You will see reference to On Site and to On-Line Construction Project Management Software. There’s two ways to store and access your construction data. On your own computer/server, On-Site or on a software company’s server, which is On-Line.

An example of other On-Line computer applications would be You Tube or Face book or Yahoo mail or Google Mail. On-Line applications are getting used all over the place.

Which is the best way to go?  It really depends on a couple of factors. The advantage of having your data On-Site is that you can feel that you have control over who can see that data and you can access it without having Internet access.

The advantages of having On-Line storage are numerous. The data is backed up and redundantly stored, so no worries about computer failure.  Your software provider updates the software automatically.  The data is accessible to employees regardless of where they are.

So, Your PM in San Diego can be entering information to the same database that you are using in San Francisco. There are no duplicated or non-current files. Everybody is working on the same database, the same page. Everything is on-line. Some programs allow you to scan and store hard copy on line. You can upload bids, estimates, documentation, and photos.

You can grant partial access to your customers to check job progress or see job photos, partial access to subcontractors for coordination or schedule issues and graduated access to employees depending on their level of management.

Data files are password protected, so the chances of your data falling into the wrong hands is more an issue of who has been granted access and who they have passed their password on to.

On-Line software really offers a lot. However it is limited by Internet access and speed. If you are working at a remote site, you may have to wait until you get back to Starbucks or the Internet cafe before you can access your database files.

Each Software package will offer different capabilities that you can access On-Line.  If you have a far flung operation. This approach to software could be a real advantage to you. Even if you are a smaller operation, the advantages can be well worth it.
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