Visit DEVNET at the GIS CAMA Conference

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DEVNET is attending the GIS CAMA Conference in Savannah, Georgia, next week. Please stop by and hang out in the DEVNET lounge, Booth 18/19, to learn more about how DEVNET is empowering counties by eliminating the boundaries between GIS and CAMA. 

Don’t miss the DEVNET-hosted lunch session on Wednesday, February 24th, from noon until 1:30 p.m. in the Vu Lounge, located near the hotel lobby. Please note that the location has changed. This session is invitation-only, so stop by our booth if you didn’t receive your ticket and would like to participate. You must be present at our session to be entered in the DEVNET drawing for an iPad Mini 2.

Eliminating the Boundaries between GIS & CAMA
Sponsored by DEVNET
Room: Vu Lounge

This exclusive invitational will highlight the value-added benefits of the ArcGIS platform that will transform the way your organization manages, analyzes, and shares your geographic content. DEVNET, together with Esri, will demonstrate the NEW EdgeMaps™ CAMA, which provides easy-to-configure web maps embedded throughout the Edge™ CAMA and Tax System. EdgeMaps™ supports ArcGIS for Land Records solutions by serving real-time Local Government Information Model data.  Join us to see how the boundaries between GIS and CAMA are being eliminated.

DEVNET also will be releasing the new User Interface for the Edge™ Product Suite. 

You must have an invitation to participate.

DEVNET Inc. expands to Iowa in partnership with Marshall County

DEVNET Inc. is pleased to announce that Marshall County, Iowa, has chosen DEVNET’s Edge® solution to address its property tax and recording needs. Marshall County represents DEVNET’s first customer in the State of Iowa.

DEVNET’s ability to provide a product that is adaptable, flexible, and affordable was an important consideration in the County’s decision, according to County Information Technology Director Scott Williams.

“Our primary goals in selecting a new property tax software suite was to gain a more modern user interface and to eliminate our dependence on a single developer,” said Williams. “Marshall County has invested heavily in Web-based technologies and a Geographic Information System (GIS), and our business process relies heavily on the ability to link from various locations, both from our real estate applications and to them from other applications. DEVNET demonstrated their Web readiness as well as their ability to integrate with GIS.”

GIS Department member Melanie Ewalt added, “With all of the changes the State of Iowa has made, change was inevitable, and finding DEVNET took the scary out of change. DEVNET was very open to all our ideas and how we currently do things without giving up anything. We look forward to a long working friendship with DEVNET employees and hope to learn a lot from each other and work towards a common goal.”

That collaboration with the DEVNET team was a big factor in Marshall County’s selection.

“Probably the most important reason we selected DEVNET was our interactions with the personnel from DEVNET during the evaluation process and demos,” Williams explained. “It is very important that all of the users are comfortable with the personnel from the vendor. The DEVNET personnel on-site for the demo were founders and principals of the company as well as designers and developers of the product. They had both a deep understanding of the design and technical capabilities of the product and the authority within their organization to make decisions about development priorities. They were able to readily and believably tell us if our business processes could be implemented with their product and seemed excited about many of the suggestions we offered to enhance their product.”

Williams noted, “Because we would be DEVNET’s first Iowa customer, we really had a feeling that the product they delivered will have been designed to fit Marshall County. The feeling we had after going through the demo process was more like we were selecting a development partner, not a product. DEVNET expressed and demonstrated their excitement for working with us from the very first moment they stepped on-site.”

About Marshall County

Marshall County is named for Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court John Marshall and is located in Central Iowa with a population of over 40,000. It was organized from Jasper County in 1846. The county seat is the city of Marshalltown, a thriving city with a diversified base of businesses, award-winning schools, esteemed medical facilities, modern shopping centers, well-maintained recreational and cultural amenities, and high-quality residential areas. The Marshall County Conservation Board (MCCB) has more than 2,000 acres of land on 27 locations for camping, picnicking, fishing, canoeing, hiking, bicycle trails, forest areas, or native prairie.

For more information, see: http://www.co.marshall.ia.us

About DEVNET Inc.

DEVNET Inc. is a leading provider of end-to-end management solutions and services for local governments. With over 100 installations throughout the United States and Canada, DEVNET solutions value and collect for over 4 million parcels. Our integrated Edge® solutions provide endless possibilities to enhance workflow, boost productivity, and manage time more effectively.  DEVNET offers proven industry knowledge of and experience in implementing integrated Appraisal, Assessment, Billing, Collection, and e-government solutions designed to empower the public sector user.  As a progressive, forward-thinking company, DEVNET’s primary focus is to keep your municipality moving towards the future by providing modern technology that solves and anticipates your needs. Find more information about DEVNET Incorporated at www.devnetinc.com .

DEVNET Canada welcomes the Municipality of Chatham-Kent in Ontario as its first Canadian client

DEVNET Canada is pleased to welcome the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, Ontario, as its first Canadian customer. DEVNET’s Edge® solution will fully integrate and meet the Municipality’s requirements for Property Information, Property Tax Administration, Billing and Collection, Tax Delinquency, Public Web Portal (wEdge e-government), and Reporting and Querying.

The Corporation of the Municipality of Chatham-Kent is a single-tier municipality with a population of 104,000 located in the heart of Southwestern Ontario. The Municipality is one of the largest municipalities by geographic boundaries in Ontario with an area of 2,543 square kilometers and a mix of urban and rural communities.

In 2008, the Municipality of Chatham-Kent Information Technology Strategic Plan (ITSP) was commissioned by Corporate Services to develop the first technology roadmap for the Municipality since amalgamation. The overall theme of the ITSP is “Survival through Simplification, Stability and Sustainability.”

“As a result of an information technology strategic plan, we identified the need to implement core business and government solutions that would meet current and future needs, based on emerging technologies, IT trends and best practices,” said Municipality Project Manager Steve Wilson. “After reviewing the market’s leading software solutions, we determined that DEVNET provided the most flexible solution to meet our diverse range of needs. The depth of DEVNET’s program functionality, strategic direction and amiable staff were key factors in our decision to select it for our Property Tax solution.”

The implementation of a Property Tax solution enables the Municipality of Chatham-Kent to replace existing aged systems and provide the catalyst for implementing efficient, common business processes for recording property information, billing, and collection. It also provides the ability to streamline activities and implement new opportunities.

Chatham-Kent’s Revenue Analyst, Mark Visser noted, “DEVNET demonstrated great team energy with a progressive mindset. We feel that DEVNET’s software will not only meet our current requirements, but will also meet our future needs in regards to the ever changing Technical/Software environments and legislative changes.”

About the Municipality of Chatham-Kent

The current Municipality of Chatham-Kent was created in 1998 by the merger of municipalities in Kent County and the City of Chatham. Situated between Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie and surrounded by rich, productive farmland, Chatham-Kent is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and anyone who appreciates the beauty of nature. It is home to many historical festivals and was an integral part of the Underground Railroad in the 1800s. Chatham-Kent’s location allows residents to enjoy beautiful natural scenery, a low cost of living, high-quality public services, a variety of recreational activities, and unique business opportunities.

For more information, see: http://www.chatham-kent.ca/Pages/default.aspx

About DEVNET Inc.

DEVNET Inc. is a leading provider of end-to-end management solutions and services for local governments. DEVNET Inc. formed DEVNET Canada Systems Inc. in 2014, offering our solutions and services in Canada. With over 100 installations throughout the United States and Canada, DEVNET solutions value and collect for over 4 million parcels. Our integrated Edge® solutions provide endless possibilities to enhance workflow, boost productivity, and manage time more effectively.  DEVNET offers proven industry knowledge of and experience in implementing integrated Appraisal, Assessment, Billing, Collection, and e-government solutions designed to empower the public sector user.  As a progressive, forward-thinking company, DEVNET’s primary focus is to keep your municipality moving towards the future by providing modern technology that solves and anticipates your needs. Find more information about DEVNET Incorporated at www.devnetinc.com .

 

Mercer County Illinois Adds DEVNET wEdge E-government Solution

DEVNET is pleased to announce that Mercer County, Illinois, has chosen to implement the DEVNET wEdge e-government solution. Mercer County has been a client of DEVNET’s since 2002. With the addition of wEdge, the county will realize the benefits of the fully integrated Edge® solution. wEdge integrates with the DEVNET Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) and Property Tax Assessment Administration solutions implemented at the county.

wEdge is DEVNET’s e-government solution for providing property tax information to public and county users, and it is becoming the leading property information platform in the industry. wEdge provides a powerful yet easy-to-use interface for searching and viewing all properties within a jurisdiction. With minimal effort, users can create powerful queries, browse matching properties, and view details about each property.

“Mercer County decided to go with wEdge to give our taxpayers, title searchers, real estate agencies, and the general public the convenience of finding property tax information on the Internet,” said Mercer County Deputy Treasurer Bev Lower.

“The public had requested this for several years,” Lower continued. “wEdge gives us the opportunity to provide this with convenience and cost-efficiency to the County. We have been hearing wonderful responses about being able to provide this service to our Mercer County citizens and public workers.”

The Mercer County Treasurer Office is located at 100 SE Third Street, Aledo, IL, 61231 and can be reached at (309) 582-2580 and treasurer@mercercountyil.org.

The Mercer County Treasure’s Website is: http://www.mercercountyil.org/Departments/Treasurer.aspx

Mercer County tax records can be searched at: http://merceril.devnetwedge.com

About Mercer County, Illinois

 Mercer County has a population of over 16,000 and is located in western Illinois. It was named for Hugh Mercer, a physician and general during the American Revolution who was mortally wounded at the battle of Princeton. With the Mississippi River as the western border of the county, it is part of the Yellowbanks Territory, named by the Sauk and Fox Indians because of the yellow, sandy soil along the riverbank. The county was chartered in 1835 as part of the old Northwest Territory and the Military Tract. Aledo is the county seat. Mercer County is one of the four counties that make up the Davenport-Moline-Rock Island Metropolitan Statistical Area, and has more than 10,000 acres of parks, recreational facilities, and open space.

 For more information, see: http://www.mercercountyil.org

 About DEVNET Inc.

DEVNET Inc. is a leading provider of end-to-end management solutions and services for local governments. With over 100 installations throughout the United States and Canada, DEVNET solutions value and collect for over 4 million parcels. Our integrated Edge® solutions provide endless possibilities to enhance workflow, boost productivity, and manage time more effectively.  DEVNET offers proven industry knowledge of and experience in implementing integrated Appraisal, Assessment, Billing, Collection, and e-government solutions designed to empower the public sector user.  As a progressive, forward-thinking company, DEVNET’s primary focus is to keep your municipality moving towards the future by providing modern technology that solves and anticipates your needs. Find more information about DEVNET Incorporated at www.devnetinc.com .

 

DEVNET Attends CAAO Conference

DEVNET travels to Columbus, OH next week to attend the County Auditors Association of Ohio Spring Conference.  DEVNET looks forward to seeing everyone and sharing information on the Edge® Integrated Ohio Software offerings. If you are attending the conference please  join us on Wednesday, June 4th starting at 9:00 p.m. and Thursday, June 5th starting at 4:30 p.m. in the hospitality room we are hosting.  For more details View our campaign. 

About DEVNET Inc.

DEVNET is a leading provider of end-to-end management solutions and services for local governments. With over 100 installations throughout the United States and Canada, DEVNET solutions value and collect for over 4 million parcels. Our integrated Edge® solutions provide endless possibilities to enhance workflow, boost productivity, and manage time more effectively.  DEVNET offers proven industry knowledge of and experience in implementing integrated Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA), Property Tax Assessment Administration, Billing, Collection, Permitting & Zoning, Records Management, and e-government solutions designed to empower the public sector user.  Find more information about DEVNET Incorporated at www.devnetinc.com .

DEVNET Attends Pennsylvania Treasurers Convention

DEVNET travels to Lancaster, PA next week to attend the Pennsylvania Treasurer Associations annual convention.  DEVNET looks forward to seeing everyone and sharing information on the Edge® Integrated Pennsylvania Software offerings. If you are attending the conference please stop by our booth or join us on Tuesday, June 3rd from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. in the Presidential Ballroom for the  Breakout Session we are hosting. DEVNET will be co-presenting with Janis Creason, the Dauphin County Treasurer on the topic of Best Practices in Tax Collection. View our campaign. 

About DEVNET Inc.

DEVNET is a leading provider of end-to-end management solutions and services for local governments. With over 100 installations throughout the United States and Canada, DEVNET solutions value and collect for over 4 million parcels. Our integrated Edge® solutions provide endless possibilities to enhance workflow, boost productivity, and manage time more effectively.  DEVNET offers proven industry knowledge of and experience in implementing integrated Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA), Property Tax Assessment Administration, Billing, Collection,  Remote Collection, Tax Claims, Permitting & Zoning, Records Management, and e-government solutions designed to empower the public sector user.  Find more information about DEVNET Incorporated at www.devnetinc.com .

New Property Search Module Available

The new DEVNET Property Search module is available!  Formerly known as Parcel Search, Parcel Inquiry, Master Inquiry, etc., the DEVNET Property Search module gives users one stop shopping for finding property and property information:

But This Looks the Same!

Oh, but it’s not!  A few new key features turn this from a simple search tool to a full blown query engine.  Let’s take a quick tour of the most noticeable features:

Flags!

Those of you who have used our new Parcel Maintenance application, or the newer versions of our Parcel Transfer application are accustomed to seeing these.  For those of you who aren’t, the flags appear on each tab in the Property Search window.  Tabs that have a green flag have criteria selected on them, and tabs with a red flag are still in their default state (no criteria entered).  This deviates (slightly) from the standards we set in other windows, where a green flag means there is data on the tab, and a red flag indicates no data is available on the tab.

So why does this matter? See the next new feature…

 

Saved Queries 

We’ve been asked for this a lot over the years. We listened and delivered!  You can now save your search criteria to a named query, and load it again for future use.  With proper security, you can even create searches that can be used by other users.

When you have a set of search criteria that you want to save off, clicking the Save Search button gives you the following window:

Simply enter a name for the search and click Save.  If you have the right security, you can optionally save the query for use by everyone, and not just add it to your personal list of saved searches.

When you want to reuse a saved query, clicking the Load Search button gives you the following dialog:

The list defaults to the current user (you!), but you can also select searches saved for everyone’s use (All Users), or with proper security, all searches for all users (All Saved Queries – includes personal saved queries from other users).  Just highlight the name of the search you want to use, and click the Load button.  The saved search criteria is restored to each tab in the Property Search engine (this will wipe out any search criteria you had already filled in, but you will be asked before this happens).

There is some ability on the load window to manage the list of saved searches.  Users can always delete their own searches.  If you are an administrator, you also have the ability to remove searches saved by other users.

Only the search criteria is saved, not the results.  

Other Goodies

Did you notice the Make Study button in an earlier image?  Good!  That button will help drive an important piece of new functionality coming in 2013, and that’s all I am going to tell you about it for now.

Also worth mentioning is that each tab now has its own Reset button, so you can revert each tab to its default state without resetting the search criteria on all tabs at once. 

Under the Hood

Under the hood, there have been a lot of tweaks and optimizations that make the Property Search module faster, more efficient, and scale better across larger datasets.  The module is also the first to make use of features exclusive to SQL Server 2008 and 2012 (when those features are available).

So What Are You Waiting For?

Want to give it a shot?  Contact the DEVNET Helpdesk today and schedule your setup!

We’re really excited about this module, and know you will be too.  The new Property Search module is the next in a long list of improvements coming to clients this year.  DEVNET is never complacent and always looking to deliver new features and new value to its customers.  

DEVNET Upgrades Software Development Environment

A couple of weeks ago, you probably started noticing something that looked a bit like this when you launched your DEVNET applications each day:

Splash

and wondered what we changed.  As it turns out, a whole heck of a lot! (though, to be fair, we had been meaning to update the splash screen for a while now, and what I am about to describe just proved to be the opportune time)

DEVNET recently upgraded its development environment, Powerbuilder, to the most recent version (12.5).  We’ve done this a couple of times now in the history of the company.  While each upgrade becomes potentially more problematic as the number of clients grows, we’d like to think that we’ve got a pretty good system in place for handling upgrades.  Disruptions from the client perspective were very minimal; the upgrade was performed over a weekend, and most clients came in Monday morning to business as usual.

So the big question is why?  From a business perspective, the version we had been running (11.2) was quickly approaching its end-of-life, and as a software developer, using an unsupported development tool is the technological equivalent of riding a bicycle uphill in the wind. From a technical perspective, however, a world of opportunity opened up to us.  While out of the gate, the upgrade changed nothing, the things we can do for our clients now has vastly increased.  In no particular order, we get some great things with Powerbuilder 12.5:

  • Digitally sign our applications. This sends a message to Windows and most virus scanners to say that our applications are what they claim to be, and from who they claim to be from.
  • Consume web services.  There is a wealth of information available through web services, and it is a great way to tie different applications together, even if they are developed with different technologies.
  • Publish web services. This allows other applications to become consumers of data from DEVNET applications.
  • New graphing engine.  We can make prettier pictures now.
  • Lots of stuff under the hood that interests the programmers but not the clients.
  • A lot of bug fixes that we’d been waiting on.

We catch some gruff for using Powerbuilder for Windows development from time to time, but it’s been a great tool for us.  It’s easy to learn, stable, fast…. incredibly productive.  And with its low learning curve, even non-technical people at DEVNET can make reports, notices, and tax bills.  

This update will allow us to do some even more awesome things for our clients… and there are a lot of them coming in 2013!  Keep checking back and I will tell you all about them.

New Security Features In DEVNET Edge Applications

At DEVNET, we constantly strive to make improvements to our products, be it bug fixes, new features, or other optimizations.  Often times, when entering a new market, we add new modules to our DEVNET Edge® application suite, or redevelop an existing module to meet the needs of a new client or market.  Our security infrastructure (which is part of the System Maintenance module) recently received some major upgrades as the result of one such project, and DEVNET is now making these changes available to the rest of its customer base.

What’s New?

Under the hood, almost everything security related is new.  DEVNET’s custom encryption has been replaced by Microsoft’s Cryptographic Services, meaning all passwords and sensitive data in the system are backed by military-approved encryption.  New password restrictions have been built into the product line, allowing administrators to restrict, protect, and control access to DEVNET applications in much the same way they do the county network.  New reporting options help administrators and outside auditors verify and validate access into DEVNET Edge® product suite.

How Does it Work?

Everything is centered around the User Maintenance screen in System Maintenance:

For those familiar with User Maintenance, it is immediately apparent that the Maintain User box has significantly changed.  Administrators can never see a user’s password.  Should a user forget a password, an administrator can create a temporary password for a user, click Expire Now, and force the user to set a new password upon their next login.

User audit information is now immediately apparent on the user maintenance screen.  Administrators can see when a user last changed their password, when it expires, when the user was last changed, and who changed the user.

Users now have an additional status: suspended.  Previously, users were either Active or Inactive.  Suspended indicates users that have been locked out of the system for failing the password policies (more on this in a moment).

There are many new user details, including their address, phone/fax/mobile numbers, and email address.  Not only does this help administrators keep track of where their users are located, but this information will be used by DEVNET in future enhancements this year.

Clicking the new Edit Password Policy button yields the policy editor:

Administrators can very simply set the password restrictions they wish to enforce. 

How Do I Get This?

If you are interested in enabling these new features, please contact the DEVNET Helpdesk to make arrangements.

What’s Next?

The areas of our product line that are common to all applications don’t often receive a lot of attention.  There’s generally no need – these pieces are stable and proven, and do what they need to do without complaint or breaking.  DEVNET is spending some time this year revisiting these components and making some pretty awesome enhancements to them.  Keep watching this blog throughout the summer for other announcements!