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Rapid Application Development Using Remedy – An Update

You may remember reading an article in The Big ByteWinter, 2003 (the article is also available at: http://www.ucalgary.ca/~jstanden/Remedy/) edition on the use of Remedy for Rapid application Development at the University of Calgary.  The purpose of this article is update you on our progress since that time and to highlight a few of the projects recently completed using Remedy.

Excerpt From the previous article

Remedy contains a complete development environment allowing UCIT to quickly develop any number of additional tracking and workflow applications.

  Recognizing the value of being able to provide “quick wins” to the institution, UCIT has allocated 2.5 FTE to Remedy development.  These include resources which range from a senior analyst with +20 years of experience to an Intern from the Universities Cooperative Education program.  These resources are exclusively assigned to Remedy development work.

  Here are some facts about the Remedy Application Development environment.  Applications can be:

Ideal Remedy applications include an inventory component and a workflow component.

Within IT, we have created applications to track and monitor system changes, record request for systems changes and track Authorization Access (in response to a recent report from the provincial Auditor).

 

Update on Projects

 

Since the Big Byte Remedy article was first published, interest in the Remedy development environment has surged.  We are now implementing projects in Human Resources, Financial Services, Printing Services, the Learning Commons and for ourselves as well.  There are four recently completed projects which I believe illustrate the power and versatility of the Remedy development environment.  They are described below.

            

Printing Services – Stationery Application 

We recently implemented an application to allow university clients (Faculty and staff) on campus to order their stationery over the Web.  The application was written for Printing Services using Remedy and Websphere and supports the self serve model.  A good example of the application is the submission of a business card order.  To place a business card order, the client signs onto the Stationery Order System using their UCIT account information (ensuring a University of Calgary client for this service.)  They then enter the information as they wish it to appear on their card.  The business card is then presented to them in “final print form” (but, they can continue to make changes as necessary.)  When they are satisfied with the format of the card, they can submit the order which will be printed and available for pickup or delivery.  An Interdepartmental Billing (IDB) account or a request to make a cash payment is required to use this service.  Other stationery items are supported as well, with plans for future expansion.  To access this service, go to the Printing Services web site (http://www.printsrv.ucalgary.ca/printrq.htm).

Benefits

This new process replaces existing paper forms, reduces or eliminates the design process and reduces the time it takes for the order to be processed because a “final PDF (printable) form” is submitted.  In other words, the project saves money and effort for both the client and Printing Services, while providing a better service to the client.  The project took 45 days and was completed over a period of 3 months.  

 

UofC 101 – Student Program Evaluation

As you may be aware, the University hosts up to 4,500 students at the beginning of every fall session with the U of C 101 program. During this three-day event, students are exposed to many facets of the University life, including faculty orientations, skills workshops, and campus tours. At the end of the process, a survey is given to the students to record their satisfaction with the program. In the past this survey was completed with paper and pencil on a machine-readable survey form, which was mechanically scanned into computer format, and then the results were compiled over many months. This year, the students used a web based Remedy application which immediately traps the results in a database. Reporting of the results is available immediately. In the future, this function will be made available to the U of C 101 students using the Student Portal (see article entitled {insert title here} on the Student Portal elsewhere in this issue of the Big Byte).

Benefits

The Remedy solution saves considerable cost over the traditional approach (paper forms are no longer required, nor is the processing and subsequent compilation processes). As with the Printing Services project, the project saves money and human resources, while providing a better service to the client. The project took 11 days over a period of 2 months.

Information Technologies DTP Help Desk - Web Submission of Help Desk Service Requests

Using an application authored in Remedy, staff and Faculty who are Desktop Technology (DTP) clients are now able to submit requests for assistance to the DTP Administrative Help Desk over the web. The problem is automatically entered into the task list for the DTP resources team and the status of the problem may be monitored via the IT/DTP web page. The service is available from http://www.ucalgary.ca/it/dtp. Information Technologies plans to expand this service to include the submissions of problem calls by all members of the University community within the next few months.

Benefits

As Laurie Davison, Manager of DTP, is quick to tell anyone who asks, the Desktop Technology Program 'lives and breaths by Remedy'. All requests that come into DTP, whether for service, for ordering of equipment or for inventory control, are handled by Remedy. DTP manages over 2000 desktops on the campus using applications developed by the Rapid Application Development team within Information Technologies. The new Web Submission of Help Desk Service Requests opens yet another avenue to access DTP's services, one that is available 24 hours a day. Follow up calls are no longer required as the progress of a problem may be monitored by the client via the web.   The project took 21 days over a period of 2 months.

Information Technologies - Blackboard Course Creation System   

Faculty are now able to request their Blackboard online course by filling in a web request form.  The application is actually a Remedy application and forwards the information to the staff in the IT Support Centre to facilitate their processing of the course request.  To access this service, go to http://www.ucalgary.ca/bb/instructor/request.html

Benefits.

Creating this application has eliminated the use of  paper forms.  Courses can be requested from any remote location (for example, a Faculty members office).  The information gathered is more likely to be correct and complete. Transcription errors are eliminated.  The project was completed in 6 days over a period of one month.

Summary 

            Our experience with the toolset continues to evolve allowing us to create function-rich applications at an even greater rate.  Our clients are very pleased with the results to date as evidenced by the number of additional applications they have requested.  In addition, our client base is continuing to broaden as others hear of the capabilities of the Remedy application environment.

            If you have any questions, or think you have an application which may be suitable for development in the Remedy applications environment, please contact Jim Standen (jstanden@ucalgary.ca or 220-4430), Ivan Runions (irunions@ucalgary.ca or 220-4437) or Kristen Anderson (anderskk@ucalgary.ca or 210-9880)