Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Season's Greetings

Season's Greetings from hal Systems

Monday, October 8, 2012

If you work with public land records, check out PRIA and PREP

hal Systems is a  member of several professional trade organizations.  PRIA and PREP have provided me with several educational and networking opportunities over the past few years, so I wanted to pass along some basic information in case you are not familiar with these forums:

PRIA (Property Records Industry Association) is a group of professionals from both government and business sectors with a shared interest in the integrity of public records.  They work together to address common issues and concerns.   

PRIA officially launched in 2002.  It evolved out of a task force initially created for a specific time frame and purpose.    The PRIA web site contains a wealth of information, including white papers outlining standards and best practices that have been developed through a collaborative effort by PRIA members.    Several documents are devoted to eRecording and include how to prepare, business requirements, and XML standards along with an implementation guideline.   You’ll also find information on GIS integration with land records, notary essentials and practical considerations with regard to privacy and public land records.  Current projects include papers on redaction and eRecording portals.

PRIA holds conferences twice a year.  These events combine educational seminars, business meetings and networking opportunities.  The 2012 annual conference was held in Memphis, August 28-30, where I attended sessions on MERS, Title insurance 101, Cloud technologies, GIS, and eRecording excellence.

 PREP (Property Records Education Partners) is a PRIA initiative that strives to foster relationships, enhance communication, and create networking channels and educational opportunities on local levels.  There are PREP chapters in AZ, CA, CO, DC, FL, GA, IA, IL, MD, MI, MN, NE, ND, NV, OK, OR, PA, TN, TX, VA, WA and WI.

PRIA has several membership categories available for both government and private sectors.  There is no cost to participate in PREP, and you do not have to be a member of PRIA to participate in PREP. 

Feel free to contact me with questions and visit the PRIA web site for additional information ( 

Kathy Taylor


Monday, September 10, 2012

Auto Complete - halFILE 4.0

We have been hard at work adding the finishing touches to a new feature in 4.0 called Auto Complete.  This feature has been requested by many of you over the years and we hope you enjoy using it.  This feature allows you to perform key ahead retrieval of information that already exists in a database field.  This is especially useful in fields that contain names as it allows you to see how that particular name was indexed previously and improves keying accuracy.  The example below illustrates how I can start keying  a name and I see anything that matches currently in the database:

As you can see this is helpful both at index and search time as it allows you to pick from a list of previously indexed items.  It can also be beneficial in locating and identifying existing typos in the database.  This all happens in real-time so if you find a typo, search for it, and update all existing entries then the next time you use the auto complete feature the typo will not appear in the list.  If you already have halFILE 4.0 you can access this feature by pressing F4 when the cursor is blinking inside any multi-entry field.  If you are not already using halFILE 4.0 be sure to send James an email at and he will get you on the list!

Monday, July 16, 2012

halFILE 4.0 Release - July 17th, 2012

We are very pleased to announce that we will officially be releasing halFILE 4.0 tomorrow morning.  At the end of day we will have 50 desktops functioning with the new version.  Many thanks to our Beta testers both internal and external that have provided feedback on the new release.  We hope you enjoy the new features and hope to continue to add new functionality based on your input as we continue to grow with this new version.  Don't forget to prepare your desktops for 4.0 by going to and installing the prerequisites.  This will greatly assist us in migrating you to the new release.  Be sure to e-mail James Tabor if you want to get on the list to obtain 4.0.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

halFILE 4.0 Prerequisites

Get an early start on your transition to halFILE 4.0.  Just click here: and you will be able to install the prerequisites on your workstations in preparation for the upcoming release of halFILE 4.0.  This will be a required first step for anyone wishing to upgrade to halFILE 4.0  If you would like to get on the list of early adopters please email and let us know.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Spring Road Trips!

Greetings... April and May have given me the opportunity to visit with some great people.  Here's a summary:

Tehama County (Red Bluff), CA
On April 18th Richard Hahn and I visited with hal System clients in the Tehama County Tax Collector and Assessor offices. They took time away from their demanding schedules to meet with us and allowed us to observe their workflow. We answered some questions, made a few recommendations, and came away with some great ideas.

On the following day, the Tehama County Recorder’s office graciously hosted a meeting.  Patrick Honny (Executive Director with CeRTNA), Richard and I spent the day with hal clients from 6 northern CA Recorder offices.
We began with a tour and e-Recording demonstration.  Tehama County has been beta testing the hal-CeRNTA G2G interface over the past several months, beginning with electronic submissions from the CA Board of Equalization, followed by the Department of Employment.  The demo illustrated how much time electronic submissions save.  The Recorder's office is looking forward to adding more government submitters followed by full ERDS.

During lunch the group shared and compared how halFILE is being utilized within various county departments.  Afterward we focused on some of the new features bundled into CountyCashier 3.5 and halFILE 4.0 followed by discussions on troubleshooting and ways hal Systems can further facilitate daily duties and improve response time.

West Des Moines, IA
On Monday, May 7th, I was an exhibitor at the Iowa Land Title Association’s annual convention in West Des Moines.  The welcome was warm and the weather was perfect (and gas was only $3.39 per gallon!). 

halFILE is used to maintain title plants in 17 Iowa counties.  Many clients attended the conference. It was great opportunity to check in and catch up.  Everyone is staying busy and eager to see version 4.0.
The agenda was packed with interesting speakers.  The Association generously allotted each Exhibitor with 15 minutes in front of the group on Monday afternoon.  I used the time to provide an overview of hal Systems’ software and services.

Congratulations to John Eisenman!  John was named Title Person of the Year at the banquet Monday night for his numerous contributions to ILTA and his community.  John, along with his partner Mark Mallicoat, own Abstract and Title Guaranty with offices in Clinton and Maquoketa.  They have been valued clients for over 12 years.

I’m headed to Rapid City in June for the South Dakota Land Title conference.  Come see me!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Happy Birthday, hal!!

Yes today, April 12th, is hal System's 38th birthday. Our longevity is rare and it's because of great employees, great products, and wonderful customers. Thank you everyone!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Update on halFILE 4.0

Hopefully by now everyone knows the release of halFILE 4.0 is on the horizon. We are very excited about the release and appear to be on schedule for release in June 2012. We continue to work closely with our Beta Testers to resolve as many issues as possible before the final release.

The initial Beta release did not include support for Kofax (the optional free viewer) viewing or scanning. We have released and are currently testing the Kofax viewer so that those of you that wish to continue to use the Kofax viewer will be able to. We are currently in the process of converting the Kofax scan module so that will be available as well.

The huge number of rows that the new system can return when searching continues to be one of the favorite things reported by end users. From an administrative perspective it’s going to be great to have a single Crystal Reports version and installation so no more hunting down that Crystal cd for us.

So you might be wondering what you can do to prepare for the release of halFILE 4.0. We are currently in the process of updating our website and soon there will be a number of workstation pre-requisites available at These include .NET 4.0 and the Crystal workstation components. .NET 4.0 can take quite some time to install so we are hoping to make the pre-requisites available to you so you can prepare your workstations for the new version. We hope to include a program that will run on any workstation currently running halFILE 3.0 and will report what items you may still need to install. Hopefully the web-site will be simple and easy to use.

Reminder – your halFILE 4.0 upgrade will be available to you at no charge as long as you are a customer currently on maintenance. We are excited about this release and will keep you posted as the release date approaches!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

HUG prospects for 2012

We are now formulating our halFILE Users Group schedule for 2012. We hope to have a California event, training classes in Dallas and, with positive response from you HUGites out there, a full conference in the Fall. We are also exploring web-based training, still in the early stages.

But we need to hear from you to learn what kind of halFILE events you would like to participate in this year. Send a note to Karen Duncan and let her know!