Team Name: SkyNet
Team Members: Austin Rasmussen, Cody Wuco, Derrick LeDesma, Jerod Nooner, Jehangir Khan, Li Pan, Patrick Thomas, Nick Goodie
Client: Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC)
Adviser: Prof. Haiquan Chen, Jinsong Ouyang
The Sierra Nevada Conservancy initiates, encourages, and supports efforts that improve the environmental, economic, and social well-being of the Sierra Nevada Region, its communities, and the citizens of California. The SNC is a California State Agency under the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA). One of the primary roles of the SNC is to administer grants for projects in the Sierra Nevada region.
SNC wants to automate their grant application and management system. We have proposed to create a web-based application that is devided into 4 key areas.
Client Application & Submission
- Functionality required for client application and reporting document submission as well as client status checking.
Staff Review & Report Generation
- Functionality required for staff to search and manage project details and documents as well as modify project and reports.
- Functionality required for SharePoint to be linked to the database and populate with relevant project information and documents, having data parity with the database, and having the backend to generate reports.
- Additional requirements including the need for ADA compliance, security requirements, having analytic reports, the ability to allow for multi-file submissions with specific filetype requirements, and having file to pdf conversion so the library of documents is consistent.
The initial solution was a webapp linked to a database that would store and manage all the applications and submissions.
SNC liked the idea, but was hesitant about moving entirely away from existing architecture, as staff were familiar with SharePoint.
We proposed having the staff-side interactions remain in SharePoint and have the database be the go-between.
Client was enthusiastic and liked this idea and wanted to move forward with this solution.
The client wants to consolidate their outdated paper and email submission format to an all-in-one online portal.
The client currently administers grant applications physically via mail/email, manually entering information into their SharePoint database. They want to make it easier to submit and automate information entries to save time for clients and staff.
Since we were using a rapid application development environment and no one on our team was an expert in it, we spent a large portion of our
time attempting to understand the complete functionality and attempting to learn the proper way to implement it.
When the time came to conduct testing, we found that Microsoft Test Studio was unavailable in the govt O365 environment we were operating in, so we had to pivot to solely Selenium for automated testing. Used Selenium for application submission, file upload, navigation testing. Manually tested browser compatibility, accessibility, content, and formatting.
A lot of time can be wasted on having all team members learn everything. Assigning members tasks based on the type of task or functionality would have been a great way to avoid excessive learning curves.
We were unable to rely on traditional git version control as Microsoft uses their own.Only one person could work on an application file at a time.We learned to improvise by working with multiple saves, also allowing us a work around for both issues.
Each of us were able to learn to navigate PowerApps to the point where we could create some minor apps and integrate them into an existing O365 environment.
Insights and Takeaways:
Even features that don’t turn out as you’d like can wind up serving a different, equally useful purpose. Communication is the lifeblood of progress, pauses can cause significant delays.