In order to support custom configurations of GraphPad, I needed to setup a license verification server and create a new version of GraphPad that accesses it. Work on this is on track to be complete in the next week, at which time I will start working with customers interested in custom configurations. Customers interested in having their forms and libraries added to GraphPad are asked to monitor this blog for updates on the new version and my availablity to work with new clients.
3/17/2018 – Licensing server brought on-line.
3/18/2018 – Initial release submitted to Apple for review.
3/19/2018 – Rejected: The review team asked for more information and changes to the App Store description. Re-submitted along with a status request.
One of the things I’d like to start doing with this blog is to show examples of client drawings. By sharing these examples, I not only hope to demonstrate what can be created using GraphPad, but it also helps me understand what I need to do to improve the product.
The example above was provided by Devon Hodgeman who owns Cabinet Creations in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
This video demonstrates the types of customizations I can do with GraphPad, and in particular focuses on ideas I have for working with HomeDepot.
For larger clients that can afford to have a completely custom App developed, the sky is virtually the limit. GraphPad documents are multipage, and each page can have very different characteristics. One page can be cover sheet, the second page can be a drawing page – allowing users to create their CAD style site drawings, the 3rd page could be the estimate page – with line by line charges for parts and services and the last page could be the terms and conditions with a place for the client to sign – all linked back to the clients data downloaded from your server. An application like that is not only possible, I have a setup for contractors that already does almost all of this.
Lastly, creating pages with completely custom features, like those I demonstrate in the Home Inspection Post below, are quite possible. In the case of the Home Inspection App, a page is setup to use inspection checklists, allowing the inspector to add random pictures and comments as a normal part of completing an inspection form. Adding that new feature only took a couple of weeks, and will be the basis for a new type of estimation form that allows for unlimited free text in the description of a estimate as shown below.
The only limitation is the cost. I’m no longer selling the configurable version through the App Store, so until I can create a way to distribute and control access to GraphPad, I will only be able to work with companies that can afford to have their own custom App created. For those types of clients I can restrict access to their custom App based on their DUNS number and make it available through Apple’s Volume Purchase Plan. Custom Apps will require considerable consulting time for gathering requirements and development, and still only be available through a lease. GraphPad is the result of over 6 years of development and represents a considerable investment in time and resources. As such, source code to GraphPad will not be part of any consulting agreement and is not available for sale.
For more information on having a custom App created based on GraphPad, please refer to the contact form on my website:
Although GraphPad was designed to create scaled plan view drawings it does a fairly good job of creating isometric drawings as well. The following video shows how to create some simple isometric drawings with GraphPad using a combination of library objects, grouping, lines, arcs and bezier curves.
One of the features I’ve been working on for awhile is to calculate building costs based on the drawing. Users would be able to define their own building materials and unit costs, and then use the areas and lengths on the drawing to calculate a bid. This has been something I’ve wanted to do for quite sometime and I recently created this video to demonstrate how it would work. Please comment on this post if you like this feature and if it is something you would like to see added to GraphPad.
The following video is a proof of concept I prepared for an engineering company based in Germany. This example looks at features that would be useful for engineers to sketch out piping and duct work, although many of the features in the demo could easily be applied to other industries as well. In addition to configuring GraphPad with libraries of symbols and forms, a completely custom application can be created based on GraphPad that precisely meets a companies needs including integration with their backend systems, engineering and costing calculations as well as changes to the UI to look like a company product. Custom applications are only available for a companies internal use and not for resale. Access to a custom app created for a company will be made available through Apple’s volume purchase plan and restricted to devices based on the company’s Dun & Bradstreet number which is controlled by the company itself. Other customers interested in having a custom app created for their business are encouraged to complete a contact form on my website:
I will be happy to discuss options for creating a custom app based on GraphPad and how it can be helpful to your business.
I’ve recently been going into the field as a Home Inspector in order to get a better idea of how my customers can use GraphPad as well as determine if there are any other applications that my users would find helpful. One issue that became immediately apparent was the need to tell contractors how to get to a location that couldn’t be resolved by Google or Apple maps. For contractors, this is actually a pretty big problem since there’s a lot of work that needs to be done in new sub divisions or in rural locations. To address this issue, I modified the mapping feature in the Configurable version of GraphPad to get a location based on touching a point on a map or by using the current location of the user, which they could then send as a email attachment for another GraphPad user to open up. Once the location was in GraphPad, simply pressing a button opened Apple maps to get turn by turn directions. Cool!
After talking to other contractors, I decided to spin this off as a separate iPhone app that could be purchased through the App Store. The video below shows how this new App works, both as a custom GraphPad App as well as a stand alone iPhone App.
Unfortunately trying to sell a new App through the App Store at this point is pretty much a waste of time. With over a million Apps, the App Store is no longer a sales channel so much as it is a distribution mechanism, so I’m not expecting to get any significant revenue from creating this new product. The only return I expect is to provide a coding example for prospective clients and employers. As a result, while there’s a lot more I think I could do with the product; for example, send an entire itinerary with pictures of the location and additional customer information, filtering appointments based on a time frame and calculating mileage etc., I’m publishing this as a bare bones App for anyone who cares to look at it. Since I have used this in the field, and it does provide a significant value to someone trying to communicate directions to another user, I set the price at $5 – which I think is reasonable. My experience with giving away free downloads has only resulted in negative comments from users who never intended to purchase anything in the first place.