Municipality of Rishon Le Zion
Cultural Events Scheduling System
"Without Iron Speed Designer, this project would have been too expensive to build. The local municipality would not have even considered it."

- Gil Givati, CEO of Efficens Software

Cultural Events Scheduling System

Municipality of Rishon Le Zion
Rishon Le Zion, Israel

In Israel, the education system exposes its students to the arts. The Cultural Events Scheduling System includes mandatory educational events such as field trips to the theater to see the ballet and plays. The city appropriates funds and must maintain a specific budget each year for each student attending a public school. At the beginning of each year, the city employees managing these events must meet with school officials to decide on which events they'd like to attend. This can get complicated as there is a requirement they cover five different topics every three years.

There are three employees specifically who take an active role in the scheduling, processing, and operations of mandatory cultural events. They need to plan events for each grade within each school based on what they did within the past few years. Schedules must meet school and event limitations, such as size of the theater, time and date of the event, etc. The Cultural Events Scheduling System Application helps optimize this schedule for participants.

Application size and scope

The Cultural Events Scheduling System is a new application that uses a single Microsoft Access database containing 19 tables. The largest table has only 500 records for the first year, but this will grow by about 1,000+ records per year. Each year it keeps track of around 500 new students and the events that they attend, approximately 150 shows. I estimate that 300 transactions will go through this application per month. The application has 65 web forms used by three administrators who use and manage the system.

The project

I worked on this project for three weeks, about 20 working days in total. I am the only developer for this application.

We estimated that it would've taken around a year or so to develop the same application without Iron Speed Designer. Without Iron Speed Designer, we would not have even attempted the project. The estimated cost to create this application is much too high.

Code extensions and customizations

I customized this application in several ways; most of the customizations were to incorporate specific business logic. For example, once a show is scheduled and several schools are to attend, we need to plan where students will sit. In order to do this, I created a seating schema of each theater. Furthermore, I incorporated a mechanism inside this feature to ensure that the school seated first at a previous show is not seated first again.

I also applied code customizations to the session data. There are approximately 1,500 lines of custom code, 1,000 of which are in the biggest file. I also incorporated a reporting tool called ActiveReports to add reporting to the application. About 40% of my development time was spent on code customizations.

Page layout customizations

I customized the layout of a few pages, changing the format slightly to display important details within a table.

One of the tasks in this application was to display for each event the schools that have been registered to it and the number of people attending from each school. At the bottom of each list a total had to be displayed.

That being the case, I had to make one of two choices. It was either to embed in each record row another show table panel or to manually retrieve the data and display it as pure HTML table. Due to performance reasons, I chose the latter.

I used the standard Alps design theme.

Metrics for success

I estimate using Iron Speed Designer saved me six person-months of development time. The local municipality I was working with estimated that it would take a full year to develop this application. Instead, I was able to develop the application in just three person-weeks!

Iron Speed Designer impact

Without Iron Speed Designer, this project would have been too expensive to build. The local municipality would not have even considered it.

Next steps

We have already discussed adding more features to the existing application at the end of this year. The municipality would like to add enhanced reporting, and they would also like to extend the application to manage events inside the schools themselves. Moreover, there is another municipal department looking at Iron Speed Designer to help build their applications.

About the developer

Gil has been working with IT systems for the past 17 years, from both the infrastructure side of applications and the development side of it. During these years, he has served as a database systems team leader for one of the Israeli Defense Forces Software Units and Chief Technology Officer. Gil has also served as the Products Group Manager and CTO in a software house that is representing Sybase Inc., iAnywhere Solutions, Information Builders and other companies. As part of his job, he was required to take active part in systems design and deployment. For the past two years, Gil has managed Efficens Software while also taking active part in its projects and products activities.

Gil earned a BA in Business Management from Derby University in the United Kingdom.

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