We were delighted to see that Austin Williams finds the RIBA. ti Construction Information Service on CD-ROM (a product of British Standards Publishing) so useful (AJ 15.11.01).
We agree that CD-ROM is a highly efficient delivery medium for such vast collections of material - which is already widely used by many architectural practices. As Austin Williams points out in his article, the chief drawback is the quantity of CD-ROMs involved and ensuring you have easy access to them.
No such issue arises with an online system which gives direct access to the information databank at Technical Indexes' own hosting centre in Bracknell. All you need is your username and password - and you can search for required information in your subscription. Not only is all updating carried out automatically with no physical handling of CDs - as long as you have a PC with Internet connection, you need not even be in your office! A recent survey of our subscribers, which was carried out in September 2001, revealed that 85 per cent had Internet access from their desktop and 97 per cent could use the Internet somewhere in their company, compared with 36 per cent and 82 per cent respectively, only three years ago!
Approximately one-half of Technical Indexes' subscribers (47 per cent) have selected online presentation, to date.
All Technical Indexes and British Standards Publishing information services are now presented with an online option. Readers who are considering new technology need to consider not only CD-ROM, they also need to weigh up the benefits of online services and how they will help them in their work.
Jackie Louth, marketing manager, Technical Indexes