Write Us A Database!

Discussion in 'Programming & Software Development' started by ChiefBoss, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. ChiefBoss

    ChiefBoss Member

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    We do things at my place of work almost exclusively on paper. We carry around field laptops but everything is done on paper - its a completely rooted set-up.

    It would make things so much more efficient, easier, convenient and most importantly (for the company, and our client/s) reduce cost if we moved all this bullshit paperwork into/onto a database system.

    I'm hoping to find someone small (individual or business, this would be great for a Uni Student on summer break too I'd imagine) that I can chat with and discuss in more detail the nature of our business and the kinds of things and ideas we could implement to make this thing chooch!

    A brief description of what we do...

    We oversee the maintenance and installation of a large hydrographic network. This network collects stream/river level, water quality and rainfall data. Maintenance is carried out on these sites on a rotating monthly/bi-monthly roster. we have several teams that do this work. Field observations are manually recorded and referenced to instrumentation readings.

    This database can/would allow us to run a report before we go to a group of sites, the report would have a list of materials and equipment that we need to bring - this would be to repair or improve something that we noted last visit.

    It could allow us to track the history of instrumentation as it gets moved around over the years... for example, a particular piece of kit might be found to be out of calibration. It would be good to know where it was used prior to the current location in case the data it captured there needs editing.

    Let me know if you're keen!
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
  2. Sindarin Ultra

    Sindarin Ultra Member

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    Ha, I knew that all sounded familiar! http://forums.overclockers.com.au/showthread.php?t=1174753

    I do some freelance software dev and might be able to help :thumbup:

    Do you generally have internet access on site? A central online database would probably be easiest, also avoiding offline sync issues etc. Access the db through a web interface or desktop client depending on what you need to do.
     
  3. Smokin Whale

    Smokin Whale Member

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    Airtable, or at least Google Forms/Sheets?

    Easy enough for the layman to play with.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    ChiefBoss

    ChiefBoss Member

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    Yes, a cloud based solution is definitely the way to go. this would mean people in the office could get access to data without us having to go back and sync to the network.

    I've had a quick look at Airtable and google forms on your advice but they might be a little to limited in their functionality... I'm not sure.

    I guess my other line of thinking is that I'm way to bloody busy at the moment to put the work in myself, otherwise I'd have done something in MS Access already - and poorly at that!

    Fundamentally I like the idea of getting a professional to craft something tailored to our needs that, when the time and needs dictates, can be expanded to incorporate further functionality etc.
     
  5. breech

    breech Member

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    Take a look at Trello, now owned by Atlassian, it might be an easy start and could be merged into the heavier products later.
     
  6. ^catalyst

    ^catalyst Member

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    Yeah, Trello is good for this type of deal.
     
  7. Maelstrom

    Maelstrom Member

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    Surely if it's a decently sized business ("large hydrographic network") then it would be worthwhile getting a business grade solution worked out?

    I mean, a simple online database with forms would be worlds ahead of paper, but there are a lot of additional things to consider:

    * What is your backup arrangement, and how quickly can you restore from it?
    * What will you do when there are outages (especially if they last days)?
    * How many people can use it at once, and what happens if you grow?
    * How secure is your data (and what happens if it gets pinched/modified/leaked)?
    * Can your customers access it on the platform, or do you need people to manually produce reports?

    etc etc etc

    You don't necessarily need to gold plate it, and you don't want to put up so many road blacks that it can't make progress, but getting a good solution set up that addresses these could make the difference between a clunky system that costs time to maintain and later leads to regret vs something that works off the bat and helps the company save time/money and can therefore grow.

    PS Trello is basically online post-it-notes - good for basic task management, but not able to generate reports of things you need on a per site basis or anything like that.
     
  8. Uranux

    Uranux Member

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    Have you looked at Powerapps? My brother has been doing a bit of work with it recently for some of his clients and it seems to be well received.
     
  9. beech_boy

    beech_boy Member

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    It also sounds like you want some Asset Management functions as well on top of CMMS system.

    I work for an Aussie company that provides Asset Management, Work Order, Problem, Inventory management solutions.

    PM if you have questions.
     
  10. Satriani

    Satriani Member

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    Pulse?

    10char
     
  11. OP
    OP
    ChiefBoss

    ChiefBoss Member

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    Just following up on this.

    Work hired a professional developer to write an app for iOS.

    Seems like it could be a good thing but will wait for the beta!

    The best thing they have done is have it so we own the app making it an asset and functional tool. Obviously there'll be some issues along the way but us owning it will mean that more functionality can be built in later on as needs shift etc.
     

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