Hosted Applications

Custom web-based group database applications.

These are fairly large projects, involving 25 to 50 hours of my time and no small commitment on your part. We start with a careful analysis of the your business processes, which might involve sending me copies of paper forms, tracking spreadsheets you are using now, and conversation that always reveals elements that current processes fail to provide. We end up with a system designed to not only streamline current processes but to include elements that simply didn't have a good solution on paper.

Your users login and enter or update information that will be immediately available to other members of your team, or to themselves from other locations. Additional reports that now require time-consuming data collection can be replaced with functions that can run the same report in seconds at any future time for various conditions.

Examples of Custom Database Applications

Below are some examples of private, secured projects I've designed for clients.

Artwork entry and submission
This system allows organizers of an art show to accept entries and submissions from artists, collect payments, provide a way for jurors to grade the submissions, and create online or other catalogs from the submitted work.
Marching band uniform management
A system that allows the manager of a school band to track musicians and uniforms, including full inventory. With a networked laptop or tablet the hectic periods of issuing multiple garments to groups of musicians are simplified. Readily adaptable to any situation in which items are issued to individuals, it could be the instruments themselves, tools, or even vehicles instead of hats for flautists and gloves for drummers.
Project management
A robust project management portal, with elements of customer relationship management, supply-chain management, and enterprise resource planning systems. The system is customized to your business from the outset rather than being adapted from an expensive solution (like SAP or Oracle) or using a smaller system that doesn't quite fit.

For more information: vanhorn@whidbey.com

Process

The first step is a careful analysis of the customers business process. Surprisingly, most businesses haven't actually thought about this, and an outside perspective can be very helpful.

With that in hand, a plan is created that identifies what information will be available to which users at what point in the process. Sketching out the database structure clarifies this substantially. The highest priority elements of the system are coded and put to work immediately so that any weaknesses in the original plan are quickly identified. The process is iterative based on the frequent failures of "waterfall" development plans in which every aspect of the system was designed at the beginning.

For sites that will be open to customers, suppliers, and employees, the plan to incorporate the application into the customer's current online style can be made.

Because the information that accumulates in these systems is mission critical, an extensive plan is established for both backup of the data and a rapid means to switch to a backup server configuration. The data will then be up to date on both the live server, and CDs will be regularly burned and mailed to the client.

All applications are developed using open source database engines (MySQL or PostgreSQL) which eliminates license fees. While I own the code and copyright in the code, you will receive a permanent license to use the software without additional cost.

For more information: vanhorn at whidbey.com

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For more information: vanhorn at whidbey.com