Recently in Conference Database Category

Way Forward

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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.

CARLA Conference Database

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What do we do with the CARLA Conference Database? It's currently hosted on an old, unreliable computer running the client version of FileMaker 6. Options up for consideration include:

  • Marlene rebuilds it in PHP in our modern FileMaker environment
  • Soni rebuilds it in PHP in our modern FileMaker environment
  • We contract a third party provider
  • We move it to WorkFlowGen
  • We wait for the University's Sales Force solution

What about the timing? Do we tackle it now to get it ready for the upcoming conference? Or do we have Marlene eke out one more season with the current solution?