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Putting a flexible "Front End" forms interface onto existing system

Posted on 2013-06-13
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Last Modified: 2013-06-15
Hi,

I have an existing system that handles complaints from the general public (for a large multi-national).
We manually key in about 20,000 complaint per annum.
There are currently 20 different types of FORM that the public could fill in.

I do not want to re-invent the wheel.  I wnat the public to enter their complaints via the INTERNET.

Is there any existing off-the-shelf software that I could use to design these forms and accept data on the forms that could then pass the data into my existing system.  I need a very professional WEB interface for the general public to use.

Hopefully you can understand my requirement!
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Question by:Patrick O'Dea
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Accepted Solution

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Rob Jurd, EE MVE earned 350 total points
ID: 39246747
Take a look at Adobe lifecycle
http://www.adobe.com/products/livecycle.html
 It provides a user friendly interface and can generate data for your existing system
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Author Comment

by:Patrick O'Dea
ID: 39246910
Thanks tagit,

The Lifecycle product looks like it might be just the product I want.

Are there any other companies providing a similar product?
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Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 39246947
Sometimes it is all about how you ask the question!  Make a Google search for "help ticket system" and see what you find.  There are many such systems, and among them you will find free and open-source systems!
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Jurd, EE MVE
ID: 39247059
Ray is right, there are heaps of ticket systems out there and worth considering. Given that you just need the front end done it would make sense to create just the forms at this point in time but down the track it may really benefit you to move to a complete system such as Ray is talking about
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Author Comment

by:Patrick O'Dea
ID: 39247079
Thanks for feedback.

The Adobe Lifecycle looks very much like what if need.
I should mention that the KEY factor is that my existing LEGACY system will remain in place.

Also, the web front end forms would typically contain up to 100 items of data.  So, the sophistication would be beyond some ticketing systems.

Are there are products similar to "Lifecycle"?.

(I ask so that, I can present my boss with more than one option!).
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Assisted Solution

by:Ray Paseur
Ray Paseur earned 150 total points
ID: 39247154
Given this:
I need a very professional WEB interface for the general public to use.
... and this:
I should mention that the KEY factor is that my existing LEGACY system will remain in place.
... It sounds like you're in for some serious application development.  If you're manually keying 20,000 complaints into 20 different forms, you might want to hire a UX expert to help reduce the number of forms into something that is sensible and manageable for the clients who complain.  Off-the-shelf forms design software (think SurveyMonkey, etc.) might get you part of a solution, but I think I would spend the money on UX expertise.  If you're getting 20,000 complaints a year, you want to handle them correctly and with alacrity.  You may be losing that many customers who do not complain, but simply "vote wiht their feet," too!
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Author Comment

by:Patrick O'Dea
ID: 39247170
Ray, thanks for your comprehensive answer. I hesitate to ask but .... What is UX?

:-)
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Expert Comment

by:Ray Paseur
ID: 39247215
It may be an Americanism.  It's a common industry abbreviation for User Experience.
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by:Rob Jurd, EE MVE
ID: 39249173
I have to agree. Having worked in web apps for quite a while now, I believe the key to reaching your customers is by spending the money on making the interface appealing but most of all,  user friendly. In fact we were building off a design and making the system work with it. Worked for Apple...
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Author Closing Comment

by:Patrick O'Dea
ID: 39250005
Thanks folks,
Excellent responses.

And I believe the UX probably is an Americanism !(Not previously familiar in Ireland as far as I know)
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