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I have a desktop application that is used for feedback management based on paper and email forms being completed and returned.
It is aimed at non technical users who just want to get the reports at the end of the exercise and relies on as little as possible IT intervention.
I am wondering about an implementation for running and processing a websurvey all managed from within the desktop application.
Am thinking of an idea where I can upload 2 files - 1 with the survey html and the other a flat file to save the results and once complete download the flat file and process results. I figure it should be ok to get their IT department to set up a folder on their website. What are your thoughts on this approach?
Would appreciate you input as to how to best implement this functionality.
Friday, October 17, 2008
"get their IT department to set up a folder on their website"
Are you talking about an intranet or the Internet?
There are free cgi scripts for things like guestbooks and reader feedback, that will output to plain text, but does the survey require any logic? Does one selection or answer determine what questions get asked later in the survey?
If there is any logic in your web survey (pun intended), it has to be implemented either client-side (most likely java-script) or server-side. If your logic is server-side, why write an application to output a plain text file when you could use the server-side application to insert data directly into an SQL database? Presumably, the data from your survey needs to be aggregated and summarized. If your output is stored in an unstructured file, you will then need to parse the data, before doing anything else with it.
"Are you talking about an intranet or the Internet?"
Both are equally likely.
It is hoped that the respondents will answer all the questions. There will be no logic to the presentation of the questions.
Because this will all be controllled from the desktop app all the heavy lifting will be done on the client - jasvascript. Hence my thoughts on pointing to a website folder and uploading two files and then once complete pointing to the folder again and downloading the datafile and optionally deleting the html form.
My app could be installed on a laptop.
I have no problem parsing the flat (xml?) file.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
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