The Web Manuals 8 update is the biggest and most ambitious product launch in Web Manuals history. After many years of user-conferences and customer feedback, we have rebuilt our entire foundation to make Web Manuals as user-friendly and feature-rich as possible. The design is cleaner, the loading is faster and the new possibilities are endless.
In recent years, we have seen companies such as Google and Microsoft make substantial changes to their respective web browser, offerings that have completely altered the web landscape. To put it plainly, the base technology, or web browsers, that Web Manuals and other IT companies rely on have developed faster and more progressively than ever before.
These technological advancements, in combination with the customer feedback during our user conferences, have led us to the biggest and most ambitious software update we’ve ever implemented: Web Manuals 8. Therefore, we have spent upwards of two years completely rewriting Web Manuals’ flagship digitization package to unlock the potential of the technology we now have available to us.
A Complete Rebuild
You may, understandably, be wondering what the big deal is. Don’t software companies update their products all the time? The answer is yes, and a resounding no. ‘Software patching’, usually referred to as an update, is a common and necessary function of any IT company. Accordingly, all software companies, including Web Manuals, regularly issue patches and updates for products to keep them secure and efficient, or to add new features. But Web Manuals 8 is vastly different from anything we’ve done before. It is much more than a series of patches, but a complete rebuild of the product from the ground up. We have reworked everything to make the whole system more user-friendly and to take advantage of modern technology, unlocking greater performance, scalability, and speed for our customers.
Web Manuals 8 is also a great example of our company’s core culture. We never lose sight of our innovative values and are focused on bringing our customers the very best and latest technology and opportunities, always. While we could have continued with routine software patching – which is usually a legitimate option – we saw this as an opportunity to invest in our, and our customers’, futures and to remain true to our agile and innovative roots.
Implementing New Features
We have always taken great pride in incorporating user feedback into our developments, and as we expand, we aim to be increasingly responsive to the valuable insights we receive. Indeed, one of the benefits of a modern and module-based web architecture is the separation of the user interface and backend, which makes implementing new features quicker, more efficient, and safer. In fact, we are currently working on a new notification system that, with older web technology, would have taken over a month to build. Hence, in Web Manuals 8, we can create this feature in half the time. This will unlock countless opportunities for future developments that as technology forges ahead may not be possible on legacy systems.
We understand that every aviation business has a unique set of needs, and now it is very important for us to be able to provide a tailored, personalized Web Manuals experience. The technology behind Web Manuals 8 enables users to browse the newest and most helpful integrations and add them to their own Web Manuals platform. Most importantly, with this feature, we aim to put the power of technology in our customers’ hands.
An Agile and Seamless Experience
Agility is just one of the many advantages of this new Web Manuals update. Another core improvement is browsing speed. With Web Manuals 8, loading and editing takes a fraction of the time it did before. We have always aimed to make Web Manuals as user-friendly as possible, but the pace at which technology has developed when it comes to web browsing speed has changed the game. Even as we began work on this project, our developers planned to build software that would load about 40 pages at once. But the technology has surpassed our expectations, and Web Manuals 8 is capable of loading between 3,000 and 4,000 pages at once. This has brought about the ability to work with multiple pages simultaneously, making it even quicker and easier to edit large and complex manuals. For customers, this means a lower bandwidth usage and a more seamless experience in Editor.
In fact, ‘seamlessness’ was a key motivation behind everything we did during the development. A lot of thought went into accessibility and clarity, and as a result the design is clearer and the system more intuitive. It works and looks a lot like a computer application, rather than a web page, and is compatible with a much wider range of devices, including smartphones.
The features and benefits of the Web Manuals 8 update are many, and can be explored in further detail through our ‘What’s New?’ videos. What is important to know is that this is only the beginning for Web Manuals 8 – the possibilities are endless!
By Richard Sandström, chief technology officer at Web Manuals