Freeware: A Solution For Sites on a Limited Budget That Want CMMS

EP Editorial Staff | January 2, 2004

A few months ago, I wrote a column (“Want to Contribute to an Open Source CMMS?”) about an open source computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) project. The project team invited interested parties to download a version and hopefully join the volunteer developers who would continue to evolve the software to provide greater utility and ease of use.

We had many positive e-mails and hopefully some joined the development team. We will keep you updated in a future column.

Although the open source CMMS is available at no cost, it is not freeware. Freeware, as its name implies, is software that is available at no cost. The software is usually fully developed and offered “as is,” and usually does not include any support. We recently came across a freeware CMMS package that looked promising called CWorks by Clueword DotCom.

Experienced practitioners

Clueword DotCom was formed in 2001, and its main activities are the development, production, and support of CWorks CMMS.

CWorks was developed in Malaysia by a group of maintenance and information technology practitioners who bring with them more than 20 years accumulated experience in maintenance and IT gathered from both local and multinational organizations in many countries. Also they bring a huge base of implementation experience, having implemented CMMS at a variety of sites internationally that include LANs, WANs, and call center environments.

CWorks is a free CMMS. It may be a great solution for sites that want to start on a CMMS with a very limited budget. Users may start their CMMS initiatives at their own pace as they can start simple tracking of assets, locations, and employee registers. The program will track outstanding and completed work types, description, times, and costs. Users also may start on simple preventive maintenance scheduling.

Developed for Access

CWorks is developed for Microsoft Access and is shipped with full source code. Full customization control from access to source code brings better look and feel, easier report creation, and more adaptability to internal processes. With the source codes, users may use Access report builders and query builders without needing to buy third party report writing programs and other add-ons.

As part of the freeware license, source codes are for users’ internal use only and redistribution in any form is prohibited. Unlike the open source CMMS, Clueword DotCom is not seeking to build a developer community.

CWorks requires about 5 MB of hard disk space; MS Access must be pre-installed and operating on the installed PC before CWorks can be used. The CWorks application package consists of three main components: asset/equipment register, work order, and preventive maintenance.

Although this program is basic, it may provide a system for those who are without one or are unhappy with their current solution. CWorks users can upgrade to CWorks Pro for $399 for more features and support.

Another low-cost CMMS option is eMaint, a web-based CMMS that offers a free trial and then charges $40 per month per user. MT

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