So, I’m catching up now on my posts here. I had fallen a bit behind on posting, but not for lack of ideas or things to write about, rather a lack of time to put fingers to keyboard (like putting pen to paper). 🙂
My capstone project has been pretty much all-consuming lately and I am starting to see the end of the tunnel – it is a real, live attendance tracking tool. You can enter attendance data for a specific date for a specific location and church time and save it. And, it really does save into a database! One of the things that I’ve added is a jquery datepicker, which has been a nice addition. My capstone instructor has been very helpful with this project and maybe even a little stumped at times. Between the two of us (him: logic and syntax, me: double-checking commas, column names, datatypes), we created a stored procedure to create a temp db – this will check to see if any attendance record already exists for that particular date. If so, it allows you to update that attendance. If not, it creates a record. That was a huge breakthrough about 3-4 weeks ago now. Connecting the datepicker was helpful and allows the end user to just click on a date, instead of typing in the date (and already knowing that Sunday was April 6 instead of April 5).
One thing I’ve realized though about our historical attendance data, which I am now importing in to the database, is that all records are based on a Sunday date, regardless of whether they happened on Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday. Over the years, that has been the structure and it has worked, but in a pretty rudimentary way. The Wednesday and Friday attendance numbers are in the same column, so you can’t really compare or analyze those numbers accurately because you don’t know if something was a Good Friday service or a Wednesday night church service. I have to think through this a little further, but I am leaning to the side of correcting all of those items as they are imported into the new database. It makes it more accurate, and databases are all about accurate.
Another thing I have wrestled with in the past 2 weeks is a datetime format for my data – I found this website with a great listing of examples for any type of format you may want. I am still fine-tuning my date and time listings. The times show up in 24-hr format, instead of AM/PM and I think the AM/PM would be a more user-friendly way to display the church times.
Reporting is one of the final big hills to tackle with this and I’m not sure how pretty it’s going to end up. The project is based on MVC overall, but MVC and WebForms can intermingle within the same project. I’ve found some good information here and here about this. Actually making that happen doesn’t seem to be quite as easy. I do have a basic gridview on a Reports page that allows sorting and paging of data, so you could sort by date, time, location, notes, or even attendance count. I would love to find a great way to create a visual or infographic to display this data. I’m still working on this and hopefully will be able to post about my success in my next post (#14).
One last piece is implementing a log-in system on this project, so not just anyone could enter data. That will take a bit more research.