CSU Address Database
Updated on 28 Dec 2018
At the time Charles Sturt University had a policy that all student information had to be held on servers located in Australia. Given that Alma was a cloud based service running overseas, their library system could not hold any address or contact information relating to students.
To overcome this problem, I built the CSU Address Database (CAD) for Charles Sturt University.
Once logged in, you were presented with a list of all the students which you could filter or search on.
Filtering was easy and fast. You could either select a value from a drop-down or start typing into the free text fields. The filtering started immediately as you began typing.
Once you found the patron your were looking for, you just needed to click anywhere on that patron record to delve into the information that a library staff member would need to know.
Given that the data was loaded into the CAD application via XML files that were sent daily, I also provided the upload information. This was important because if there were ever a discrepancy this meta data would be of immense benefit when diagnosing issues.
Clicking on the Contact Information tab would show the student’s contact information. Once again, for any piece of data you could hover the caret over the Info button and find out about when that data was first uploaded and when it was last updated.
The PDF button was designed specifically for the label printers that CSU were using. (They would post books out to patrons that were off campus)
A lot of the workflow of using CAD was to produce mailing labels, so I added in an extra tab that allowed a staff member to see the current requests a student had. This was accomplished using an API call to ALMA, and allowed a staff member a final verification what should be sent out.
If you are an admin user, you would have access to the Users screen. Here you’ll be able to
- view all the people that have access to CAD
- create or modify user account
- delete user accounts
Modifying or Creating user accounts gives you some modicum of access control for the user. (either normal or admin; they didn’t want anything else).
The feedback that I received was that this was better than Alma, and in many ways it was. This comment was made before the new UI came out, which shock horror now has the same type of design of the CAD application.
How come your application is so fast?
My girlfriend was amazed at the speed of the filtering and clicking thru pages and data just showing up instantly.
Apparently their HR system (with about 5% of the records I had) was slow and clunky, and she was in awe that I could build something that appeared to be better than their enterprise level HR system.