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[SLUG] Re: slug Digest, Vol 26, Issue 8

Matt Ledger wrote:

Can you give some concrete idea of what this software has to be able to do? I'm not finding anything immediately handy from the FaCS website.

Given that you have a decent idea of what would the software would need to
do, finding a commercial company to do the development might be a bit
tricky, but perhaps you could pay someone to spearhead development in an OSS
model?  Without knowing what needs to be done, I can't suggest any sort of
costs, timeframe, or likely model, but if you've got that info it'd be
possible to do some sort of analysis and come up with a viable plan.

Since this system appears to be dealing with money, perhaps some custom
scripts and/or reports in front of an accounting package like GNUcash or SQL
Ledger might be all that's needed?  Presumably the FaCS reporting
requirements are available, so it should be possible to write something to
produce that format, if the data has been collected somewhere up the line. I hear that the schootool system is coming along nicely; perhaps it would
have some or most of the necessary gubbins in it already.

The hard sell part of the entire operation is going to be getting enough
other childcare places to cough up dough.  *You* see the benefit, but a lot
of other places probably won't so easily, and certainly won't want to switch
software packages away from something they're comfortable with.  Also, since
you're working from zero capital, getting them all to cough up the dough in
*advance* of getting something useful (since you're going to need to pay
people before they'll do so much work for you).

- Matt
Ta Matt,

I'm going to have a look at the software this evening, just before the committee meeting. That way I can get a much better idea of what parts of it appear to be specific to the reporting/financial admin elements required by FACS. To-date I've only spoken to the staff about what it does. I agree, I need to have a better idea of what is required.

I'll certainly post back.

Your comments about the financial side of things is very true. I'm going to try to work on the 'the true cost is having to get new PCs to run each Windows upgrade as well as pay for the upgrades of the program' argument; see how that goes :) You possibly quite right too about what it produces may in fact not be that 'fancy smancy' anyway - where I work it's amazing how much they pay for so little... speaking of which, they've just upgraded to XP (for what we need to do, a huge waste of money. Actually, I'll rephrase that - "A huge waste of money" period). We also had a new software package installed a couple of years ago and when accessing a record we were told we had to 'drill into it' - you had to click on a hyperlink! :)) I asked the trainers what the difference was... and the answer was "well, you're drilling into a record" - two questions later and we agreed that they were paid by the company to train people how to use it, they hadn't created the jargon.

Thanks for the advice and questions. I'll let you know how I go.

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