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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    10

    Smile Lady Working in DB again, RedCAP

    Hello! I have been working on and off with data and databases for 3 years. At the present, I have just accepted a 6 month position developing a RedCAP database for a medical research study.

    One challenge here is that it uses a GUI-intense PHP/MySQL system and, due to red tape protocols, my hands are tied re: using a more typical system. Yet I am committed to doing the best job I can, and to providing the users the best db possible for after I leave.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    In front of the computer
    Posts
    15,579
    You can do a fine job using PHP and MySQL.

    You can probably accomplish more, and leave a more supportable result behind when you leave if you use a framework/CMS such as Drupal or XOOPS. These will give your code and your site structure, and are generally much easier and less expensive to support than a "home grown" alternative. You give up a bit of creative freedom in exchange for a lot of ready to use code, a consistant user experience, and a much better shot at passing the code/data/etc to your successor!

    Note that both of these choices use PHP and MySQL, they just give you a framework to start from!

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    10

    RedCAP

    Hi Pat!

    Good points!

    The RedCAP DB system already has a lot of CMS style features built in. I will admit that I was feeling tempted to stray from it, in order to provide easier functionality.

    The system actually comes with an API for those who wish to use PHP to increase functionality.

    But, as you have mentioned, the less I stray the easier it will be to maintain for those who come after. And, because this is a medical research database, alterations to the accepted program would require institutional approval, a lengthy process when just taking time to support the end user would do.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    In front of the computer
    Posts
    15,579
    Ah, I see. I was thinking that you meant that you were creating a database to track red cap workers, essentially a chauffer or an attendant that works for hire to assist people. I wasn't familiar with using the term RedCAP to name a software package!

    You are correct, staying within the existing framework is by far your best option! It will frustrate you at first, but it will quickly become "homey" and will offer you an opportunity to get more work done faster, while providing both the survey participants and the research staff a much more consistant and usable environment!

    -PatP
    In theory, theory and practice are identical. In practice, theory and practice are unrelated.

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