In the world of construction and engineering, managing drawings is a critical task. Keeping track of multiple revisions, document control, and collaboration among team members can be challenging. Two popular software options for managing drawing registers are Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access. While both offer advantages, Microsoft Access ultimately proves to be the superior choice.
Microsoft Excel is a widely used spreadsheet program that offers basic functionalities for managing data. It is easy to create a simple drawing register in Excel using columns for drawing numbers, titles, revision dates, and other relevant information. Excel also allows for basic filtering and sorting of data, making it possible to organise drawings based on specific criteria.
However, Excel has limitations when it comes to handling complex data and performing advanced functions. For instance, tracking revisions and maintaining a revision history can be cumbersome in Excel. Additionally, Excel lacks the capability to manage multiple users and restrict access to certain data, which can lead to security concerns.
On the other hand, Microsoft Access is a powerful database management system that offers robust features for managing drawing registers. Access allows for the creation of relational databases, making it possible to connect different tables of data and establish relationships between them. This allows for more efficient data management and eliminates redundant data entry.
With Access, it is easy to create forms for data entry, making it user-friendly for team members who may not be familiar with complex database systems. Access also offers advanced filtering and sorting options, making it simple to find specific drawings based on various criteria. Moreover, Access allows for multi-user access and permissions, ensuring that only authorised team members can view, edit, or delete data, enhancing data security.
In addition to its powerful features, Access also offers customisation options. Users can create custom forms, reports, and queries to suit their specific needs. This flexibility allows for better tailoring of the drawing register to the requirements of the project and team.
While both Excel and Access offer benefits, Access ultimately proves to be the better choice for managing drawing registers. Access offers advanced functionalities for managing complex data, tracking revisions, and managing multiple users and permissions, making it more efficient and secure. The downside of Access is that you will need an advanced user or most likely a consultant to create, setup and train you and your users on the system.
However, there is an even better option available for managing drawing registers – an online Software as a Service (SaaS) based drawing register. This type of system offers all the advantages of Access, but with the added convenience of being cloud-based and accessible from anywhere, at any time.
Online drawing registers are user-friendly and offer intuitive interfaces for easy data entry and management. They also offer robust collaboration features, allowing team members to access and update your system simultaneously, reducing delays and improving efficiency. Additionally, online drawing registers offer advanced storage and distribution capabilities, allowing for scalability and better collaboration.
Furthermore, online drawing registers offer enhanced security features, such as data encryption, user access controls, and regular backups, ensuring that data is protected and backed up in case of any unforeseen events.
In conclusion, while Microsoft Excel may be suitable for basic drawing registers, Microsoft Access proves to be the superior choice for managing complex data and multiple users. However, for the ultimate convenience, security, and efficiency, an online SaaS-based drawing register is the recommended choice. Embracing technology and utilising online drawing registers can greatly streamline the drawing management process, leading to improved project outcomes and increased team productivity. Try an online drawing register today and experience the benefits firsthand!