Plandroid Help Documentation

You can integrate Plandroid with other software packages, either through the internet ("the cloud") or by launching the program with appropriate command-line parameters. Plandroid can communicate with SimPRO across the internet, or with Tektools or any number of 3rd party programs using the command-line.

Connecting via the Cloud (e.g. SimPRO, Climat)

The take-off list from your Plandroid design can be directly uploaded to your SimPRO account or (for Climat staff) to your Climat server.

If you are using SimPRO, you can upload your take-off list as either a SimPRO quote or job, and each part can be allocated to any SimPRO cost centre. You can also upload your current catalog selection into SimPRO, or conversely download your SimPRO costing scheme as a reprice file to use in Plandroid, so your part pricings are kept synchronised.

Naturally, you need an internet connection to perform these tasks.

Authenticating

Before you can connect to the cloud, you will need to have your own SimPRO account, and you'll need to know the URL (internet address) of your SimPRO server. You need to enter this information into the Cloud Connection options settings in Tools -> Options -> Costing -> Cloud Connection. (Do not include http:// or https://).

Similarly, if you are using the Climate link, your organisation will provide you with the URL and security credentials you need to connect to your server.

Cloud Connection Options
Cloud Connection Options

Once you have entered this information, the cloud connection tools will become active. You need to authenticate (log in to your account) periodically to keep the connection secure - normally every seven days. You can do that immediately with the Authenticate button, or the program will prompt you when required.

Synchronising Catalogs

Normally the first thing you will want to do is to synchronise your catalog data between Plandroid and SimPRO. In the Design page -> Parts tab you need to open the context menu (right-click in the top catalog window), and if you have entered your Cloud Connection settings you can choose the Synch to Cloud button Synch Catalogs item.

If your catalog data is current on SimPRO, you can download your SimPRO price data to a price edits file, so that the Plandroid prices match your SimPRO prices. (The program will create a new price edits file for SimPRO that you can switch to, while keeping your existing price edits file.)

Synch Options
Synch Options

Conversely, if you want to upload your Plandroid catalog selection to your SimPRO account, you can also do that. Every part in your currently loaded catalog selection will be uploaded to your SimPRO account with this action. If any parts in SimPRO have the same product codes as parts in your current catalog selection, you have the option to overwrite those existing parts with the Plandroid catalog data.

Uploading Data

On the Costing page you can use the Upload to the Cloud toolbar button (Upload to Cloud button) to send your take-off list directly to your SimPRO or Climat account. For SimPRO, you can upload either a quote or a job, as either a service or a project. If you upload your list as a project, you can section it by plan level, design mode (refrig, evap, etc.), manufacturer, or part fix order. You can also attach a design image to your data.

Upload to SimPRO Options
Upload to SimPRO Options

If you have entered a quote number and customer information on the Customer page, the program will use these to create a new Customer and/or Job site on the SimPRO server. If you have not entered any customer details, you will need to select an existing Customer or Site from the SimPRO server to upload the data to. Note that you can search your Customers or Sites either for a string or directly by ID. To search by ID, you must prefix the ID number with a hash (#).

The next stage is to allocate the SimPRO cost centres to use. You can allocate cost centres either per part, or per section (if you have sectioned your project into multiple sections).

If you are uploading to an existing Quote or Job, the parts will always be uploaded to a new SimPRO section.

A part quantity can only be uploaded to SimPRO if that part has a corresponding entry in the SimPRO catalog data - any parts that don't exist on the server will not be uploaded (so you may need to synchronise your catalogs first). Once successfully uploaded, the program will provide you with a link to the resulting entry on your SimPRO server.

Calling Plandroid via the Command Line (e.g. Tektools)

Plandroid can be used with job management software such as Tektools or your custom inventory or management software, so that it functions as a seamless part of your sales process. Plandroid can be called from the command line (or from such a software package) with command-line arguments controlling how the program should work. The command-line arguments can specify a base design to use, one or more floor plan image files that will overwrite any floor plan images already in the base design, and a settings file containing various parameters to control the program. For example:


 > plandroid.exe  base_design.pd  plan.gif  settings.xml

This allows, for example, a set of base designs to be used with new floor plan images, so that you can modify an existing design to suit a new house layout. Plandroid can be configured so that it writes out the resulting design image, the parts list, and saves the Plandroid save file (.pd) file before returning to the calling software.

The command-line arguments can be specified in any order, but subsequent files will overwrite any data in earlier files. For example, if you want the settings customer data to overwrite any exisiting customer data in the base_design.pd file, the settings file must be given after the base design file name.

The floor plan image files can be in any one of the formats: PNG, GIF, JPG, BMP, or PDF.

If a PDF file has multiple pages, you can specify the page number (starting from 1) immediately after the PDF filename, for example:


 > plandroid.exe  base_design.pd  plan.pdf  1  settings.xml

If you have multiple plan levels, you can specify multiple floor plan image files where each image will be used for the subsequent level's floor plan. For example if your base design has 3 or more levels, you could specify:


 > plandroid.exe  base_design.pd  plan1.gif  plan2.pdf  1  plan2.pdf  2  settings.xml

In this example, different pages of the same PDF file (plan2.pdf) are used for the design levels 2 and 3. You cannot skip a level. To overwrite the floor plan image of a higher level, you must also overwrite the floor plan images of each lower level.

Additionally, you can specify two Plandroid files, such as:


 > plandroid.exe  base_design.pd  import_design.pd  settings.xml

In this case, the parts (and nothing else) from the second .pd file will be imported over the top of the base .pd file. Any pre-existing parts in the base file will be retained. If the designs have multiple levels, then the program will overlay each level in sequence.

The following is an example Plandroid XML settings file:


<?xml version="1.0"?>
<settings>
  <customer>
    <quoteNo>012345</quoteNo>
    <firstName>FirstName</firstName>
    <lastName>Surname</lastName>
    <title>Mr</title>
    <address>Addr</address>
    <city>City</city>
    <state>State</state>
    <postcode>Postcode</postcode>
    <siteAddress>Site Addr</siteAddress>
    <siteCity>Site City</siteCity>
    <siteState>Site State</siteState>
    <sitePostcode>Site Postcode</sitePostcode>
    <phone>(09) 1234 5678</phone>
    <email>name@email.com</email>
    <status>Quote</status>
    <due>2012-08-09 10:55 AM</due>
  </customer>
  <options>
    <parentApp>CallingAppName</parentApp>
    <filename>PlandroidSaveFileName</filename>
  </options>
  <output>
      <csv functions="true" manufacturers="true" />
  </output>
</settings>

All fields are optional in this file, however the parentApp element must be specified to activate the associated Return To parent app toolbar button, which allows you to export the relevant data and return to the calling software.

If the program is exited by using the Return To parent app toolbar button, the program will use the supplied filename value to write a Plandroid save file, a CSV export of the parts take-off list, and a .png image of the design to storage. The filename value may contain a directory path. If it does not, the path of the settings file will be used for the output files.

The output element offers options for fine control over the output information. The csv element has optional attributes for requesting extra output information in the CSV file, namely the part function definitions, and the part manufacturers' names. This information is normally used only in specialist applications.

Contact us at support@plandroid.com for technical assistance in integrating Plandroid into your own process software.

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