The permalink has the following structure: https://nbs.fyi/AIeW2q
- The ‘https://’ prefix shows that the hyperlink is from a trusted source.
- The ‘nbs.fyi’ part of the hyperlink is the short NBS domain that is always used.
- In this example, the six-digit code ‘AIeW2q’ is permanently unique to this particular product. The combination of ten numbers and 52 upper and lower-case letters gives a combination of almost 60 billion available codes, so there is plenty of room for codes for every construction product in the world, for a number of years to come.
Figure 2 shows how these permalinks can be used in project documentation to cross-reference a product in NBS Source. A permalink can be added to a 3D model in pretty much any data format (Revit/ ArchiCAD/ Vectorworks/ Allplan/ IFC), and the link will always return to the product. Equally, a permalink can be added to a specification to provide further information to the recipient of the spec.
At NBS, we will be automatically adding these permalinks to products added to NBS Chorus and digital objects downloaded from NBS Source. However, until this functionality is added, a user may manually copy and paste the permalink.
Apart from NBS applications, there are many more examples of how permalinks can be used. One such example could be converting the permalink to a QR code. This QR code could then be attached to the physical product.
There are many free QR code generator websites available – https://www.qrcode-monkey.com/ is used in the example illustrated in Figure 3. It should be noted that RFID codes can serve the same purpose. Both QR codes and RFID codes can be scanned using most modern smart phones.
Finally, the permalinks can also be copied into any project’s documentation – this could be a schedule, a planning application, internal notes on an intranet and even an email.
Figure 4 below shows the permalinks in the context of an email. A short, permanent hyperlink is more suited to this form of communication than a long, unwieldy hyperlink that may change over time.