This past week I was able to help with downloading WordPress and setting up the basics of a website that will provide information for an upcoming conference hosted at my work. It was great to be able to walk through each step: downloading the WordPress file, setting up the site to run at our server, creating a database, creating log-in information for several people, and choosing an initial template. I have previously used WordPress utilizing their hosting, mainly for this blog, so it was great to see how it could be used if you wanted to host it on your own server.
Additionally this week, I talked with our Associate Director of IT about a possible Capstone project to get his input and ideas on how the idea could be developed. I wrote my proposal and submitted it to the Capstone instructor. And, on Friday, I received the great news that he approved the project and thinks it would be great to include on my resume and even demonstrate it at an interview. Wow! Now, I just have to actually develop the project. 🙂
The overall project consists of creating a web application that would allow for the input and reporting of weekend attendance numbers.
I currently work at Vineyard Community Church in the Tri-County area, which has a weekend church attendance of about 5,000 people. The current way for recording the attendance numbers for each service time (9am, 10:30am, and 11:59am on Sundays at Tri-County, plus additional times for each site) and each area (La Vina, Students, Children, Middletown, Eastgate, Uptown, Micro-churches) is to email numbers to the person in Finance. This person then updates a giant Excel spreadsheet each week, usually on Tuesday, and then emails the spreadsheet out to various staff for review. There is no visualization of any kind, just a flat grid of numbers and percentages showing Current Week, 4-Week, 13-Week, and 52-Week categories.
My goal would be to create a CRUD web application in C# using the MVC pattern to allow the Hospitality staff person to input directly into the web application (using an Access database that would be saved in SQL), creating a record for that particular weekend. In addition to a data entry portal for capturing the attendance data closer to real-time (on Sunday, as opposed to updating the spreadsheet on Tuesday), I would like to add a reporting page containing several charts that would provide a better graphical presentation of the data.
The end goal, which could be a year or more down the line, would be to eventually export the SQL database into the Vine (the MySQL database) and use PHP code to run this web application through our proprietary graphical web interface for the Vine. For now, it would be hosted on an IIS server and given a URL that anyone could access (with respect to the log-in and rights granted).
There is much, much more work to do here, from thinking through the different aspects of the application, thinking through the logic, visualizing the look, and figuring out who exactly will use it, to actually writing code and testing. Whew, it’s a little overwhelming to think about, but I am sure that it will all come together if I just focus on one step at a time.