Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Food for Thought

(L-R )Michael Cisarik, William McCluskey, Michael Voss, Tyler Pinta, and Edward Adkisson
Senior project students developed a complete system for St John the Baptist Food Pantry (SJFP) that will enable the volunteers to more easily track the clients they serve and generate the reports necessary for other agencies.   The Senior Project team was:  Edward Adkisson, Michael Cisarik, William McCluskey, Tyler Pinta, and Michael Voss.

We were pleased to welcome representatives of St. John the Baptist Food Pantry to our presentation, Marianne Manley, Janet Lombardi, and Maisie Buss.

The students were given the task of taking the information currently kept on index cards, one for each of the 650 families in their system. Updating of the information on a per visit basis, adding new families to their system, searching on a variety of conditions and generating different reports are some the tasks that SJFP needed to be able to perform

The studentsl not only developed and implemented a database system, but created a user friendly interface to accomplish the tasks since SJFP are not IT professionals.  PHP was used so that a browser interface was feasible.  Apache and MySQL were installed on the system donated by USF’s IT department.

Our Senior Project students also considered maintenance and security building in signon features and scripts to handle backups and common system tasks. The students provided training and documentation. 

They began the project with requirements gathering and identifying what exactly would be needed.  Along the way they provided information about suggested hardware requirements so that SJFP could apply for a technology grant.  They assisted SJFP with a survey of the potential for Internet access and an internal network.    The system was planned and developed so that it could be further enhanced as more equipment became available.  

In the last month of the semester a user acceptance test was completed with members of SJFP.  User training on the system took place a week before the presentation and seven members participated.  They were very pleased with the system that addressed their needs.  The system was then delivered to the home of one of the members so she could begin entering their client information.   A technical training session was given to Prof Ruth Weldon, Prof Tony Zordan, and three students to help them provide support over the summer and into the Fall semester.

At the Senior Project presentation bound copies of the user documentation and a back up CD were given to St. John the Baptist Food Pantry as well as a box of food collected from attendees at the event. 

Thanks to Prof Tony Zordan and USF’s IT department.

Congratulations to Edward, Mike C., Bill, Tyler,  and Mike V on a job well done.

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