Tonight I sent out the first invitation email to half a dozen communities in Southern California extending an invitation for them to come and use the system and give me feedback as to what they think.
I had some time during the Memorial Weekend holiday and decided to sit down and do some coding. One of the projects on my list of things to do, has been to pull together some scripts that I’ve created over the years for generating nicely formated community rosters based on the National eMembership system.
Several years ago I took over the maintenance of our communities roster. As the time we had one list that was maintained for the printed roster, another that was used for the phone tree system, yet another that was used annually for printing ballots, and all these were separate from the list maintained by National. One of the first things I did was to standardize on the National list as the source for all the other lists we used.
This forced us to proactively clean up the National list and keep it clean. Once I made the decision to use the eMembership system as the source, I began to use export files from this system and write merge letters and form for generating our printed roster and annual ballots and such.
Eventually this process became streamlined enough that my scripts were not changing much and had become pretty stable. I eventually got the idea to try to pull my scripts together and create a site that others could use to benefit from my scripts. This weekend was when I finally got a chance to realize this dream.
I began coding a site using an open source project I’m involved with called CFWheels. It is a port of the Rails project to the CFML language and runs on the Adobe ColdFusion engine as well as the open source Railo engine.
Saturday and Sunday were spent building the framework of the application and creating the basic login, signup, password recovery systems. By Monday I was ready to start working on the actual PDF generation scripts. I pulled most of that together and wanted to get others into the system to kick the tires and get feedback. So I started to get ready to invite a handfull of users from the surrounding communities to test the system.
So I published the code on one of my domains and the eMembership Roster Creator system was born.