Talk:CNVC IT Committee
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- 1 IT Priorities
- 2 Free IT Package on CD
- 3 Free Computers with Pre-Installed Software
- 4 Online tools integrating various CNVC and other online resources.
- 5 Database Selection Criteria
- 6 "donor management" and "best practices"
Database combining online and CNVC office information.
- What means database ?
To me it means an industrial strength database capable of replacing Quickbooks for Payroll and other accounting needs, Excel for the various spreadsheets people have apparently created due to lack of a suitable database, and Access for the few limited non-relational freestanding databases like donor lists we apparently do have at the CNVC office and on the ASP part of cnvc.org.
- It means something like mysql ?
From what I gather, yes MySQL would be a very strong contender because it's not only a powerful database with web integration capability built-in. It's also open source and thus free for us to use and share throughout the NVC network.
- I like to differentiate between database and something named presentation layer. For me its more clear by defining database as something which contains data and presentation layer as something which allows to access the data.
Ah, so the Database is the application that stores the data, and the Presentation Layer is the Forms and Reports you use to view or edit the data. The Data itself is the information contained in the database, for example a collection of Fields that might include Name, Address and Phone. All of those Fields would be distinct sections of Data that might be used on a Donor Contact Info presentation layer Form?
- Why it means database ? For easy query ?
Yes, CNVC has an urgent need for all the Data we now have to be input only once rather than written on papers and typed into all of the different applications I listed above.
- How you like to have the access ? By web ? By "fat" client (windows/java application) ?
All of those, and probably more ways.
- Accessible by whom ?
We need to have many levels of access. Some things would be accessible to anyone on the web. Some would require registration first to give minimal security and accountability. Some would be for access by members of a group. Some for access by selected individuals. Some would be visible to one level of access and modifiable by another level of access.
- You like to split the database from the online database ? If yes, you like to import data to online database ?
That's something we'd need to decide based on security. Is it possible to have absolutely unbreakable security with online data? My guess is no, so we'd need to have only some data online yet all of it integrated somehow. Like if the online part were a subset of all CNVC data, and the part not online would be physically isolated. Maybe the online data could periodically be updated by a send-only process requiring physical access to the offline database server?
Variable levels of strong security.
- What means strong security ?
I'm no security expert, but to me it would mean as close to impossible for hackers to penetrate as can be. Hackers and spammers will probably try to gain access, so we'll need some things to be completely locked down while allowing anyone to access or even edit some things. Hopefully we could also have many different levels of security between those extremes, and the ability to have different security on individual items or entire sections.
- Not accessible by everybody ?
Absolutely not, for some items and sections.
- Only trusted verified persons ?
Some things would be best available to everyone. For example the ability to see a list (interactive map?) of trainers and NVC groups and GCCs.
- Secure connection ?
For some things, yes. Anything to do with money or private information.
Trainer contact info.
- Address data ?
- What else ? I like to know the list of columns you like to have.....
We probably wouldn't need some of these, but could build them into the database for future or optional use: 1st Name, Last Name, Middle Name, Nickname, Password, Password reminder, Email 1, Email 2, Email 3, Birthday, Mailing address/PO Box, City, State, Country, Zip, Home address, City, State, Country, Zip, Website, Business phone (breakout country and area codes for autocompletion in subsequent phone entries for same contact record?), Home phone, Mobile phone, Free VOIP address (Skype, etc.), AIM info, IRC channel, IRC user name, maybe two fields for other contact methods, Membership status, Trainer status, Certification status, Certification date, Cert.Renewal due date, Donor status, Contribution date (expandable?),Contribution amount (expandable?), Contribution project (expandable?), Contribution currency (expandable?). Any more?
- Accessible by everybody ?
Only some fields. Probably just name, trainer status, mailing address and business phone. We'll also want a webmailer that people can use to email trainers at their preferred email address and show the sender's email address, but not reveal the destination email address. I believe CS has this built in.
Donor contact info.
- Address ?
- Payment overview ?
The Trainer and Donor contact lists could be relational so that trainers who donate could be tracked by the fundraisers without duplicating data. We probably wouldn't need some of these, but could build them into the database for future or optional use: 1st Name, Last Name, Middle Name, Nickname, Password, Password reminder, Email 1, Email 2, Email 3, Birthday, Birthday 2 (wife, etc.), Birthday 3...20, Significant date (anniversary, etc.), Significant date 2...20, Tickler dates 1...20, Notes, Mailing address/PO Box, City, State, Country, Zip, Home address, City, State, Country, Zip, Website, Business phone (breakout country and area codes for autocompletion in subsequent phone entries for same contact record?), Home phone, Mobile phone, Free VOIP address (Skype, etc.), AIM info, IRC channel, IRC user name, maybe two fields for other contact methods, Membership status, Trainer status, Certification status, Certification date, Cert.Renewal due date, Donor status, Contribution date (expandable?),Contribution amount (expandable?), Contribution project (expandable?), Contribution currency (expandable?). Any more?
Local and Regional NVC group contact info.
- Address ?
- Contact person ?
Yes, with mailing address, business phone and email form with hidden destination address. Should be relational since this person's data is presumably already elsewhere in the database.
- Accessible by everybody ?
Yes, with interactive map if possible. Also menu for drilling down to specific group for those with slow connections or other inability to use map.
Free IT Package on CD
- I'm appreciating a possible longing for consistency and I'm anxious a strategy that involves spending money on materials and postage in order to distribute software that can be downloaded for free through the Internet seems unlikely to meet a need for economy. I am aware of certain members in our network who do not enjoy reliable Internet access, and still feel puzzled. I'd like to better understand the needs that might be met through this proposal.
I'm imagining it as an option that we could offer. Individuals might like to get a CD that comes preconfigured with everything they would need to access all that CNVC has to offer. This could save non-technical people a massive amount of time and effort getting online, or reading and writing documents. My guess is that this could be a long-term project, and one that would continually evolve. Another CD/DVD could be for local and regional groups wanting to set up their own office or online presence. Another could be for anyone who wants to use CNVC resources, like the fundraising database or online resources (so their tools and procedures would have maximum compatibility with CNVC). Overall needs: ease, mutuality, consideration, connection.
Free Computers with Pre-Installed Software
- One concern that springs to mind is that we don't have the resources available in the regions that might appreciate these that would support their distribution. (I mean, if you were to deliver 10 computers to Singapore tomorrow, I wouldn't be able to do anything with them unless you could also provide the funds that would help cover cost incurred through my shipping them out again to the people who could really use them).
Perhaps they could be shipped direct to the end user or group? Is it possible that such problems might be resolved in dailog between those providing the computers and those who'd like to receive them?
- Another thought that occurs to me is there are a couple of charities who already do this - i.e. ship used computers to people who can make use of them. Perhaps we could focus our attention more profitably on establishing a connection with them that might allow members in our network to apply for these?
Yes, and again it would be helpful if those computers had the CNVC suite of applications pre-installed and pre-configured. This would take far less work for those preparing the computers, than for those receiving them.
Online tools integrating various CNVC and other online resources.
- Is "Online tools" the synonym for online like web and accessible by others ?
Yes, that is how I would define it. This means that someone could access many resources by using their web browser. One example would be that someone could find the nearest trainer or group, and that trainer or group could update their contact information - all online without requiring any input by CNVC employees. This will reduce labor costs at CNVC, reduce errors when data is input multiple times in different places, and reduce delays due to waiting for CNVC to be open or the person who inputs particular being sick or on vacation.
Database Selection Criteria
The following database qualities are offered for consideration by the IT Committee:
- I like to differ between database and something named presentation layer. For me its more clear by defining database as something which contains data and presentation layer as something which allows to access the data.
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"donor management" and "best practices"
Extract from CNVC IT Committee#Information Technology (IT) Needs :
5. Wiki or similar for collaborative document generation and editing, with some areas having limited read and/or write access (e.g. Board, Certified Trainers, etc.).
As some pages are related to all pages in a wiki, like Special:Recentchanges and many other "Special pages", wouldn't it be better to have separate wikis for restricted groups ? For example, the Wikimedia Foundation has a wiki for which "log in" requires approval.
Generaly speaking, considered the fact that Wikipedia seems to be one of the most efficient organisation in "donor management" â€” and I don't mean only money, but also time, creativity, etc... â€” wouldn't it meet some CNVC's goals to get closer to their team, to learn from their "best practices" ? --DieudonnÃ© 00:24, 26 May 2006 (CEST)
- I like the idea of separate wikis as you describe it. As for getting closer to the wiki team, my impression is we've begun doing that. I'm assuming that if and as we add more content to this wiki and probably create and integrate other wikis, people with connections to the wiki team will participate. Don't you and Markus both have some connections with the wiki team? My impression is that there are several wiki teams. Is there something in particular you'd like to see by way of closeness with the wiki team(s)?
- Oops. Forgot to log in before replying, so my authorship would show on this. -JW
- Too late, we know your IP now ;-) About getting closer to wiki team(s) I imagined trying to meet some of them, but it's allready great for me feel so understood on theses subject by someone within CNVC It helps me feel confident about seeing one day NVC spreading around the world as widely as Wikipedia, and beyond... :-) --DieudonnÃ© 23:39, 26 May 2006 (CEST)