Builders have wanted to integrate field data from a handheld task management application to a back-office system for years, but many of the available solutions on the market were too expensive for most builders.

Now, Punch List, a task management application for the Palm handheld, with about 2,700 users, can integrate with Intuit's popular MasterBuilder back-office software, as well as with FAST from Hyphen-Solutions and with HomeSphere's BuildSoft.

This development promises that more builders will reap benefits from integrating handhelds with back-office software, most notably signing off on bills and revising schedules from the field.

Until now, this kind of integration has been limited to only the largest builders. The Ryland Group uses Punch List with J.D. Edwards back-office software. And Beazer Homes and Lennar Corp. use the handheld application from Hyphen-Solutions. But those companies have comparatively deep pockets to pay for custom integration and rollouts to multiple users.

The good news for smaller builders is that a single-user version of Punch List with MasterBuilder integration costs $499. Punch List with MasterBuilder integration started shipping in the late summer, and initial implementations were moving forward last fall.

Capital Pacific Holdings in Newport Beach, Calif., has been a pioneer for FAST users, integrating Punch List and FAST for the company's operations in Arizona, California, Colorado, and Texas. BuildSoft users are also running initial pilots with Punch List.

Specific pricing for integration with FAST and BuildSoft will be made available this month. Punch List is sold through a joint venture with Robert Bosch Tool Corp. For more information visit

Mass appeal: Punch List plans to integrate its handheld task management application with back-office systems from Intuit, Hyphen-Solutions, and HomeSphere, which will make that capability available to a broader builder audience.

1. Tasks are created in a scheduling module from back-office programs such as FAST, MasterBuilder, and BuildSoft.

2. Tasks are sent to Punch List Desktop, which then sends task information to handhelds in the field.

3. Supers with handhelds update tasks and create new ones, which are sent back to Punch List Desktop.

4. Punch List Desktop notifies subcontractors of the changes by sending out faxes and e-mails.

5. Updated tasks are returned to back-office application.