Advanced template mods

Russell,

I’ve been looking into the XML schemas of the HG5 templates and wanted to try something that, logically should’ve worked, but didn’t.

I use HG5 on the desktop, and HG5 on a tablet (Windows Asus), and share the data between the two using dropbox.

Everything seems to work OK until it comes time to attach standard attachments.

I do this through the MISC tab.

On my Desktop I have mutliple drives, and there’s not a lot I can do about it, because I’ve got cr4p loads of stuff that I do using the desktop that I can’t juggle about with. So I move non essential files off the C: drive to save space.

On my Tablet, I’ve only got a C: Drive.

Here’s the rub. In the template, the files are registered with the full SMB name.
e.g.

I thought that XML and HTML services being what they are, a simple change to the location in the schema should fix things. So I changed the locations from an SMB format to an HTML format.

e.g.

I was half expecting that it wouldn’t work properly, and guess what? It didn’t.

Is there any possibility that a mod could be made in the HG5 desktop version to allow web locations to be used for the attachments? With both InterNACHI and Homegauge offering better and better web hosting it would be great (not to mention much more economical on disk space) if companies could locate the attachments on our central web sites, and then everyone in the company, regardless of the platform, could have the same template content with no failures.

Asking here because it was to difficult to put this request, with images, on the HG site. :slight_smile:

Plus InterNACHI is a really good site to see if other people who actually use the software in anger would agree such a change was good idea. :nachi:

The added bonus of doing this mod, would mean that inspectors using HG and who took advantage of this sort of option would be able to drive their web traffic up, boosting their rankings on web searches. :twisted:

I see what you are trying to do, but don’t know if I would go about it the same way.

Here’s a suggestion…

Instead of trying to add in additional documents in the Report Attachment section from a third party server, why not create a section in your report template for additional supporting documents. You can then create auto comments for whatever document that you want to routinely add into the report such as radon booklets, home manuals, etc. In the auto comment, you provide a link to download the document from your third party server. You can even go as far as to save an image of the cover of the document and attach it to the auto comment so that it loads each time you insert it into the report.

The problem with doing that is it makes the attachment part of the report, and therefore part of the liability. By using the attachment area I can prefix them with a report separator that discloses they are not part of the bargained for report, but an additional element that may come from third party services outside of my control and for which I’m not lible (such as expected lifetime expediencies, contractor costs, and appliance ages based upon serial number.)
The other problem with adding the attachments within the section, is that the section is prefixed with the Inspection column header bar, which is global for all sections under HG5. I don’t want to put NP NI IN FI RR MC NLE at the top of my attachments. I did that for just two inspection reports, and both times I was queried on it. Also if you put a summary title in it, that bar appears right in the middle.

It would work if we could choose to change the column headers by section, but at present I don’t believe that’s possible.

As the report is the lasting impression people have of you and the inspection you performed, it’s the one thing that has to look pristine. (That’s why I chose Homegauge above all the other reporting systems and I trialed 7 of them before opting for my choice!)

I’ve been a HG user for 5 years now and I’m still modifying it. Still not 100% for me, and most of it I can do, but it’s like eating an elephant. A bit at a time.

You can certainly remove the column headers if you create a new section in your report for that area. You can also create a header and footer for that section that explains that the following links are to third party documents that the client may find of interest and you assume no liability for their accuracy.

If you add them in as a report attachment, it still creates a link in the report for the client to follow and download the report from the HomeGauge server. There is no difference in the way I am suggesting except that they are on your Dropbox account or whatever you use. You are basically mimicking the HomeGauge feature, except you have more control of it and can customize the way it looks in the report. The other benefit to this way is that you are not limited to the file upload sizes set by HomeGauge for whatever plan you are under.