task groups. Schedules may also be exported to MindManager XML, resulting in a basic mind map. "With FastTrack Schedule, students see that any process can be broken down into relevant and related parts. Then they were better able to translate those production items into line items in a budget," says professor William Hazelwood of San Francisco State University. "I became a believer in FastTrack Schedule through my independent production company work. A Fortune 500 client needed a complex project turned around quickly. When asked if I could do it I said, 'Rather than me telling you I can; let me show you how I will.' They said they had never seen such an easy-to-read production schedule." Hazelwood uses FastTrack Schedule as an integral part of his curriculum at San Francisco State. He uses the program to help students understand the need for planning in the television and film production process. Each semester Hazelwood asks his film production students to devise their dream work project. Then, by using FastTrack Schedule to create step-by-step plans, the students build production schedules for documentaries, music events, or television series. Every activity from brainstorming creative ideas, scouting location sites, hiring crews, casting talent, editing scripts, getting client approval, and starting distribution can be displayed in FastTrack Schedule's Schedule View. If learning FastTrack Schedule seems a little daunting, AEC offers several online tutorials on the product and a specific online help center. Classes include getting started with FastTrack, Managing FastTrack Schedules and Enhancing FastTrack Schedules. Software packages for the FastTrack Schedule start at $349 and the company is offering a free upgrade to the upcoming FastTrack Schedule 10 with the purchase of version 9. For more information on FastTrack Schedule or other AEC products visit: . MacDirectory 61 COMPANY PROFILE AEC SOFTWARE > OFFERING FASTTRACK SCHEDULE PROJECT MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS WORDS BY MARY ROSENTHOL

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of MacDirectory Magazine - Fall-Winter 2010 (#43)