Frequently Asked Questions

 

Database

What experience does ASW/RealSoft have in developing database applications for appraisers?

We have extensive experience developing and operating real estate data systems (see Software History).
 

What experience does RealSoft have in developing commercial property databases for appraisers?

In addition to RealSoft's pioneering work with residential databases and the DataShare regional data center, we have also developed customized databases for different types of non-residential property types with SQL data tools (see Software History). 
 

What levels of data sharing are possible?

Individual comparable sales, comparable rentals, comparable projects, and subject property information can be saved to disk or emailed as attachments to appraisal associates and clients.  Selected sales, rentals, projects, and photos can be extracted and saved to disk as an independent database for use by associated appraisers.  This is the design foundation of the system.
 

I already use a database designed with Access, Foxpro, or other databases.  Why do I need ASW?

If your database provides equivalent functionality (data capture, querying, reporting, data exchange, Web integration, application integration with Word, Excel, Adobe, and other customizable features), then you may not need our software, but if you want our software we would be happy to provide data conversion assistance. We have lots of experience and are very good at this.


Software-General

Is ASW an expert system?

Not technically.  ASW is an intelligent database which derives expert system rules based your current real estate research sources. Our WebRE Smartlinks capabilities are configured from your current internet bookmarks, and the execution of WebIQ internet research is always under complete operator control.
 

Is ASW an AVM?

No.  ASW is designed to enhance the productivity and judgment of an experienced real estate professional.
 

What does ASW do that I can’t do on my own?

Nothing.  But does everything faster, more consistently, and enables organizational practices which will probably result in more reliable data with additional verifications and research which might not typically be undertaken.
 

Software-Reporting

Is ASW a report generator?

Not exactly.  ASW can generate photo exhibits, map exhibits, comp exhibits, statitistical analyses and graphics, and compose narrative report sections relating to market data, and integrate those sections with your word processor.
 

What reports are built into the software?

ASW comes preconfigured with about a dozen different reports which are designed to address different levels of detail and complexity as might correspond to restricted, summary, and self-contained narrative reports.
 

What output formats can the reports print?

All of our comparable reports, photo, and map exhibits can be rendered in hardcopy to any of your installed Windows printers, to an Adobe pdf document, as a Microsoft Word document, as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, as an HTML document, and probably some other formats we haven’t tried yet.
 

What if I have custom reports I have developed (with XYZ) and these are not available from ASW?

We can develop custom reports for you at a surprisingly low cost.  Simple report modifications can often be engineered in less than an hour and can be downloaded for automatic installation into your system.  New custom reports take somewhat longer. If you are a support program subscriber, send us a copy of the report you want and we will give you a free quotation.
 

Can I develop and install my own reports?

Yes, our report generator uses non-proprietary components and is designed to be user-configurable and extensible.  Although it is possible to modify our preconfigured reports and develop new reports on your own, it is probably advisable for us to to this for you since we are not allowed to reditribute Microsoft’s report designer with the report generator software.  If you have a separately-licensed copy of the designer, then it will be much easier for you to develop your own reports.
 

Software-Technical

Is ASW a web application?

ASW is technically a windows application which is web-enabled.  Whereas most web applications are typically thin-client applications designed to be run in a browser while connected to the internet, you could think of ASW as a fat-client application which can host and control multiple simultaneous browsers to retrieve data for you.  We like to think of ASW as a smart-client.  Browser-based web applications typically require internet connectivity to operate and are inherently less secure than applications which run on your own PC.  ASW offers the best of both worlds.
 

Is internet connectivity required to use ASW?

Not for all functions.  ASW maintains its own local databases so no internet connection is required to search data already in the database or generate reports from that data.  An active internet connection is required for WebRE, WebIQ, and interactive mapping functions.
 

Is ASW a multiuser program?

No, but ASW data can interoperate with workgroups and networks of any size.  ASW is a desktop application designed for personal use by each appraiser.  In fact, the desktop SQL Compact database engine is not approved for multiuser access.  However, data can be shared among ASW users on a local area network or over the internet.
 

Hardware/Software Requirements

What are the software and hardware requirements?

Software: Windows ME/XP/Vista/Win7 operating systems.
Hardware: 500+mhz Pentium or equivalent processor, 512+MB RAM, 100MB available disk space.
Internet: An internet connection is not necessary for typical program operation, but is required for software activation and use of WebRE, WebIQ, Mapping, and website synchronization  functions.  A high-speed broadband connectivity is recommended for optimum and full use of of our software, but is not required for local database, reporting, imaging, and many other features.  If internet connectivity is not available, our software can be custom- configured for CD-ROM installation and activation at an additional charge.
 

Licensing

Can one ASW program be shared among multiple appraisers?

No, ASW is designed as a personal appraisal productivity tool for use by an individual appraiser, and is priced to be easily affordable by every commercial appraiser.
 

What are the implications of sharing an individual copy of ASW among our appraisal staff or fellow appraisers?

Each copy of the ASW software is licensed for installation on a single PC.  The program will not operate when a single licensed copy is installed on multiple PCs.  The same is true for sharing a single copy of the program over a network.  If this is attempted, your market comparables, appraisal adjustments, photographs, and subject properties can get hopelessly mixed up between appraisers and assignments.  However, networked operation allows market data libraries to be installed on shared network directories and accessed by multiple licensed copies of the program on individual PC workstations.
 

Can ASW data be shared among multiple appraisers?

Yes, ASW is designed for sharing of market data, photos, and even subject property data between appraisers at many different levels.
  

Pricing

Why the difference in price between the original RealSoft and ASW?

ASW can be priced much more affordably due to differences in business costs. Our licensing costs for each copy of the original RealSoft software started at $500 per installation just for the operating system and language royalties.  In addition, our company included staff to support, train, package, and integrate the software with a variety of harware.  In contrast, ASW has no licensing fees or royalties, streamlined internet-based software marketing, deployment, and support, and relatively low business overhead.  This cost savings can be passed on to our customers in the form of very affordable software prices.
 

Support and Maintenance Options

What free support is available?

There are multiple levels of free product support without subscribing to the software maintenance program.  Free support includes the context-sensitive help system built into our software, read-only access to our online support forums and training videos, and queue-based low-priority email support.
 

What does the built-in context sensitive help provide?

The free built-in help system is context-sensitive and provides: data definitions for every data field (what the field is and how to enter the data); keyword-indexed links to local help; instructions for the active screen; links to relevant online resources in the support forums; and access to online video training with instructions relating to the current program function.
 

What help does the online support forums provide?

Our online user forums can be used to resolve specific software support incidents and provide advisories regarding procedures for getting the most out of the software. Read-only access to the support forums enables self-help by reviewing how similar incidents were resolved.
 

What additional benefits are included in the software maintenance program?

The software maintenance program is designed to provide subscribers with continuous software updates, interactive forum-based software support, and prioritized incident support when necessary.  In addition to no-charge software updates and enhancements, a software maintenance subscription includes the additional support options of read-write access to the support forums, priority email support, and direct telephone support when necessary (at additional charge).
 

Is telephone support available?

One-on-one telephone support is limited, but can be specially arranged for support program subscribers. 
 

Corporate

What is the relationship between RealSoft and AppraisalShareware (ASW)?

As detailed in the Software History section, they are separate software companies. RealSoft Systems, Inc introduced the first PC-based appraisal software in 1981 and was active through the late 1990s. The RealSoft software was based on the Oasis/Theos operating systems, which became obsolete as the PC software market adopted Microsoft Windows as its compatibility standard. In contrast, ASW is a Microsoft Bizspark startup offering an innovative suite of internet-enabled commercial appraisal tools designed to be 100% compatible with Microsoft Windows and other common Windows software applications.
 

Is ASW another release of RealSoft?

No. If these features and functions were possible under the Oasis operating system, RealSoft would probably be alive today.
 

What has RealSoft been doing recently?

We have been designing and developing the ASW software using up-to-date Microsoft technology (see About Us and Software History).