Hurley ePatrol

Posted on Feb 01, 2008
Jan. 2007 - Nov. 2007
Technologies: Visual Studio 2005, C#, .NET Compact Framework, PHP 5, MySQL, LDAP, Microsoft Exchange Server, Prototype AJAX framework, GNU Barcode, Linux and Apache 2

Hurley Corporation is a cleaning company with large contracts such as the Eaton Centre and the Toronto International Airport. To ensure customer satisfaction, they needed a way to track employee activities in real time. The requirements were clearly split into two main parts. A handheld application and an online reporting & management tool.

First, I wrote a Windows Mobile application using the .NET Compact Framework for the Symbol MC70, which allows employees to report when work is completed over the cell network. For example, when a washroom is cleaned, the employee uses the ePatrol application to scan a barcode on the wall and check off what work was completed (eg. spill cleanup). The application also requires the staff member to scan their staff id badge when they start their shift, allowing the building manager to track employee shifts including when they take their lunch. Every few minutes the application uploads the latest activity to the main database via the cell network (assuming a connection is available).

The second part of the project was an online reporting & management tool allowing building managers and clients to view the data collected in a meaningful way. For example, a building manager might want to see what a specific employee has been working on, or a client may wish to see when a specific hallway was last vacuumed. This part of the application was written using PHP & mySQL and included LDAP integration with Hurley's main Microsoft Exchange Server user database. The online tool also made use of GNU barcode to allow building managers to create new staff barcodes and new location barcodes.

At the time of my departure from Commercial Design, this project had succussfully completed a pilot test at a few of Hurley's more high profile locations, and a budget was in the process of being improved to roll out the application to all of Hurley's thousands of employees. Another programmer was hired and brought up-to-speed on the project to deal with any ongoing maintenance issues or additional requests from the client.

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Mike at Chance Cove, NL - photo by Angelina Friskney,