Commentary by CEO Sarah Weinberger:
Although the product speaks for itself, I did have a few comments, nonetheless.
First off, I was a bit surprised that the web hosting company only supported PHP v5.3. I originally coded to a higher version, which makes use of an object oriented class to access MySQL databases. I had to settle on the well tested C-style functions. I did leave commented out the class based version, so that can go back. I guess I could put in some sort of test and decide, which one to use based on the PHP version. I might just do that.
I tried to keep the interface as close to the paper based forms that Zap uses, and that is of course what the customer wanted, but I did add in some nifty time-saving niceties. The date selection took a couple of tries before both I and the customer was happy, but selecting a date, any date, is trivial regardless of browser and OS. I set the default date on birthdays back a few decades to make it easier for selection.
One thing that is not obvious is that I already started the process to get the product certified by the electrology association. Because of the PHP and MySQL choice, there is no Microsoft certification to obtain. I purposely chose PHP, as that is the most flexible, utilizes a skill that I have, and what I thought the fastest that gets the job done. Time, money, and quality were all constraints. The customer also wanted maximum portability and longevity, where the code does not become obsolete. That was actually a very important concern. For these reasons, I chose PHP. Heck, years later, PHP v5.3 is still used!
I did not have to worry about porting existing data, as they have a paper based system, however porting another vendor’s data, as long as I would have access to the database would be straight forward. There are multiple possibilities, such as importing a CSV or XML file, direct connect to an existing database, export of an old database and then importing here, etc.
This first version relies on backups done by the web hosting company, a service provided, however automatic backup is definitely a feature that I want to implement, sooner than later.
The bullet points mention the GUI, but I just wanted to reemphasize the object oriented nature of the design. I took an existing page of their site, cleaned out the body, added a few lines, and presto. I purposely designed the product, so that if an office decides to change their website, ZapOffice will only get minimally effected, if at all. Someone would have to move the few lines to the new template and insure that the width of the new template is adequate. I guess there could be style conflicts, but I do not think so.
I purposely did not go hog wild on all the screens. I just wanted to give an idea. I designed ZapOffice with the help of the electrologist for use in electrology offices. All terms, look and feel, and interaction is what they are used to. I honestly want the staff at this office and future offices to be able to hit the ground running.
Live site screenshot captures as of July 2017:
- New Client Intake
- Practitoner: Home
- Practioner: Client Visit
Other practitioner screens:
- New practitioner add/edit
- Client edit