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Information Technology Institute (ITI)

Visual Basic Project

This is the longest module in the present curriculum.  During this module we were introduced not only to the Visual Basic programming environment, but Object Orientated programming and methodologies to aid and formalize the design process.

Our initial project consisted of a rapid application design (RAD) of a 2-tier prototype application.  This allowed the team to discuses the layout of the application forms and develop some of the form level validation for use in the final project.  The prototype linked to the database using an ActiveX Data Object (ADO) Control. 

Once the prototype was completed we received a set of 'Use Cases' which described the business rules of the placement agency.  From these rules we created a set of GUIDS documents, incorporating UML diagrams to describe the proposed application.  An overview and download of the GUIDS and UML documents are available.

A demonstrated of the final application for a placement agency recruiter resulted in very positive feedback.  One such comment was that, one of the features of our application was better than the commercially available software.

The final application consists of 10 Forms, 5 ASP pages and 14 Class Modules.   The following description will describe some of the forms used.  Some of the code can be viewed here.

List of Forms

MDI and Login Forms
Applicant
Company
Position
Position Search
Applicant Search
Excel Chart
ASP Pages

MDI and Login Forms

On start up all application forms are loaded and hidden except the Login and MDI forms.   To access the application the user must enter a valid user name and password.   The user name is automatically loaded, using the user name supplied by operating system.  The MDI form uses a dynamic tool bar which enables quick access to the major application forms.  The tool bar only shows the buttons that are associated with the present form being viewed.  For example the search forms can not added or edit data in the data base, therefore fore the Add and Edit buttons are hidden. The button for the active form is also disabled whist the form is being viewed.

VB_MDIform.jpg (10717 bytes)

The MDI form has a menu bar that can be used to access some of the less used forms, such as the Maintain Skills Form.  The menu bar also allows the use of access keys and shortcut keys.

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Applicant Form

The Applicant Form allows the user to maintain information on all applicants.  The information includes the applicants associated skills.  This was achieved using a skills collections class.  Applicants profiles are viewed by clicking on the applicant name in the list box.

VB_ApplicantForm.jpg (22291 bytes)

On all forms, entered data is validated at the form level.  This validation consists of the text box labels changing colour.  If a text box losses focus and the data fails the validation, the label turn red.  This was done as a gentle method to tell the user that the data will fail the validation in the business object level. If invalid data is passed to the business object a message box is used to inform the user of the problem.

To reduce the number of validation errors a phone mask was developed.  The mask limits the entered data to numbers and inserted the numbers into a pre-defined format (view code).

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Company Form

The Company Form allows the user to maintain information on all companies.

VB_CompanyForm.jpg (18239 bytes)

 

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Position Form

The Position Form allows the user to maintain information on all positions.  This form included a tree view to allow the company and associated positions to be displayed together. Additional features in this form included the ability to automatically Email all qualified applicants, information on the selected position. An Excel chart can also be viewed, describing the percentage of applicants with matching skills to the selected position (see Excel Chart below).

VB_PositionForm.jpg (25872 bytes)

 

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Position Search Form

This form allows the user to find positions that match an applicants skills.  The list of position are returned in order of the highest matching skill set first (see SQL statement below). On double clicking a position, the position profile is displayed in the positions form.

VB_SearchPosition.jpg (16471 bytes)

The search for matching positions is carried out using an SQL statement.  The SQL statement returns the position ID's and Title's in response to an applicants ID.  This was achieved by nesting a second SQL statement, to determine the applicants skill set, is the main SQL statement (view code).

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Applicant Search Form

This form works in the same way the as the Position Search Form.  The main difference is the matching skills are displayed. This was accomplished with a second SQL statement (view code).

VB_SearchApplicant.jpg (20250 bytes)

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Excel Chart

The Excel Chart is based on a SQL statement which returns the number of matching skills and the applicants ID.  The data is manipulated and imported into an Excel Spreadsheet object.  A Excel Chart object is then created and the data source set dynamically to the data range in the spreadsheet.  Once the chart object properties are set the Excel workbook is saved and all the Excel objects set to nothing.  On the load of the application's Excel form, the saved Excel workbook is loaded and the chart displayed.

VB_ExelForm.jpg (15881 bytes)

 

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ASP Pages

ASP pages were added to the application.  This allowed applicants to view a list of all available positions.  If a position is selected the profile of the position is displayed.  The applicant can apply for any of the listed positions.   This can be done by selecting the apply button.  The applicant is then taken to the application form were the position ID and system date are already entered.   The applicant enters their Placement Agency Applicant ID number and hit the submit button.  A thank you screen is then displayed confirming that the information was received.

The ASP for this part of the project linked directly to the application business objects.  As a result the ASP pages were fast and easy to develop. 

VB_VPA_ASPpage1.jpg (4741 bytes) 

VB_VPA_ASPpage2.gif (3163 bytes)  VB_VPA_ASPpage3.gif (2653 bytes)

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