Web-enabled application and information
        system for use by GAP year students
                        Tom Robinson  ...
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A Global Web Enablement Framework for Small Charities and Voluntary Sector Organisations (Poster)

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With more people gaining access to the internet every day, the web enabling of core services and business processes is becoming essential. There is a great deal of existing research covering techniques and approaches to web enablement for commercial and public sector organisations, but very little that is aimed specifically at small charities and voluntary sector organisations. Numerous studies have shown that charities often lag behind commercial organisations when it comes to their internet infrastructure and the extent of web enablement. This dissertation investigates the needs and issues which charities face, in order to define a number of key web enablement aims and objectives. Some problems are unique to the charitable sector whilst others apply to all types of organisations.

As most web applications can be accessed from anywhere in the world, globalisation is an inherent web development issue. A number of the most common issues associated with globalisation are examined and current best practice solutions suggested.

The Foundations, Fundamentals, Features and Future (F4) Framework is the outcome of the research into the situation, needs and issues faced by charitable organisations. It offers a simple but detailed framework designed specially for web enablement projects within charitable organisations. The framework is broken down into four key stages of web enablement – foundations, fundamentals, features and future possibility. Through the four layers, the framework covers key business drivers, internet access and security, error-handling techniques through to global database access and undeveloped future technologies.

The framework was developed and refined through research and work undertaken with GAP Activity Projects, a worldwide gap year charity. To demonstrate the implementation of the framework, GAP is used as a case study. A number of web and related applications are developed and evaluated including an online application system, mass mailing tools and an extranet application. The case study demonstrates a number of novel techniques that have been developed to solve some of the problems which were faced, including the use of XML as a data storage method and a unique form validation technique.

Although the evaluation of the framework shows that it meets well the objectives it set out to achieve, there are opportunities for improvement and future work. A number of future expansions possibilities are examined including the use of mobile technology and content management systems.

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A Global Web Enablement Framework for Small Charities and Voluntary Sector Organisations (Poster)

  1. 1. Web-enabled application and information system for use by GAP year students Tom Robinson Rachel McCrindle Shirley Williams School of Systems Engineering, The University of Reading Introduction What is GAP Activity Projects? What is GAP Activity Projects? Using a modular development approach, the existing static GAP Activity Projects is the largest year-out provider for 17 -- 20 GAP Activity Projects is the largest year-out provider for 17 20 website of GAP Activity Projects is being augmented with a year olds. A not-for-profit organisation providing a diverse range of year olds. A not-for-profit organisation providing a diverse range of number of value added interactive services. The first is voluntary work placements in 33 countries. Placements last between voluntary work placements in 33 countries. Placements last between online applications, followed by a community portal for use 3 -- 12 months and range from teaching English as a foreign 3 12 months and range from teaching English as a foreign by GAP year students and alumni. Later, services language, schools assistance, caring, medical and outdoor education language, schools assistance, caring, medical and outdoor education to environmental projects. On return, GAPpers can keep in touch to environmental projects. On return, GAPpers can keep in touch for volunteer and salaried staff will be developed for use in through the Alumni Club and join the Business Partnership Scheme through the Alumni Club and join the Business Partnership Scheme the offices across the world. for help with graduate recruitment. for help with graduate recruitment. Online Services When a young person applies to volunteer with GAP they currently complete a paper form posted with payment. The initial project aim is to develop an online application and payment system and a number of follow-on services. At the application stage the volunteer is given login details which will allow them to access further services as they are developed. Online Applications Future developments The online application system application is written in C# using ASP.NET. All information on the form is stored in an - opt-in newsletters XML file which is saved between sessions. Many of the form - personalised pages for schools fields are populated from the Core database, which contains - message boards the information required by GAP on a daily basis. - web-based email services - regional portals NT4 Domain Windows 2003 - global database access XML Web Edition - alumni features e.g. GAP Reunited Document - online donations CoreDB IIS 6 SQL Server ASP.NET (C#) Use of the .NET Framework Internal Browser GAP Activity Projects currently use a number of Microsoft systems for running the core of their business so .NET was the obvious solution for interoperability between the existing A subset of the information will be taken and stored in the systems and for expansion into the internet. The charity's CoreDB so that the standard business procedures for limited resources and global coverage require the necessary dealing with an applicant can take place. To replace the modules to be developed quickly and to be easily expanded traditional paper form an internal browser application will upon for future changes and business processes. allow staff to view, edit and print application forms. What is a Knowledge Transfer Partnership? What is a Knowledge Transfer Partnership? GAP Activity Projects Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (formerly TCS) are a partnership between a Company and a University who Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (formerly TCS) are a partnership between a Company and a University who http://www.gap.org.uk/ work together on a development project that is strategically important to the Company's future. Since the work together on a development project that is strategically important to the Company's future. Since the scheme started in 1975, over 4,000 projects have received UK Government support. Partnerships can cover +44 (0) 118 959 4914 scheme started in 1975, over 4,000 projects have received UK Government support. Partnerships can cover any important aspect of a business, where the Company needs an injection of knowledge or to capture any important aspect of a business, where the Company needs an injection of knowledge or to capture additional expertise. An MSc in Engineering and Information Science is a major part of the programme and additional expertise. An MSc in Engineering and Information Science is a major part of the programme and will be looking at A web development framework for incorporating individual identities within corporate The University of Reading will be looking at A web development framework for incorporating individual identities within corporate websites.. This will become particularly relevant in the later stages of the project when the modules websites This will become particularly relevant in the later stages of the project when the modules tom.robinson@reading.ac.uk developed are expanded upon and customised for each of the growing number of global offices, each with developed are expanded upon and customised for each of the growing number of global offices, each with +44 (0)118 956 2935 varying cultures, resources and business procedures. varying cultures, resources and business procedures.

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