HIS Technical Update

As we kick off the weekend, we would like to update you on several initiatives underway at Hawaii Information Service. These include:

  • Open Beta for REsearch 4.5
  • Access to Forms
  • RETS Availability
  • Using Internet Explorer 9 with REsearch

Open Beta for REsearch 4.5

Over the past several months, we’ve been previewing changes coming with the next version of REsearch. As of Wednesday, April 6, 2011, you can now see it for yourself. We have opened access to our testing server (a new “staging” environment that we’ve implemented) so users can get a hands-on look at REsearch 4.5.

Key changes include a shorter, better organized data input form, improved entry and search for REO and Short Sale listings, and simplified sections for fees, features, and crops.

This testing period is a key opportunity for you to familiarize yourself with the planned changes, and more importantly, to provide important feedback on its implementation. The extensive and ongoing input of our users has greatly informed this planned release, but we still need your hands-on testing to ensure a smooth transition.

A link to access the REsearch 4.5 test system is now available on the main REsearch login page, or you can go directly there with this link. We’ve helpfully changed the REsearch logo within the staging environment so you know you’re not in the live system.

Please note that, due to fundamental changes being made to the database, the beta site will be using a recent but static snapshot of listing data (last refreshed on Thursday, March 31, 2011). Test listingswill not be released to live, and changes will not be saved.

We have been holding a series of live online training webinars to provide helpful walkthroughs of REsearch 4.5, and there are several scheduled for April. Click below to RSVP:

As always, detailed information on the changes coming with REsearch 4.5 can be found on our dedicated resource page:


Access to Forms

Hawaii Information Service is in the process of migrating the forms functionality within REsearch tozipForm®, a third-party, industry-standard contract management system. Basically, this will move forms outside of REsearch, but provide much greater functionality.

We have installed and configured a data feed to zipLogix at no cost to our REALTOR® subscribers.  This data feed will allow our REALTOR® subscribers to import data from HIS so they may complete certain parts of the electronic forms automatically.

Additional details on the forms transition will be provided soon, and there will be extensive online help and training offered by zipLogix, providers of zipForm®.

Until this change, please be aware that Hawaii Association of REALTORS® (HAR) forms shall only be accessible to licensed HAR members with current NRDS ID numbers through our system. This limitation is an HAR mandated requirement and a key part of the zipForm® implementation.

The use of the forms through REsearch and zipForm® is included in the benefits for which HAR members pay through their HAR membership dues. HIS customers who are not members of HAR will be able to obtain forms from HAR directly by calling HAR at (808) 733-7060.

For more information on Hawaii Association of REALTORS® membership, please visit the HAR website at HawaiiRealtors.com. or by contacting a local board or association of REALTORS® in your area.

RETS Availability

RETS is the “Real Estate Transaction Standard,” a common language spoken by systems that handle real estate information, and a greatly improved tool for connecting real estate websites and services to the rich and dynamic data in the MLS.

Far more powerful than existing IDX, FTP, and VOW setups, RETS has become a vital service for the most sophisticated agents and brokers. At HIS, we have been beta testing RETS service over the past few months, and we are now preparing to release it to all our valued members.

Stay tuned for more details on this exciting new service from HIS!

Using Internet Explorer 9 with REsearch

Earlier this month, Microsoft made the latest version of its web browser, Internet Explorer 9, widely available. This browser offers a streamlined interface and improved performance, but only works on Windows Vista and Windows 7 systems.

Before upgrading, we encourage you to thoroughly evaluate IE9’s benefits against any potential compatibility issues with your most-used sites and services, including REsearch.

We have received some reports that IE9 does not work with all aspects of REsearch, and may require the “Compatibility View” setting for our site. For instructions on how to do this, please visit the “Using REsearch with Internet Explorer 9” entry in our online help system.

As with previous Internet Explorer releases, our developers are working on identifying and fixing compatibility issues as quickly as possible.

While these periodic Internet Explorer quirks are unfortunate, they will be less of an issue going forward. Separately, and more notably, we are happy to report that we have made unprecedented progress on the long-standing initiative to make REsearch compatible with all major browsersand operating systems.

The objective is nothing less than a system that can be accessed anywhere, including on Macs and even mobile devices like iPads, without requiring plugins or third-party workarounds. To make this happen, a cross-departmental team has been working overtime over the past few months, and we’ve invested in new hardware, software, and staff.

We want this as much as you do, and hope your patience over the past few years will be rewarded.

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