Asset Collaboration Tool


Overview

The Asset Collaboration Tool is as it's name might suggest, is a collaboration tool that I designed and built as an employee of TBA Digital Inc. The business case for the project was client demand for a central hub that staff in all marketing divisions of the client's organization could use to access and share materials. A key requirement of the project was confidentiality, and namely the ability to centrally control the content for the system. An integrated upload tool capable of large file uploads, real time progress, automatic document conversion, automatic search indexing, and granular user permissions control make administering this system a simple task.

Technical Specifications

Under the hood, there is quite a lot going on with the ACT. Built on a CentOS 5.7 back end, with Tomcat, and MySQL; the system leverages the Openoffice 3.2 Java API's, ghostscript, and the iText PDF library to automatically convert every page of every document into image formats for thumbnails, and for easily building online presentations. Additionally the system automatically extracts the text from uploaded documents and stores them in a MySQL full text indexed database for snappy performance during content searching in situations like auto-complete fields. The system is fully compatible with over a dozen file formats including Microsoft Office formats, PDF, word perfect, and open office.

In the front end, a combination of the YUI upload utility and the Apache Commons file upload library provides robust upload capabilities with real time progress feed back. Sophistication is added to the user experience by leveraging my custom JavaScript views from the yTunes project in order to provide drag and drop capable, inline editable, list, thumbnail, and cover flow views. Finally the system features a custom presentation builder that allows users to pull individual pages out of certain documents to quickly build online presentations, which is re-enforced by the ability for the user to create custom shortcuts to these, as well as other documents.

My Contribution

This project was an end to end employment of my skill set. My involvement began early on in the sales phase where I engaged the client with needs analysis consultation, and used this exposure in combination with some technical creativity to win the project for TBA Digital ahead of their de-facto vendor. From there I conducted several specification rounds in close collaboration with the client, beginning with technical specifications, moving through to functional specifications, and finishing up on work flow specifications. The level of detail with this documentation was such that I was in a good position to provide accurate cost and timeline estimations. After liaising with TBA Digital creative during the wireframe and graphic design stages it was time for production to begin. I handled everything here, server installation and configuration, database design and administration, server side scripting with JSP and Java Servlets, as well as front end development of XHTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Finally, I was heavily involved in the QA phase, as well as with the compilation of training documentation & video delivered via webex.

Asset Collaboration Tool.
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