Way Forward

| 1 Comment

It's decided: WorkflowGen will be the new platform for CARLA's Conference Database. To review, the Conference Database is a web-based system built by Marlene using FileMaker 6 and CDML. It gathers conference proposals for review and approval by committees. People like it. It works. Each year Marlene prepares a new iteration of the core application — a task she's gotten very good at.

Why change?

  • We need to decommission the FileMaker 6 server and no modern server can run FileMaker 6.
  • We want to move away from decentralized bespoke systems to more widely-used platforms that can be understood and supported by Dean's Office IT.

Why WorkflowGen?

  • We're already migrating GPS systems to it (Judd Fellowship, Travel Grants).
  • Patrick has been trained on it.
  • There is a growing community of users here on campus.
  • It's supported centrally; though that's more emotional support. We need to cultivate our own expertise in building systems. It's thought that after initial setup in .net, people like Marlene can take command of the solution to set up processes and access levels.

Some concerns

  • Can we set it up so it's flexible in the right places? Can we repurpose our initial solution and reuse year after year? Can it be genericized? A word we invented for this notion.
  • Does Marlene need to learn .net to fully "own" the solution or can her work be accomplished in the GUI?
  • Can it elegantly accommodate multiple tracks of submissions based on a theme?

Next Steps

  • Marlene checks into RegOnline - a platform others in the department are exploring.
  • Marlene works her magic one last time and prepares a solution in FileMaker 6 and CDML for the upcoming conference.
  • Christopher plots the CARLA Conference system on the WorkflowGen work-plan. We should start in the Spring of 2012 in order to have it ready by this time next year.
  • Soni backs away. Since this is neither FileMaker or PHP or WordPress or OBI, she's no longer involved.

1 Comment

Just to add that the purpose of the application goes beyond the submissions, review, and approval - to session scheduling, showing/searching session via the web, and dumping the data for the printed program.

Update: The most I've been able to find out about RegOnline is that it is just that - registration online. No conference proposal system included.

And one other note. After this 2012 LTE conference, CARLA has no other big conferences in the works for the remainder of this four-year grant. Assuming that we even get the money to finish the last two years... So it may not be necessary to put it on the calendar for next year at all! (sigh)