Progress Report

There are four major parts to building a program that runs on your computer:

1) The PRIMARY code which is all the instructions that make Auto Shop Writer unique

2) The API which is the code that translates all of the code we write at MasterLink into operations that run on the computer

3) The BUILD code which takes the first two elements and combines them, plus adds all of the Windows code necessary to accomplish the task

4) The WINDOWS operating system which actually creates all the text, images, and handles all of the computer operations as instructed by the first three items.

At MasterLink Software, we use Microsoft Visual Studio 2017 for step 3, which is the very latest set of tools for building Windows applications.  All of our work is done on the latest versions of Windows 10.

The PRIMARY code has evolved over 35 years of input from our clients, from the old DOS days to the current versions which are designed with some of the very latest features in Windows.  Over the past two years we optimized this code to the very latest, optimum, programming standards.  We saw improved performance, more flexibility, and added room to grow.

At the same time, we have worked closely with a world wide team of developers, contributing to the enhancement of the API, which we like to refer to as the Core Engine.  These updates are integrated into ASW on a monthly basis.

Recently we noticed a very disturbing potential problem with the API.  In fact, it has existed for perhaps 10 years, but only the most recent of new capabilities have actually brought it to life.  Right now a team of developers are working on the best fix to the problem so none of our clients lose critical data.  This has been taking place over the past three weeks since we first reported it to the team.

As a result of this problem, until we have it fixed perfectly, we will not be issuing any ASW updates.  That API is a core element of what we distribute.  The time, however, is being used effectively.  We are using it to fully evaluate our workorder processing code, and optimize it even further.  Already this is resulting in faster performance.  Also, a few areas of “puzzlement” for some users are being addressed.

Once we are fully confident in the new build, it will be tested in live shop environments ( after our own extensive testing ), and when we are very comfortable with the result, it will be released. 

Finally, for those of you on Windows 10, the Fall update is due to be released in mid-October.  However, there will likely be update distributions to all computers prior to that time, and some of these may require rebooting your systems.  Based on previous experiences, these major releases from Microsoft may have issues with some networks and configurations.  We will do our best to post bulletins as we hear of issues, even if we don’t experience them in our own center.

Thanks for reading this.  Be sure to share it with others in your business.


We recently released ASW 10.73.20 as an update.  You will see a number of new features and buttons, especially including CARFAX..  Essentially we have implemented the latest features, including the auto enrollment for myCARFAX a powerful, and informative, service for you and your clients.  A single button will allow your clients to start receiving service notices ( with your shop info ), recall notices, service bulletins, access their history online, and more … and its FREE to you, and to your customers.  More information will be forthcoming on this and other features.

When you enter a Workorder, you will see a new button.  It’s a Shield, on the General tab, that says “Analysis”.  Check it out.  It’s a solid summary of critical information all in one place.  If you have been using it, you will see that the information was expanded.  There is more info about the client and vehicle, and along with PM notices, Inspection Checklist notices, Recommendations notes, we’ve added the CARFAX service history for the vehicle.  Do check it out.

With all of this completed, we will now be placing updates on HOLD until perhaps mid-september.  The reason is that recent changes to Windows, and other needs, have made it wise to tune and perhaps modify areas of our workorder code.  There are over 10,000 lines of code.  We have found some quirks on some systems ( but certainly not all ), and have seen some things moving slower than we’d like.  So these are being addressed by improvements in the code.  We will also be doing extensive testing. 

During this period, feel free to email or call for support issues.  If you had noticed anything unusual, even if it only happened a couple of times, please email with your observations.  This is the perfect time for us to know about them since we are immersed in that code. 

Thanks for being a part of the team at MasterLink.