Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

Create, Maintain and Store Data

Onware uses Microsoft SQL Server as our database management system. SQL Server is used to store all data used by the application, aside from uploads/attachments to documents. All changes to the data in the database are managed through the Onware application.


128-bit SSL Digital Certificate will be provided for secure access to Onware application. Onware recommends that you take appropriate measures to limit the access to the Onware server. These include having the server physically located in a secure server room. In addition, since it will be available over the Internet, appropriate firewalls and monitoring is a requirement.

Software Delivery

Onware is entirely Internet-based; all file uploads and downloads are accomplished though a web browser using the HTTPS protocol. This approach helps to keep the software accessible regardless of the network or device being used to connect. This is especially important when working with external contractors and consultants that will need to have access to the software from their respective environments.

Multiple Users

Onware does not have a limit on the number of user accounts that can be created. It is recommended that each person have his or her own user account for auditing and accountability purposes.

User Interface

In general, Onware’s features are comprised of three screens: Browse/Search, View/PDF, and Edit
Browse/Search screens are the first screen accessed when selecting a document from the Navigation Menu. From the Browse/Search screen, users can:
  • Search documents
  • View documents in Browser or PDF file type
  • Create new documents
  • Access standardized reporting
  • Export information to an Excel/CSV file
  • Edit/Manipulate the document
Rich-text is used throughout Onware, giving users the ability to format the text in their documents. All screens are aware of a user’s role on the project and are adjusted according to the user’s access rights. Information and functions that a user does not have access to will not be added to their interface. For example, cross-project reporting on change orders is only available to the Prime Consultant group and is hidden from all other users. Once a user has learned how to use one Onware feature, they are able to use any of them as the design and screen layout is consistent throughout the application. To help make the Onware user interface as clear and concise as possible, text is used instead of icons. For example, instead of a “floppy disk” icon, Onware uses a button with the text “Save”. Onware’s screen layout is designed to provide easy access to common functions. The navigation menu and save buttons are always visible.

Standard Reports

Each Browse/Search page within Onware can produce standard reports. The content which displays on each report varies depending on the type of document the report is generated upon.
Common content displaying:
  • Contract name
  • Document number
  • Title
  • Document status
  • Dollar amounts
  • Other Onware linked documents (for cross-referencing)
Many Browse/Search pages have additional reports.


Throughout Onware, we attempt to model the everyday workflow experienced in Contract Administration. We understand that from client to client or even project-to-project, there are differences in the workflow that happens. To help accommodate this, we have included a variety of configuration options to modify and control the workflow in Onware. The configuration tool is only available to “Administrators” and allows configuration options to be changed on a global (all projects) or on a per-project basis as required. Some configuration options, such as whether a project will make use of Field Orders are found on the project settings and are available to the Project Manager/Contract Administrator. If a particular customer/project requests changes in workflow, Onware will typically create additional configuration options as necessary.
An example of a configurable workflow is controlling how RFIs are directed when they are received from the General Contractor. By default, the General Contractor is able to select one discipline to direct his RFI to. A configuration option exists with the following options for directing RFIs:
  1. Allow the General Contractor to select multiple disciplines.
  2. Allow the General Contractor to select multiple disciplines, but always send to a pre-set discipline in addition to the one(s) selected.
  3. Allow the General Contractor to select one discipline, but always send to a pre-set discipline in addition to the one selected.
  4. Do not allow the General Contractor to select the discipline; instead send to a pre-set list of disciplines.

Inclusion of Remote Files

Throughout Onware, you will find the ability to make “Attachments” to any of the documents created/tracked by the software. Attachments can be any file type; to make it easy to view the attachments, PDF files are recommended. It is up to client computers to have the correct viewer or application installed to view attached files. For example, if a DWG file is attached to a Shop Drawing, the client will need to have a DWG viewer installed to view it after they have downloaded it from Onware. Onware does not have a hard limit for the size of uploads. Rather, storage space on the server and file upload/download times are the main issues when dealing with large files. Therefore, we have a configurable maximum file size to stop excessively large files from being uploaded. For e-mail notifications, there is a configurable maximum attachment size. If files are larger than the configured size, they will not be included as attachments on notification e-mails from Onware. Instead, a link to the file will be provided in the body of the e-mail. When the link is clicked, the user will have to enter their login ID and password and then the file will be downloaded to their computer.