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  • Need help...

    I have been tasked with finding and implementing an electronic passdown log. I guess the old fashioned days of using a notebook are gone.

    I am sure there is some kind of software out there, I was hoping one of you may have heard of something like this.

    Thanks,
    Craig
    Craig

  • #2
    Is there an inhouse computer department? They could set up a database, with whatever security controls you need.
    InHouse translates into company savings getting you on your way to employee of the month....
    Quote me as saying I was mis-quoted.
    Groucho Marx

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    • #3
      Yes, we have an IT department. I guess I could ask them about it. Thanks.

      Still looking for suggestions though.

      Craig
      Craig

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      • #4
        Impossible to advise you properly without more information and there are lots of ways to tackle your problem depending on whether you're talking about a Web-based application, a local application involving just the equivalent of paper forms, a database application, etc.

        For a fairly simple, local application, you might look at PrimaSoft. They have a basic database applicationfor $75 (you can try it free, though) and then you can add any of a jillion templates to the database to customize how the DB works. Once you buy the database, the templates are free.

        For instance, here is a view of their "Notes Journal" template, which looks very much like a logging solution to me. You can enter date, time, type of incident, and then add a variety of kinds of notes, etc to the entry. You can customize these templates, incidentally. You can impose your own rules on fields to assure consistent entries, the key to a useful database. For instance, "Category" in this template could be the Post Identifier, or it could be the type of incident. Notice that you create a drop-down list here. Being a database, you can then search on the information entries in various ways, also...for instance, "unlocked door". You can sort, filter, and browse the records.

        If I were looking for a single-post, easily managed solution and yet one that has basic database capabilities for searching, etc., I would seriously consider something like this.

        Incidentally, PrimaSoft has templates, etc. for managing everything from small business inventory to your collection of old Elvis Presley records, so it's a very interesting site to browse around.

        CAVEAT: Unless you pay some money, solutions (like Primasoft) will NOT give you certain security features such as the ability to lock records, track changes to them, etc. This means, for instance, that someone with access to the computer could come along and edit or even delete records. However, there are some work-arounds to this problem, such as installing the whole software package inside a Cryptainer "vault", etc. This would then be hidden, and would only be accessible to those who have been granted permission to the vault. If you also implement key logging in the vault, you would know at least know who did what should something bad happen. There is also the expedient of daily backups and hard-copy printouts.

        None of these measures are the same, however, as a database that has built-in internal controls to PREVENT unauthorized activity in the database. Even so, if you were to do daily backups and hard-copy printouts (say, for a shift) which are secured, I think for the level of application you're referring to, this would be sufficient.
        Last edited by SecTrainer; 11-15-2007, 05:01 AM.
        "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

        "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

        "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

        "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

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        • #5
          That is exactly what i was looking for and the $75.00 is worth it.

          Thank you!

          Craig
          Craig

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          • #6
            I developed a basic 1 write system for data logging usind an excel macro many moons ago (it did rostering as well). It was designed to keep entries simple and confidential - however it was scrapped as when someone new came on site, or a review from people returning on leave was not possible to see what went on - it became and issue. We are trialling a PDA system now for something similar but these are for each person from LPO, RLPS, RLPM and State LPM and so far have been so good. But of course the number of entries is limited due to the size of the users.

            A few questions, security of backups, security of software, what to do in a blackout or power or PC failure and $75.00 sounds a very good investment.
            "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

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            • #7
              For the blackouts we have everything on battery backup and a 12 to 15 hour generator, so we will have enough time to save everything to network drives.

              As for the security of the software and backups, I will have our IT Security department give it a look over before we purchase it. We also have this great program called "automate". It automatically backs up all of our security files nightly to a closed network. I could easily add the journal to it's nightly task list.
              Craig

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              • #8
                Sounds good then Craig. I ran a whole access control system for 24 hours off a notebook PC just to see if it could be done with a Battery Backup and UPS built into the building's design just for this scenario - we could go 48 hours but it worked fine and we did have a grandfather, father and son backup system as well.
                "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

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                • #9
                  Craig S, I don't mean to nitpick but how often do you exercise those batteries or is battery backup of the newer generation that periodically runs and tests itself and provides operational data? How often do you run that generator set? Is the generator set automatic or manual start? Final question, is the general set run at full capacity and when you test, do you have to notify everyone or is it a seamless operation?
                  Recently I had a client have a spot of bother with these things that is what prompted the questions.
                  Enjoy the day,
                  Bill

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                  • #10
                    As we were running a Data Centre, it was checked every 2 hours by us and every hour 2 hours by the NOC (network manager) as without it no-1 could get in. Every month we ran disaster scenarios and I do know we had failures that is why we made our testing so much harder. Murphy's law can prevail at the worst time too.
                    "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

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                    • #11
                      We run full generator tests every Friday morning and they are checked monthly by a contract service agreement. Because our business relies critically on pc's, our generators are programmed to pop on almost immediately when they sense any type of influx in the power supply. This gives us the necessary time to switch everything to our mirrored satellite facility in Phoenix.

                      With the with the weather in Tampa Bay, Florida, we use our UPS several times a year. We experience brownouts frequently and the UPS hasn't failed us yet. I just had it upgraded too.
                      Craig

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Craig S View Post
                        We run full generator tests every Friday morning and they are checked monthly by a contract service agreement. Because our business relies critically on pc's, our generators are programmed to pop on almost immediately when they sense any type of influx in the power supply. This gives us the necessary time to switch everything to our mirrored satellite facility in Phoenix.

                        With the with the weather in Tampa Bay, Florida, we use our UPS several times a year. We experience brownouts frequently and the UPS hasn't failed us yet. I just had it upgraded too.
                        Craig S, good for you! You are thinking ahead. Many people who live and work in the "lightning capitol" of the US have learned the hard way. Lightning is not the only enemy of switch mode devices there are the other vagaries of power generation, distribution and configuration of the electrical system within the structure.
                        Enjoy the day,
                        Bill

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