OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - October 21, 2009 - Appian Logistics Software today announced the next generation release of its industry-standard Direct Route™ fleet routing system. "The new system was built from the ground up to take advantage of .NET architecture, XML interfacing, and to expand on the tools and features built into the flagship product since its introduction in the early 1990's" said company President Mike Kositzky. The core Direct Route™ code was also re-organized to produce faster routing solutions. Benchmark testing of various routing problem sizes shows 300%-700% faster processing times compared with the previous version.
Hundreds of new features and capabilities have been added to Direct Route over the years. And, the expression "if you only knew then what you know now" applied to the decision of writing a new system versus revamping the existing one. Kositzky explains "by developing Direct Route Version 9 using .NET architecture, we were able to more tightly integrate all of the additions we've made over the years and provide new routing capabilities that weren't possible with earlier programming tools. This also puts us into a position to be ahead of the curve on the impending move to 64-bit architecture."
Appian had previously updated the system from DOS to 16-bit and 32-bit Windows platforms but the company recognized the opportunities available with .NET architecture. So, the decision was made to start with a clean sheet of paper when developing the new system. "With Version 9, clients get next generation capabilities from a company that has two decades experience developing routing software and over 900 installations worldwide" said James Stevenson, Vice President.
Teams of programmers and thousands of man-hours were used to develop the new system and beta testing with customers began in February 2009. Existing clients receive the new system as part of standard Appian support: a practice that flies in the face of standard practices in the software industry. Hugh Gigante, Director of Business Development, summed up the company's position by saying "this is a generational change in the software that provides many new capabilities and our current customers don't have to pay a penny for it."
One of the most important aspects to the system development was maintaining a user-friendly work environment. Appian began in 1987 with the mission of creating an easier routing solution than was available on the market and wanted to expand on this successful concept. With this end goal in mind, Appian added more user-workspace controls including the ability to dock windows and to customize both window and list contents. Users can also drill down into increasingly more detail about orders and jobs and choose how route reports are displayed.
Direct Route supports the popular Excel® data environment that clients enjoy and the ability to export detailed route information to this familiar application. New drag and drop report-editing features also allow clients to add logos, configure professional load manifests, and quickly create summary and detailed route reports with the layouts they desire using functions common in Excel®.
Version 9 supports web services, incorporates XML interfacing, and is tightly integrated with Appian's DRTrack™ GPS reporting system. "This is all part of what beta users have called the 'next generation' of routing" said Kositzky. "The new Direct Route system is built to support recent technology improvements and to help clients take advantage of the next decade of hardware and operating system advancements. It is also designed to be the basis for our development as we keep Appian clients ahead on technology changes in the fast-changing transportation world" he said.