The Center for Realtor Technology of the National Association of Realtors has launched new software for computer servers that allows users to set business rules when distributing Multiple Listing Service information.

The program, called VARIMAN, is the second generation of the association’s free Real Estate Transaction Standard server software to be released by the center, the association announced this week.

VARIMAN is designed to improve security. One feature allows the user to see different views of listing data depending on how the software is used. VARIMAN can be used from a variety of RETS-certified clients when connecting to the MLS. (RETS is a standard for exchanging real estate information and providing for access and movement of information.)

“MLS business rules can be applied to items like days on market, school districts, instructions, selling company agent, map books, expired listings and other information records. Applying business rules has been a missing element in most RETS servers. VARIMAN addresses that problem and can significantly lower the cost of ownership for members,” said Mark Lesswing, director of the center.

“After looking at the marketplace, we settled on the NAR Center for Realtor Technology to implement the VARIMAN server. The VARIMAN server is open-source, has been built to meet published standards for real estate transactions and has full installation and configuration documentation,” said Gary Calfee, chief development officer at RealTrace Solutions in Brentwood, Tenn.

Because of the way it works with RETS, VARIMAN can be used to access many MLS systems, thus lowering the total cost of ownership to the brokerage. In addition, staff needs to be trained on only one application. That is particularly important if an MLS changes vendors or a brokerage requires listing information from various MLS systems, Lesswing said.

VARIMAN is the second RETS server software distributed by CRT in two years. Much of its specifications were based on member feedback about the earlier version. CRT’s original RETS server is currently in use at some of the largest MLS systems in the country.

The new software requires use of a relational database and currently works with Oracle, Postgress and MS SQLServer databases. VARIMAN also works with a group of vendors focused on productivity applications, including Wildfyre, Soar and ThreeWide. VARIMAN also works with CRT’s recently released Retriever application.

VARIMAN is a member benefit provided by CRT and is free to NAR members. For more information or to download, go to: http://www.crt.realtors.org/projects/rets/VARIMAN/.

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