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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.

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