Summary of task 1.6 - Available software tools

The objective of Task 1.6 is to provide a detailed description of today’s available software tools to development environmental procedures, follow-up management and environmental databases. Tools and best practices regarding risk assessment and substitution will also be identified. To achieve this, the report will be broken down into the following sections, Introduction, Company Profiles and Summary.

Introduction will explain the task requirements. Each company profile will contain the company name, website, type of software, is it for commercial use or free, and most importantly what the key features of the software are. It has been decided to assess software through company profiles because a company may offer several products relevant to the task requirements. The final section Summary will look at the common techniques employed by the software and advantages/disadvantages completing with suggestions for implementation in ChemXchange. In the month 5 meeting, a request was made by the consortium to split the report into two parts, a summary of information for the general public and another summary of the technical implications for ChemXchange.

Research was undertaken to identify software tools for the categories mentioned in the task description plus any additional information which is relevant to the business and technical objectives as dictated in the Description of Work. ChemXchange is a European project; therefore our approach was to identify the largest producers of software in the construction industry that serve the needs of the European Construction sector, for example software producers in the United States of America have many end users in Europe. We also identified smaller producers of software that may provide functionality for a particular country with regard to national differences.  This gave us a holistic view into software for the construction sector. Our research found that each software company might provide several software solutions; as a result we decided to review company profiles and the relevant software identified rather than focusing on software solutions only.

For the purposes of this report, we investigated the following properties of the software:

  1. Features
  2. Licensing
  3. Clients
  4. European impact

Due to the complex nature of this project it was important for us to identify the features of the software reviewed to see if any of the proposed work had already been completed, this was important for business risk to the project in terms of competitors and also for identifying if we can possibly collaborate/reuse information for our project rather than designing everything as bespoke. Another important issue was how the software is issued, is it commercial, open source or freeware. This research allows us to gauge if we can collaborate/reuse information as well as identification of suitable cost models for ChemXchange. Clients of the software is an important consideration because we need to identify if clients are based in Europe to identify relevance to this report and also what type of clients, large enterprises or SMEs and how this relates to the features on offer.European impact allowed us to gauge how software was provided to European companies handling translation and all relevant national and EU legislation. The above task is carried out as a part of the deliverable report 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4.

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