[thelist] Designing a Centralized System to Handle Decentralized Data

Randal Rust randalrust at gmail.com
Fri Apr 20 16:17:00 CDT 2007

OK, hopefully the subject line at least raised some eyebrows. Here is
the situation.

We have 30 agencies that server thousands of service providers
throughout the state. Each agency processes payments that go out to
the service providers every month based on attendance records that are
submitted every billing period.

Right now, all of the providers submit their attendance records by
paper. They physically mark the attendance for each child and then
mail it in. Then the agency manually enters it into the application to
process payments.

What we'd like to do is create a centralized system that allows the
providers to enter their attendance.

Here are the issues we are faced with.

1. All 30 agencies are on different networks
2. The databases are not connected
3. The existing system is an old client/server model, so there are no
webservers in place

What I am thinking is that we'd have to create a centralized site that
allows the providers to login and enter attendance. Then every night,
a cron job would have to run at each agency that would pull the
attendance data down. There would probably be some data that would
have to be sent up to the attendance database as well.

The big concern is that the data doesn't get handled in real-time. At
least not from the end user all the way back to the agency.

Any suggestions?

Randal Rust
R.Squared Communications

More information about the thelist mailing list