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DevonThink 3 versus Tinderbox versus VooDooPad

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Posted by J J Weimer
Nov 24, 2019 at 02:58 PM

 

Ha! Banner was designed in the dark ages of 640x480 monitors and has remained locked in its UI approach since then. It is written to establish a fantasy-land, multi-screen flowchart with only ascii text input for the process that faculty and staff should use to manage student and finance records in academic institutions. I have heard that the same group of computer engineers wrote similar-looking software for nurses to monitor patients in triage and hospital situations.

But I digress. :-/

What is hear is that you want to develop a training plan for folks who have not been initiated to the system. You want it to be visual.

For this goal, I would suggest using Curio. It will allow you to capture screen shots of the Web browser input, paste them on a whiteboard, lay them out in a workflow, annotate and describe them, and hyperlink them to each other and/or to external resources.

Jeffery Smith wrote:
I realize that my challenge is sort of an odd one.
> >What I need to learn (and then teach others) is part of a much larger
>Human Resource system (named Banner) that is essentially a huge
>relational database with modules for Human Resources, Student Records,
>and Class Offerings, It is like PeopleSoft, but better implemented for
>higher education.
> >What I have are dozens of screens, some of which are HR screens, some of
>which are Student Record (enrollment) screens, and some of which are
>rules for how faculty will be paid based on which classes are linked to
>each instructor. So, I’m working within a pre-defined database to which
>I have to link records using multiple tables. What I need is some sort
>of visual system (or WikiLink system) until I get straight in my head
>which tables link to which tables, and which fields are absolutely
>essential. So, I’m teaching myself because the vendor of the software
>would prefer that I spend a week in another state learning en masse with
>others. That’s not an option because I’m serving as a consultant on this
>for the next 6 months. I actually had the system prepared and ready to
>implement when someone at the college pulled the plug on it at the last
>minute. That was in 2016, so I’m re-acquainting myself with the very
>complicated system 3 years later.
> >It is a difficult system to get set up and implemented because it
>doesn’t necessarily match up with the way things have been done in the
>past.
> >J J Weimer wrote:
>I am a bit confused about which parts YOU do versus which parts the
>>software app is to do.
>>
>>* Do YOU manually assign the faculty to the classes, or should the
>>software do this (through some optimization routines)?
>>
>>* Do YOU manually set up the payment rules for the classes in advance,
>>or is the software supposed to do this somehow?
>>
>>* What is meant by “runs a routine merging faculty with classes” ...?
>>
>>I have to think that what you want is this ...
>>
>>(Database of Faculty)
>>(Database of Classes)
>>(Database of Payment Rules for Classes)
>>(Database of Faculty Assignments for Semester)
>>—> payments required per faculty
>>
>>I have to imagine that a spreadsheet app could do the job using
>internal
>>cell functions and reference calls.
>>
>>Alternatively, I have to think that the datatool package in LaTeX might
>>do what you need (and give you a nicely-formatted PDF report to submit
>>with no greater effort).
>>
>>The FileMaker Pro app should be able to tear this up with no problem.
>>
>>Little that I know about it, someone is bound to say that you should
>use
>>an SQL variant database tool.
>>
>>Is this where you are going with what you need?

 


Posted by J J Weimer
Nov 24, 2019 at 03:11 PM

 

FMPro is likely the most effective tool to do the database integration, off-line analysis, and contract printout. Especially since you already know and use it. Somewhere long ago I developed a server integration to a FMPro database that held registration inputs to a regional conference. It ran on a Mac using what I think was called Tango. I was impressed then, and I can only imagine that the integrations are better now.

Also, I am next door in Alabama. Bring what you create over here when you are done.

Jeffery Smith wrote:
Actually, this IS pretty much the database structure. And Filemaker Pro
>would allow pasting of screen shots in the database. I’ve used Filemaker
>Pro since it was known as Leading Edge Nutshell (I’m sure the average
>age of this forum will be advanced enough for you all to recognize
>Nutshell).
> >What we use for contracts now is a Filemaker Pro database that I have
>been modifying since 1998. We have to download Excel files, import them
>into my database, and then use calculated fields to determine the
>workload and pay. The end result is a paper contract that we print and
>sign. This is Louisiana, and we are finally going to leap headfirst into
>an entirely online system of contracts (with paper as a backup until we
>are sure it works!)
>===========
>J J Weimer wrote:
>(Database of Faculty)
>(Database of Classes)
>(Database of Payment Rules for Classes)
>(Database of Faculty Assignments for Semester)
>—> payments required per faculty

 


Posted by Jeffery Smith
Nov 24, 2019 at 03:40 PM

 

Filemaker Pro just created a cloud version. Since 1998, I’ve been making run-time programs and distributing them to about 12 people across the college 6-7 times a year. Banner is a panacea compared to PeopleSoft, and it was easy migrating data from the mainframe SISPlus to Banner. But I really found the old SISPlus easier to train people on, and easier to use just by memory.

I have been looking for tutorials on Curio, but it looks like reading the manual will be my educational method for myself.

J J Weimer wrote:
FMPro is likely the most effective tool to do the database integration,
>off-line analysis, and contract printout. Especially since you already
>know and use it. Somewhere long ago I developed a server integration to
>a FMPro database that held registration inputs to a regional conference.
>It ran on a Mac using what I think was called Tango. I was impressed
>then, and I can only imagine that the integrations are better now.
> >Also, I am next door in Alabama. Bring what you create over here when
>you are done.
> >Jeffery Smith wrote:
>Actually, this IS pretty much the database structure. And Filemaker Pro
>>would allow pasting of screen shots in the database. I’ve used
>Filemaker
>>Pro since it was known as Leading Edge Nutshell (I’m sure the average
>>age of this forum will be advanced enough for you all to recognize
>>Nutshell).
>>
>>What we use for contracts now is a Filemaker Pro database that I have
>>been modifying since 1998. We have to download Excel files, import them
>>into my database, and then use calculated fields to determine the
>>workload and pay. The end result is a paper contract that we print and
>>sign. This is Louisiana, and we are finally going to leap headfirst
>into
>>an entirely online system of contracts (with paper as a backup until we
>>are sure it works!)
>>===========
>>J J Weimer wrote:
>>(Database of Faculty)
>>(Database of Classes)
>>(Database of Payment Rules for Classes)
>>(Database of Faculty Assignments for Semester)
>>—> payments required per faculty

 


Posted by Jeffery Smith
Nov 24, 2019 at 03:46 PM

 

I’m the only Mac person at the college (2nd largest college in Louisiana, second only to LSU), so my Mac part will just be for me to teach myself.

Most of the work of the department chairs will be to (1) assign faculty to classes (they already do that), and (2) using another screen to indicate how they are to be paid. Number (2) sounds easier than it is. Typical liberal arts classes are straightforward, but the practicums, co-ops, clinicals, low enrollment classes are all coded in different ways.

 


Posted by washere
Nov 24, 2019 at 04:27 PM

 

University IT departments have guidelines, processes & procedures on querying their relational databases & tables. There are even more good options I could detail.

 


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