Multiple Vendors Combine to Solve Problems
It Takes a Village... or in this case, a County.
Some web developers are hackers (we mean that in the nicest way). They hand-code the website to meet the custom need. We applaud that; more power to them. But we're integrators and we like it when several standard, well-supported components can be artfully combined to solve the problem. Here's a great example.
One of our favorite examples of pieces fitting together: the Marriage Record system at Will County, Illinois. We are proud to have provided a way for the county clerk staff to quickly and efficiently process marriage applications and licenses and certificates in each of their offices throughout the county.
At the heart of the system is DNN, our go-to Content Management System and Development Platform, the #1 web development platform in the Microsoft ecosystem. We build many of our sites with this versatile, er, what do you call it? tool? platform? ecosphere? All are fitting descriptions.
Not only does DNN provide the infrastructure, it also has a great user system so things like security and permission groups are provided for us. In this case, clerks can log in from any of the county's locations and the website knows what functions to provide and more.
On top of DNN, to create the forms and functions of this application, we add Open Web Studio, or OWS for short. It has a "programming" interface to let you do lots of stuff, like creating and verifying forms, to reading/writing databases, to generating and saving files, and we use all these capabilities in this project.
The last ultra-cool bit of magic has to do with printing all those applications, licenses and certificates in four different locations. That's where a very cool automated print server software called Silent Print comes in ( http://silentprint.com ). Our application knows enough to write files to folders on the server, based on what user is logged in (that tells us what office they're in) and what type of document it is (that tells us what print tray to use). It's Silent Print's job to monitor those folders, which it does constantly. We configured Silent Print to know that any file written into folder x gets sent to the print spool of printer y so it'll print using paper in tray z. The network print queues, built into the Microsoft servers, handle the rest.
It takes a village, and in this case, a county, to get the project completed, and we like the challenge of finding great components that can be integrated together. This project was one of many.