Compliance made easier
GCN Lab Review | AccRepair scans each of the files on your Web site for compliance with the rules you indicate
- By Greg Crowe
- Nov 06, 2006
The greatest challenge for any agency webmaster is maintaining standardization across what is likely a vast and highly complex Web page file structure. Not only do pages need to meet the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, but they should also adhere to the ever-changing Web best practices, practices that are hard enough to keep up with, let alone enforce.
Fortunately, AccRepair 10, from HiSoftware of Nashua, N.H., can help. AccRepair scans each of the files on your Web site for compliance with the rules you indicate. It then produces a report that lists which files comply with your rules and which don't, as well as what rules were violated. The software offers a wide variety of reports specifying certain sets of conditions.
The AccRepair wizard is the backbone of the entire program, the thing that makes the webmaster's life that much easier.
The wizard looks at each file and offers the opportunity to correct each example of noncompliance.
Admittedly, a case-by-case wizard approach might not be the way most administrators would want to handle corrections for many violations, such as writing all the information you need for a 'NOFRAMES' tag. But for smaller, more common incidences, such as failure to have an 'alt' argument in an 'IMG' tag (probably the most widespread Section 508 issue), the wizard approach works very well.
The software also functions as a decent Web file previewing and editing program.
While it is not as fancy or versatile in this capacity as a typical Web editing program, it is adequate to make small changes without having to fire up another program. The project space lets you mirror the entire Web site, no matter how many subdirectories it has.
Price-wise, AccRepair is more expensive than would be desirable, especially considering the accompanying (and necessary) annual fees. The company sells a subscription license for $995, which you must pay every year to keep using the software. Or you can buy a perpetual license for $1,495, but you still have to pay a fee of $299 each year thereafter to get updates on new compliance regulations.
That you have to pay a considerable annual update fee even with a 'perpetual license' certainly makes the deal feel a little less perpetual.
Government pricing is a tad easier on the budget.
You can purchase AccRepair on a GSA schedule for $895 perpetual with updates costing $179 per year.
This we consider to be much more in line with what you get.
Another option would be just to buy a program called AccVerify from HiSoftware, which contains the same basic reporting functions as AccRepair but has no repair wizard.
That program sells at $595 for the subscription license, or $995 for a perpetual license (with $199 annual update fee).
AccVerify runs $495 perpetual on the GSA schedule, with updates at $99 annually.
Despite the relatively stiff yearly fees, AccRepair would be a good addition to the toolboxes of most webmasters.
Many would appreciate how the software takes the tedium out of maintaining compliance for organizational Web sites.