These are projects posted by the students of Dr. Gove Allen at Brigham Young University. These students have taken one semester-long course on VBA and generally have had no prior programming experience

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Byron Mackay - Mariner Add-ons

My project consists of two Excel VBA programs that open and operate an online project management tool called Mariner. BYU uses this system to keep track of their own projects, but the system falls short on speed and batch capabilities. Therefore, I decided to focus my project on speeding up the process through VBA and Excel.

Attribute Creator
Within Mariner, a user can create custom screens with the information of their choosing. However, to make a screen the designer must first make the UI objects and attributes within the database as you make them. One screen can contain as many attribute objects as needed, but to create a large number of attributes can be time consuming. This is due to two things:

1. The naming convention of the attributes must be very specific

2. While we’re creating the attributes, Mariner saves each attribute one at a time to the database. (I make a check box, Mariner saves it. Then I can make another check box.)

The attribute creator in Excel allows a user to create as many attributes outside of Mariner and then saves them all at once to the program's database. This should free up the user's time considerably as well as provide documentation as to what attributes where created.

Batch Save to the Database Process
Mariner keeps project statistics up to date. When a project summary is opened, the UI is updated with information from the database. However, the database only updates statistics that are given to it. That is to say that the database doesn’t calculate statistics based off other statistics.
This problem manifests itself when large reports are created based off the information in the database. If the information has not been saved, then the database will present data with noticeable errors. Therefore, I created a batch process that goes into Mariner and saves all of the projects through the program thereby updating the database with the correct information.

Overall, these two processes should increase (1) user’s effective time through the attribute creator and (2) the accuracy of data through the batch save process.

Attribute Creator
Batch Save
Project Documentation PDF
Project Documentation Doc

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