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Author Topic: Feature List  (Read 836 times)

Kevin McDonough

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Feature List
« on: February 01, 2017, 01:14:36 pm »

Taken from a few posts that were made on the initial post that started this (before it got a little side tracked in programming methadologies and systems etc lol  ;D ) here was a list of some of the features that the potential program could have.

Feel free to add more suggestions, comment, and discuss as appropriate and we'll hopefully be able to come up with a fairly detailed and complete set of features that we would like to see.



Inventory Page

First thing we’d need would be a place to list all our equipment. This would be a large database of items and all the relevant information would be able to be entered.
  • Pre-created and user/custom categories and sub categories for equipment: Lighting, Sound, Video, etc etc. and then drilled down to speakers, amplifier, desks etc etc.
  • Fields to enter the basic information for each item (Name, manufacturer, serial number, quantity, etc etc)
  • Fields for MSRP, purchase price, hire rates, and depreciation/resale value.
  • Ability to do variable rates, i.e. weekend rates, week day, week and month blocks.
  • Ability to input barcode or RF tag info. (Integration with common barcode and RF scanning systems so gear can be checked in and out directly into the program).
  • Ability to attach files such as manuals, spec sheets, technical drawings. While it’d be handy if it could read basic files such as pdf and word documents, it wouldn’t need to be able to read unusual file formats, just store the file able to be downloaded and opened in the relevant program.
  • Ability to group items together (amp/speaker packages, racks of equipment, cases of wires etc). Once items are grouped, they are show as unavailable individually, and they must be removed from the group item to be available to add individually to a quote again. 
  • Ability for a date to be set for the item to be added or removed from group, so you can show it is in a group now until the end of this tour/job, but on such and such a date it needs removed for a few weeks for certain jobs, and then returned again.
  • Ability to set these jobs as reminders in the calender.
  • Ability for Pop-Up questions and addition of linked equipment. For example, add a speaker system to a job list, and a box pops up to asked ground stacked or flown. Based on answer, relevant linked equipment such as flying hardware or ground stacking brackets/poles, cable packages etc is suggested/added. Or if a desk is added it’ll pop up asking what stage box your using, and add appropriate multicore cables etc.
  • Field for software versions and dates upgraded.
  • Items able to be marked for maintenance, with fault tracking and progress tracking, and shown as unavailable when away for repair.
  • Stock take function with history of results.
  • Ability to view your inventory by purchase price, income generated, ROI etc etc. to see what hass been a good investment and where possible areas for growth could be, as well as items that it may be worth moving on while they’re second hand value is still high etc.
  • Ability for user/custom categories and fields in addition to the main ones.


Contacts Database

An area to store contact details for venues, clients, staff, suppliers/manufacturers etc.
Fields for basic info
  • Ability to tag items into multiple groups, for example a venue may also be a client.
  • File attach again for venue specs, speaker prediction plots, venue drawings etc.
  • Ability to call up a list of previous jobs that involved that venue/client/staff member etc. Easy way of re-triggering a new quote/invoice using a previous one.
  • Notes section for any important info with Pop up ability, so for example if a venue has any especially restrictive vehicle access and you can only use certain trucks, or you need to take into account a specific requirement, you can set that to trigger a pop up reminder when you add it to a show/quote.
  • Ability for staff to be marked as available or not available (either by being scheduled on other work/tours of if they’ve indicated they’re on holiday etc). Possibly even a log in system for freelance staff to access this small part of the system themselves, mark that kind of info in?
  • Ability for user/custom categories and fields in addition to the main ones.


Job build page

  • The main working page, for creating jobs and quotations
  • Basic fields for the job info, linking to and pulling in info from your stored clients and venue database etc. Files that are attached to those venues/clients are also available for easy access from this screen once they’re added to a job item.
  • Individual items or prebuilt groups/racks/packages can be added from the equipment list, and new one off packages can also be created on the fly for this single job.
  • Based on the linked items and Pop Up questions set up with the equipment list, it would also makes suggestions of hardware, stands, the correct power or signal cables, flying accessories etc etc and add them to the quote to match.
  • When the staff section is clicked on, your check boxes or tags will allow your overall staff list to be narrowed don to the the ones that are both available, and have the necessary skills/knowledge/experience for this job.
  • As the quotation progresses, the job can be marked as initially created, sent to the client, amended (with version history) confirmed, needing action, advances and files received and attached etc etc. Possibly some sort of colour code to easily indicate this, and the job list can be ordered/sorted by this, so you can quickly see which ones are confirmed, which may need a follow up, which are awaiting action from the client, which need action from yourself etc.
  • When equipment and staff are assigned to quotes they become marked as potentially unavailable, and when that job is conformed the are marked as confirmed unavailable in the database for other jobs.
  • Various reports should then be able to be generated from this. A client facing quote, warehouse picklist, accounting details for office/accounts, return to warehouse checklist etc.
  • Ability for user/custom categories and fields in addition to the main ones.


Calender View

As well as just lists of jobs, clients, venues etc etc, a calender can be called up and viewed by day, week, month etc.
  • The various categories can all be made visible or invisible as needed, so you can show confirmed jobs, quoted/potential jobs, staff availability, equipment availability, equipment down for maintenance, etc,  or any combination of.
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Feature List
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2017, 02:03:34 pm »

Taken from a few posts that were made on the initial post that started this (before it got a little side tracked in programming methadologies and systems etc lol  ;D ) here was a list of some of the features that the potential program could have.

Feel free to add more suggestions, comment, and discuss as appropriate and we'll hopefully be able to come up with a fairly detailed and complete set of features that we would like to see.



Inventory Page

First thing we’d need would be a place to list all our equipment. This would be a large database of items and all the relevant information would be able to be entered.
  • Pre-created and user/custom categories and sub categories for equipment: Lighting, Sound, Video, etc etc. and then drilled down to speakers, amplifier, desks etc etc.
  • Fields to enter the basic information for each item (Name, manufacturer, serial number, quantity, etc etc)
  • Fields for MSRP, purchase price, hire rates, and depreciation/resale value.
  • Ability to do variable rates, i.e. weekend rates, week day, week and month blocks.
  • Ability to input barcode or RF tag info. (Integration with common barcode and RF scanning systems so gear can be checked in and out directly into the program).
  • Ability to attach files such as manuals, spec sheets, technical drawings. While it’d be handy if it could read basic files such as pdf and word documents, it wouldn’t need to be able to read unusual file formats, just store the file able to be downloaded and opened in the relevant program.
  • Ability to group items together (amp/speaker packages, racks of equipment, cases of wires etc). Once items are grouped, they are show as unavailable individually, and they must be removed from the group item to be available to add individually to a quote again. 
  • Ability for a date to be set for the item to be added or removed from group, so you can show it is in a group now until the end of this tour/job, but on such and such a date it needs removed for a few weeks for certain jobs, and then returned again.
  • Ability to set these jobs as reminders in the calender.
  • Ability for Pop-Up questions and addition of linked equipment. For example, add a speaker system to a job list, and a box pops up to asked ground stacked or flown. Based on answer, relevant linked equipment such as flying hardware or ground stacking brackets/poles, cable packages etc is suggested/added. Or if a desk is added it’ll pop up asking what stage box your using, and add appropriate multicore cables etc.
  • Field for software versions and dates upgraded.
  • Items able to be marked for maintenance, with fault tracking and progress tracking, and shown as unavailable when away for repair.
  • Stock take function with history of results.
  • Ability to view your inventory by purchase price, income generated, ROI etc etc. to see what hass been a good investment and where possible areas for growth could be, as well as items that it may be worth moving on while they’re second hand value is still high etc.
  • Ability for user/custom categories and fields in addition to the main ones.

Contacts Database

An area to store contact details for venues, clients, staff, suppliers/manufacturers etc.
Fields for basic info
  • Ability to tag items into multiple groups, for example a venue may also be a client.
  • File attach again for venue specs, speaker prediction plots, venue drawings etc.
  • Ability to call up a list of previous jobs that involved that venue/client/staff member etc. Easy way of re-triggering a new quote/invoice using a previous one.
  • Notes section for any important info with Pop up ability, so for example if a venue has any especially restrictive vehicle access and you can only use certain trucks, or you need to take into account a specific requirement, you can set that to trigger a pop up reminder when you add it to a show/quote.
  • Ability for staff to be marked as available or not available (either by being scheduled on other work/tours of if they’ve indicated they’re on holiday etc). Possibly even a log in system for freelance staff to access this small part of the system themselves, mark that kind of info in?
  • Ability for user/custom categories and fields in addition to the main ones.

Job build page

  • The main working page, for creating jobs and quotations
  • Basic fields for the job info, linking to and pulling in info from your stored clients and venue database etc. Files that are attached to those venues/clients are also available for easy access from this screen once they’re added to a job item.
  • Individual items or prebuilt groups/racks/packages can be added from the equipment list, and new one off packages can also be created on the fly for this single job.
  • Based on the linked items and Pop Up questions set up with the equipment list, it would also makes suggestions of hardware, stands, the correct power or signal cables, flying accessories etc etc and add them to the quote to match.
  • When the staff section is clicked on, your check boxes or tags will allow your overall staff list to be narrowed don to the the ones that are both available, and have the necessary skills/knowledge/experience for this job.
  • As the quotation progresses, the job can be marked as initially created, sent to the client, amended (with version history) confirmed, needing action, advances and files received and attached etc etc. Possibly some sort of colour code to easily indicate this, and the job list can be ordered/sorted by this, so you can quickly see which ones are confirmed, which may need a follow up, which are awaiting action from the client, which need action from yourself etc.
  • When equipment and staff are assigned to quotes they become marked as potentially unavailable, and when that job is conformed the are marked as confirmed unavailable in the database for other jobs.
  • Various reports should then be able to be generated from this. A client facing quote, warehouse picklist, accounting details for office/accounts, return to warehouse checklist etc.
  • Ability for user/custom categories and fields in addition to the main ones.

Calender View

As well as just lists of jobs, clients, venues etc etc, a calender can be called up and viewed by day, week, month etc.
  • The various categories can all be made visible or invisible as needed, so you can show confirmed jobs, quoted/potential jobs, staff availability, equipment availability, equipment down for maintenance, etc,  or any combination of.


This is the best I have seen so far.


Two items.


1 - Calendar view...My current thoughts are to use an API and hook into WhenIwork.com and google calendar apps.  Shift scheduling is outside the initial scope


2 - "Fields" are a monolithic data construct and don't really exist anymore.  It's objects and containers.  Fields are far too limiting and the requests you ask for too granular.  A simple example is an item is added to item.  So item is a construct.  That item is added to a location and a job with a tag.  End users see tags as free form fields like an address bar on an email (have you used Office 365 ??) if you need a new field you can use the tag construct of #inventory:numperofinputs:8 then if you want all interfaces with more than 8 inputs you can simply ask the search pane for that data.  It's all indexed and fuzzy.


It sounds more complicated than it is in practice. 


I am traveling next week.  If I don't get slammed I may just mock up a couple of pages and we can have a kick off webinar.



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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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Kevin McDonough

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Re: Feature List
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2017, 02:37:07 pm »


This is the best I have seen so far.


Two items.


1 - Calendar view...My current thoughts are to use an API and hook into WhenIwork.com and google calendar apps.  Shift scheduling is outside the initial scope


2 - "Fields" are a monolithic data construct and don't really exist anymore.  It's objects and containers.  Fields are far too limiting and the requests you ask for too granular.  A simple example is an item is added to item.  So item is a construct.  That item is added to a location and a job with a tag.  End users see tags as free form fields like an address bar on an email (have you used Office 365 ??) if you need a new field you can use the tag construct of #inventory:numperofinputs:8 then if you want all interfaces with more than 8 inputs you can simply ask the search pane for that data.  It's all indexed and fuzzy.



When I say fields I just mean areas for input, not actually "fields" in the technical or programming sense. However that was handled on the back end would be up to your experience and recommendation of course.  ;D

In terms of staff scheduling, would it be especially hard to add in?  You're already maintaining lists of equipment, and dates and times when it's added to jobs and so unavailable. In my head staff members would just, in a broad way, be treated like a another item in the inventory that can be marked as available or not available on certain dates, and attached to jobs just like a piece of gear.

Of course, that big list above is a bit of a long term wish list, and with things like staff scheduling, barcode/RF tag reading etc would be best left to a future version and added after the main core functions of the Inventory Management are sorted.

K
« Last Edit: February 01, 2017, 02:45:59 pm by Kevin McDonough »
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Ray Aberle

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Re: Feature List
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2017, 02:38:28 pm »

Scott, I *really* hope this is indeed more complicated on here than it will be in practice! Asking someone to type "#inventory:numberofinputs:8" to find consoles/interfaces with more than 8 inputs would be obscene.

I'm used to (like Riley) the Filemaker concept- here's a field, and if it's a category setup ("Consoles") you select a sub category in another field that has its choices populated based on your entry into the first field. So, after selecting "consoles," you then have console options in the second field.

I might be missing something here. I don't see the correlation of email address fields with this project. =-\

Ray
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Lee Douglas

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Re: Feature List
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2017, 03:19:40 pm »

Feature suggestion- Not returned alert.  Based on an expected return date field and could be set out by a fixed amount of time in a set up field or by a variable on the rental detail. 

Anecdotal:  This isn't so much for the complete system that goes out that you would miss if it didn't come back, but more the individual equipment that gets loaned out for a week to someone you may know and comes back a year later if you remember it.  It's just a "why isn't this back in inventory" reminder.
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Feature List
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2017, 03:31:33 pm »

Scott, I *really* hope this is indeed more complicated on here than it will be in practice! Asking someone to type "#inventory:numberofinputs:8" to find consoles/interfaces with more than 8 inputs would be obscene.

I'm used to (like Riley) the Filemaker concept- here's a field, and if it's a category setup ("Consoles") you select a sub category in another field that has its choices populated based on your entry into the first field. So, after selecting "consoles," you then have console options in the second field.

I might be missing something here. I don't see the correlation of email address fields with this project. =-\

Ray


It's actually easier.  Have you used any software with tags such as Office 365?  The old style fields you refer to would be replaced with empty web cells.  As you type the selections (some of which would be prepopulated to make sense like consoles, speakers, microphones etc. for device type as you mention). 


So once we agree on the container hierarchy.  To be it starts with two large groups things and places.  From that point on we can drill it down.  How we describe things and places.


The whole idea of this in my opinion is to add "where is my stuff" to "when I work".  When I work is a fully object oriented PHP scheduler.  Could you take a few minutes to go to their website and watch the trial video to get an idea how object tag fields work.


Here is a shot of a schedule box:


Tags are also great for experts because once you get fast at the system you can go to the search box and type site:pj and get all the gigs at PJ McCintyre's.  I have been using WhenIwork for about 60 days now and it is nothing short of amazing.  Already reached out to the developers about my Whereismystuff plug in.  They have other industries that have developed plugins.


The API for WhenIwork is what is called a restful interface (again see below) and allows developers to quickly create these mashup relationships.


I don't want to get too excited (though I really am) but imagine the "where is my stuff" interface becomes the single point of truth for all your configuration data?  We could easily store IP info, mappings, templates, scenes etc. and even launch you into the vendor app for configuration of the actual item.  If you using one of the asset tagging services we would use their geo tracker API to display a map of where your gear is.  Google provides a map API that let's you embed driving directions or birdseye Google Map data in your app all you do is pass them the address.


Since the app runs in a browser all these mashups are created with XML/Frames and rendered behind the scenes with no code required.


It's not your Daddy's linear code.


Filemaker is stone knives and bearskins.  The speed at which you can develop in these nextgen platforms is nothing short of amazing. 











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Ray Aberle

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Re: Feature List
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2017, 03:58:43 pm »

I've certainly used Office 365, but not the tagged version, just the traditional versions with files and such. So I don't have that frame of reference yet, sorry!

I assume you mean "whereiwork.com" for your "go to their website;" but there's no info on object tags. =-\ This might be a "waiting until you have a demo" period for me, just to see it IRL as to how this all flows through!

I agree with Kevin that having the scheduling built in to this project would certainly be nice...

(And I'm glad you understand all of this, Scott. I remember turn-of-the-century stuff, and that's really when I was last involved in major web tech-- things have certainly grown. Although that brings up another point- making this project be something that's browser independent. Requiring the use of one browser only would suck, and go against the whole concept of the internet in general.)

-Ray
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Feature List
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2017, 04:04:35 pm »

I've certainly used Office 365, but not the tagged version, just the traditional versions with files and such. So I don't have that frame of reference yet, sorry!

I assume you mean "whereiwork.com" for your "go to their website;" but there's no info on object tags. =-\ This might be a "waiting until you have a demo" period for me, just to see it IRL as to how this all flows through!

I agree with Kevin that having the scheduling built in to this project would certainly be nice...

(And I'm glad you understand all of this, Scott. I remember turn-of-the-century stuff, and that's really when I was last involved in major web tech-- things have certainly grown. Although that brings up another point- making this project be something that's browser independent. Requiring the use of one browser only would suck, and go against the whole concept of the internet in general.)

-Ray


No it's wheniwork.com


I think we are having a terminology issue.  If you click new email in office 365 and start typing in the to: field the names pop up.  Those are floating tags.  They then create an object (the oblong button) that you can drag around and reorder.  It's all the same thing.



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Ray Aberle

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Re: Feature List
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2017, 04:14:53 pm »


No it's wheniwork.com


I think we are having a terminology issue.  If you click new email in office 365 and start typing in the to: field the names pop up.  Those are floating tags.  They then create an object (the oblong button) that you can drag around and reorder.  It's all the same thing.

Sorry, I did mean wheniwork.com :) Still, nothing about object tags in their video section, but that's OK.

So, the reference in email, such as has been used for years in email, such as this-- where my name is now an object tag, and it can be moved from field to field? I've never heard those referred to as floating tags, but still, we have fixed fields that are in use, right?

Or did I miss the point?

-Ray
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Feature List
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2017, 05:05:54 pm »

Sorry, I did mean wheniwork.com :) Still, nothing about object tags in their video section, but that's OK.

So, the reference in email, such as has been used for years in email, such as this-- where my name is now an object tag, and it can be moved from field to field? I've never heard those referred to as floating tags, but still, we have fixed fields that are in use, right?

Or did I miss the point?

-Ray


What we have here is a failure to communicate.  If you were sitting here I could show you in 2 minutes.


That's not a webform you posted is it?


Everything about WhenIWork is tags.  You can drag them from date to date, people, places and shifts are the key containers.   


I am trying to move away from thinking in terms of fields and records and towards modern array based data structures.


Take a look at my email.  I sent one to myself.  That round thing is not my name but a tag to another data container.  When I click on it see the box on the right, that's all my info.  That tags another container....Then I click on another container and up comes a graphical view of my part of the overall organizational unit.


None of those are monolithic structures within the AD database.  They can all be freely related in context.



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Scott AKA "Skyking" Holtzman
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