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Old 02-05-2013, 10:21 PM   #1
Fullhouz
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Default Help with an easy form for logging jobs

First, I'm a dirt engineer, not a programmer. This is probably a stretch as a programming question but a little more than a shared spreadsheet. We've used a paper log form for 40 years and it seems there has got to be a better way using a database form/web app/google doc, maybe/some new tablet tool. The paper log book is used by 30 or so managers to log clerical jobs. When the clerical staff finishes a job, then they'll complete the log book entry. In simple terms, here is what the app needs to do:

Located on the WAN, nonpublic; no security;
simple table entry with 6 labeled columns, no wizards needed;
entries need to include hyperlinks to .doc/.pdf on the network;
open field entries shouldn't be necessary while using lookup tables for easy-of-use;
each job is one row in the table;
jobs only need to be kept for 3 days max;
each day a new blank form is started and previous day's form is available;
many concurrent users entering data;
tool tips would be a plus;
as another plus, would like to automatically email the requester when the clerical job is finished;

So is there something out there off-the-shelf or do you have a suggestion for me?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:59 AM   #2
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If the entries are not completely concurrent; then a spreadsheet on a shared drive will work.
New worksheet for each day.
User opens worksheet, updates and closes sheet

Now if you want two users to be enter/updating at the same time; then you may need to go to a simple database type system.

There are free SQL based databases and you just need a front end with some smarts for the users.

The most difficult part is designing the front end form to make the end user comfortable/hand holding
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:19 PM   #3
Fullhouz
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Default Concurrent users kill the idea of using a spreadsheet

A dozen clerical folks will kept this form open all day so I think this kills the spreadsheet idea. So any suggestions on which database platform is the easiest to work with?

Our IT department is exclusively using Oracle but I'd prefer to keep it simple with something stand-alone, if possible.
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:37 PM   #4
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This sounds to me like a job for a bug or project tracker system. Free software for this kind of thing includes BugZilla and Trac - though Trac is strongly oriented toward software and the Subversion version control system. A lot of companies lately seem to prefer the commercial product Jira, which can be hosted on their site or your own.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken g6 View Post
This sounds to me like a job for a bug or project tracker system. Free software for this kind of thing includes BugZilla and Trac - though Trac is strongly oriented toward software and the Subversion version control system. A lot of companies lately seem to prefer the commercial product Jira, which can be hosted on their site or your own.
We use Bugzilla. It's functional but has an interface only its creator could love. Jira is very good, imo.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:53 AM   #6
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Im a big fan of Jira.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:44 AM   #7
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A lot of people might say bad things about it, but Microsoft Access is a tool built for these situations. m ight be cheap to hire somebody to build it for you.
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:30 AM   #8
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A lot of people might say bad things about it, but Microsoft Access is a tool built for these situations. m ight be cheap to hire somebody to build it for you.
Access had the problem that there was a database control file being created during updates by the program itself. Such precluded others from getting to the database in a write configuration. Ran into that back in '97.

I do not know if it has been fixed.

To use it as a back end with a simple interface program works well; I have implements multiple applications for small businesses that do not have the time/skills to use a large commercial program of setup something like Rally/Jira.

Most times; the turn around for a prototype is within a week; the screens are simple and rules followed that were defined by the client. This way there is no real rework needed. They got what they asked for.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fullhouz View Post
A dozen clerical folks will kept this form open all day so I think this kills the spreadsheet idea. So any suggestions on which database platform is the easiest to work with?

Our IT department is exclusively using Oracle but I'd prefer to keep it simple with something stand-alone, if possible.
Google docs spreadsheet might work.
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Old 02-07-2013, 03:49 PM   #10
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Im a big fan of Jira.
Is there a way to make opening a new tab the default behavior for clicking on a link in Jira?
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:06 AM   #11
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A lot of people might say bad things about it, but Microsoft Access is a tool built for these situations. m ight be cheap to hire somebody to build it for you.
Then 20 years later when it's become a monster that can not be satiated due to feature creep someone will be demanding to convert it to a real database.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:11 AM   #12
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Then 20 years later when it's become a monster that can not be satiated due to feature creep someone will be demanding to convert it to a real database.
MS Access Sharepoint Edition.
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