Firefighters Safety Association (FSA) is a nonprofit organization founded by firefighters for firefighters and, in addition to firefighter members, includes emergency medical technicians. FSA has two initial underlying goals: first, provide line-of-duty death benefits to families of fallen firemen for a reasonable annual membership fee; second, promote safety within the ranks of all firefighting personnel. FSA is a new organization, but needs a database to administer member needs and growth of the Association.
Develop new database application for potentially large membership organization, including members, fire departments, member representatives, and death benefits. For user demand, I chose Visual Basic 6 as project language and MS Access for creation of database tables. For report generation, I used Crystal Reports Software. Client required user friendly application, including search feature and automatic report generation.
The project can be broken down into two main phases. First, I had to understand the organization, how it gathered information, and planning the structure of the database required by the client. Additionally, I had to deal with a lot of changes demanded by the user. Principal among them was a language change. I started in Java but the client wanted Visual Basic because of perceived ease of maintenance. The second phase of the Project involved programming for a practical, easy-to-use database that will be working every day. I experienced my biggest problems with trouble shooting and working with the user to create the rapid prototype.
I was proud to be part of FSA's interesting and obviously necessary database project. I hope to continue to work with them as the organization grows. In the end, I completed my project and satisfied the fundamental database needs of a client who will use my software on a daily basis to serve its members. I learned a new language and other software that was used in the project. In summary the project was very valuable for my education and gave me first hand experience with a real client's database problems.
Advisor: Walt Turner