The following comes from TempWorks' CTO, Paul Czywczynski, with a little editing by me to protect the innocent:
Welcome to the 2nd and late edition of TW Web Development noise. It's been a busy few weeks working to get a stable build of WebCenter5 and all its components ready. Before I begin, a trivia question for everyone; how many checks and e-pays were cut through our hosting services division for the month of February? Answer at the end of the email.
Here is an overview of current projects.
Central is our web version of the CEO module. Eric has been busy building the reports for the project for a few weeks. We're using new technologies to support a customizable portal-type framework that from time to time slows down progress, but nothing show stopping. This past week, though, we've put this project on the back burner because I needed the reporting expertise of Eric for WebCenter5. If everything works out on WebCenter5, Eric should be back on Central and have a demo version ready before the end of this month.
WebCenter IV (Interactive Voice)
Jeff just wrapped up creating the proof of concept. It's at a stage where we can do a demo for a customer and, if interested, we can take it the last mile and integrate it. It's not feature complete but shows what can be accomplished and proves we can do it without 3rd party support. Our hope is to demo to customers and let them decide what features they want and how to implement it. Since Jeff was able to finish the proof of concept sooner than I expected, the demo hardware isn't ready yet. This month, we'll implement our own speech server system and use it for initial demos, eventually hosting WebCenter IV on it for someone.
WebCenter (current version) and Applicant Portal ================================================
Derek and Eric have been hard at work extending the old web workhorses. We seem to get two to three major customization requests [per month] for these old dogs and these guys pump them out. At the same time, they are able to create these customizations in a generic fashion so we only have one code base for everything. Let me tell you how nice it is to pull the code out of source control and have it work no matter what the customer customization is.
Paperless applicant tracking
This enables a customer to have all required forms be electronically stored. Simply put, an applicant fills out the forms, a service rep proofs and checks credentials, and then the applicant signs a digital signature pad. Everything is flatted to a file and stored in the employee's document section. Nice and neat- but blood, sweat and tears are in the details. The trick to this project is [to make it] flexible enough so one source code tree can handle all customer customizations. Luckily for us, this is such a hot demand item that customers are more than happy to jump on the paperless development train with us.
WebCenter5 is starting to finally take shape. It's been a project in my head for at least a year and I've been code fiddling for at least 6 months, suffering through the .NET v2.0 betas. Due to some Windows Workflow issues this past week, we're a little behind on that project front, but luckily for me, Matt has become our local Workflow expert on the subject and is making progress. I think Windows Workflow has a ton of potential for us and using it for timecard and order request approvals is just scraping the surface. I have some big plans for it that will change the shape of how we and our customers can modify the functionality of core TempWorks in the future.
Eric and Jeff have been busy this week getting the reporting module into shape. We are moving off of Crystal Reports to SQL Reporting Services, so all our previous work on reports is in the progress of being recreated. Aaron is doing tremendous work on our GUI. Everything looks wonderful and I think it will blow the doors off anything our competitors have and even our old WebCenter. We have worked on the GUI a lot to make it flow better for both experienced and novice WebCenter users. I think everyone will appreciate the work Aaron is doing. I've been personally working on all the bits that no one sees and that is fine with me. There is a still a ton of framework work that needs to be done to tie all the modules together. It's great to have a wonderful bunch of guys working on the different areas of WebCenter5, but let me tell you, it’s a job and a half to work on the glue and coordination that ties it all together.
============= During the month of February, the hosted services division paid 20,008 people. That means our servers, infrastructure, and tech support helped to make sure over 20,000 checks and e-pays went out to people last month. Good job everyone and thank you Dan for keeping the hosting infrastructure in top performance.