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Issue 4.6


Postmortem: Kodiak

REALbasic goes to school

Issue: 4.6 (July/August 2006)
Author: Brad Rhine
Author Bio: Brad Rhine is the Data Manager for the Elizabethtown Area School District in Pennsylvania. When he's not using REALbasic at work, he's using REALbasic at home to develop shareware applications.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 18,774
Starting Page Number: 11
Article Number: 4608
Related Link(s): None

Excerpt of article text...

Kodiak is a student information system designed to be powerful, easy to use, and scalable. To answer the first question everybody asks, it's called Kodiak because our school mascot is a bear.

Elizabethtown Area School District is a medium-sized district located in the Susquehanna Valley of Pennsylvania. We have approximately 4,000 students enrolled on any given day, taught and supported by a staff of dedicated and talented teachers, aides, administrators, and support staff. I joined that support staff as a Technology Specialist in early 1998.

Since that time, my responsibilities have grown and changed significantly. I started out doing mostly helpdesk work. I was the guy running around hooking up printers, installing software, and plugging in network cables. It was fun at the time, but the amount of work continued to grow and it became more difficult to track what needed to be done. As our technology staff grew to three people, we also needed a way to manage the workload collaboratively. I was tasked with setting up a database that we could use to track our helpdesk tickets. I first turned to FileMaker Pro for our solution. This worked reasonably well for a while, but we soon ran into its limitations, which I won't get into here. After a few years, it became increasingly obvious that we needed a more robust solution.

So began my search for a more full-featured database solution. In a seemingly predestined turn of events, I received a PostgreSQL CD in the mail one day from Great Bridge. Shortly thereafter, Dave, the Director of Technology came into my office and said, "Have you heard of REALbasic? Maybe you could use that to build the new helpdesk system." I looked into it, did some asking around about its compatibility with PostgreSQL, and decided to try it. We ordered a copy of REALbasic 3.5.2 and jumped in head first.

It took me longer than I'd like to admit, but I eventually built the basis of a new helpdesk system. Soon I was working on other similar projects, such as an inventory management system for our warehouse and all sorts of nifty little desktop applications that our support staff could use to keep our district website up to date. I loved working in REALbasic, but it was getting to be quite a load to develop and support these applications while still keeping up with my tech support duties.

Taking On A New Role

...End of Excerpt. Please purchase the magazine to read the full article.