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Introduction:VCSU WebTools are a suite of custom web-applications designed to improve efficiency in the work-place. Applications such as a shared notebook system, polling software and various scheduling systems are among the utilities that have been developed thus far. Access requires a username and password. Cookies must be enabled on your Web browswer to access. For suggestions, questions or requests for the development of a specific web-database applications, feel free to contact David DeMuth to schedule a meeting.
Overview:The Web Tools are an evolving suite of Internet-based utilities designed to facilitate communication, productivity and efficiency in the work place. Our design philosophy is to identify any manpower intensive (likely paperwork) tasks whose completions could be optimized by utilizing a web-database interface. The systems we have built thus far are proving useful for team projects where workers are separated physically but must communicate progress in order to stay on task to ensure project completion.

The only requirement imposed on the user is an ability to navigate the World Wide Web using a contemporary web browser, and. Custom Perl scripts are used to interface a MySQL database hosted on a Unix or Linux web server. Access to the system is made secure by requiring access codes (username, password). Users are given an access level of 100-500 depending on their roles or responsibilities. General users (100) enjoy all features while level 500 is reserved for system administrators. Usernames are usually set to the name used in their email address, e.g. would imply a WebTools username of smith.

Project Notebooks: The Project Notebooks are a straight-forward system to record notes electronically for public consumption. Archiving and communicating project status, report building, public and private notes, and recording general procedures are what the system is designed for. The initial concept and design was driven by the MINOS Experiment which is comprised of researchers who are located around the globe, and which need to collectively monitor the construction and maintenance of a large particle detector being built underground in Soudan, MN. The features of the Notebook include:

  1. Platform independent method to archive notes traditionally recorded using pen and paper.
  2. User-indicated, time-stamped and optionally editable entries.
  3. Accepting of plain text or well-constructed HTML-based entries.
  4. Full searchability and entry emailing.
  5. Automated notebook creation by any user given access to the system
  6. Image (gif,jpg,ps,pdf...) and file (xls,doc,ppt,txt...) archiving (uploading)
  7. User specification allowing or restricting access to individual notebooks.

Polling System: A system to create ballots of questions, to vote and to view the results.

We function as an open source Linux-based software shop and strive to build modularity, portability and scalability into all of our wares. We are also responsive to integrating new features when prompted. UMC students Tim Gerla, Anders Berggman and Dr. David DeMuth are the principle designers for the WebTools project.

The original development of the WebTools project was sponsored by the Grant-in-Aid program located at the the University of Minnesota and by the kind support of the Frank W. Veden Trust.

Log in:
  1. Enter your username and password then select the Login button to access the system.
  2. Guest Access is allowed for selected packages. Try following this link if you are not a registered WebTools user.
  3. Follow the Request Access for immediate access - automated requests of accounts may be restricted to UMC/VCSU Faculty or Staff member.
  4. If you forgot your password or username, we provide an option for immediate retrieval via an email announcement. In this case, a new password is generated because we feel it is important encrypt stored passwords so that no WebTools administrators can know your password.
  5. When successfully logging in, an identification cookie will be placed on your machine to help to manage access.
  6. After 24 hours of inactivity, upon exiting your Browser or when logging out, the cookie will be removed.
  7. Contact the WebTools administrator with any questions.
CookiesCookies are a small chunk of data (4 kbytes) which your web browser can reference each time a page is loaded. This allowes web designers to build sites which are easier to use. The WebTools cookies houses your username and login time. By referencing this data, the WebTools system can simplify your life, e.g. keeping you from re-entering username, and ensure regular timeouts (86400 seconds) so as enhance security. The content of a cookie can be easily investigated. On MIE, see the "Temporary Internet Files" directory, on Mozilla-based browsers, a Cookie Manager is provided under the Tools or Options menu.
Log out:Select the Log Out link link located at the bottom of displayed pages to exit the system. After 86400 seconds of inactivity, you will be automatically logged out.
Help: Contact the WebTools administrator with any questions or concerns.
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