We recently finished a project for the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) where we migrated old data from a variety of sources into a new, modern SQL database that our team modeled and implemented. In addition, we built a web application that allows DLCD staff (and, coming soon, county staff) to enter, view and edit the data.
For DLCD, this was a mission-critical project to take control over an ever-growing cacophony of data. We were given data that had been stored in Access, FileMaker and even Paradox. Our job was to model a new, modern database based in SQL Server, parse out (and clean up) the old data, and migrate it into the new database.
Our next step was to build a web application that would allow DLCD staff to enter, view and edit data. Something that – before now – only a limited number of people had the ability to do. Our web application offers a modern alternative to paper forms and business rules and logic have been built into the application to enforce quality in the data as it is entered. While not a revolutionary concept, this practical use of technology represents a major positive change for an agency that has struggled with data management in the past.
The new database/web application was recently launched and is already a hit among the DLCD staff. They will be using it internally for a few months before opening it up to the counties (the data originates at the county-level) for their staff to directly enter data.
As you can imagine, there were a lot of challenges along the way, but we worked with our client and moved past the challenges (did you see the part about the sources of data!?) to build them a tool that we feel will serve them for years to come.