Pluses of Plugins

By on Dec 18, 2017 in Technology

Laurie Swertfager

Just what is a plugin anyway? How is it different from a patch? Or a full version update? The somewhat frustrating truth for most of us is that software is one of the few products we use that doesn’t seem ever be ‘done’. With all of the different types of software we depend on every day, it’s common for users to experience confusion, frustration and fatigue when it comes to software updates.

Operating systems for smartphones, tablets and computers are constantly updating themselves with security fixes and new features. Every day it seems we get notices on our phones that app updates are ready to be downloaded and installed.

Software that supports a team of professionals, such as Yardi property management software, is a good example of why updates are extremely valuable for users. Software updates address security risks, solve coding bugs and prevent unplanned downtime. Think of it this way: if your organization has developed an internal workaround to address a problem, and you haven’t updated your plugins lately, then it’s likely that problem (and perhaps others) has an official fix from Yardi ready to download and install.

Laurie Swertfager from AJB Consulting talked about software updates at the Yardi Affordable Housing and PHA Forum in Atlanta. Laurie is an affordable housing consultant with extensive expertise in compliance, finance and technology.

“My clients sometimes lament that little things they are looking for aren’t available in Voyager. In those cases, my first step is to see if they are up to date on their plugins. Chances are they have not, and often the uninstalled plugins have exactly what they are looking for.” says Swertfager.

“Some clients work under the guise of ‘if it isn’t broke, then don’t fix it,” says Dave Kessler, vice president of affordable housing for Yardi. “Voyager may be doing everything they need for an extended period, and so they may not want to update the software out of fear that something major will change and disrupt staff workflows. However, that decision could lead to problems, including being out of compliance since plugins are the most effective way for us to address changing regulations,” says Kessler.

Kessler explains that his team is constantly working on Yardi Voyager Affordable Housing to add new features, solve issues and incorporate compliance changes. “Affordable housing regulations are subject to constant change. A good example is TRACS, which is HUD’s online interface for tracking financial assistance for affordable housing programs. We’ve spent a lot of time developing Voyager to keep up with HUD’s policy changes. Our goal is to have our clients prepared when the latest TRACS version launches in 2018. Voyager users can reap the benefits of that work, and be ready for TRACS, just by keeping up with Voyager plugins,” says Kessler.

Want to network with interesting people and get friendly advice about Yardi software? Consider attending a Yardi event. We have annual forums for senior living, marketing and affordable housing/public housing organizations. Visit to make your plans today. If you are a Yardi client, make sure to log on to Client Central and review the latest release notes and get your plugins up to date.