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Social Services Consumer Portal

October 15, 2009
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When working with this Social Services Consumer Portal, we have had some trouble getting out of the gate and begin our implementation process. Bill Matson, our project coordinator at Pathways, gave our group a set of objectives that turned out to be different from our expectations as well as the expectations from Professor Vempala. We have been corresponding through email with Professor Vempala, Bill, and Protip Biswas who gave us the presentation on homelessness.

In summary, the main problem was that Bill required us to create a completely separate database from the Pathways’ user database or the database of the agencies. In order to pre-qualify an end-user to see if they are eligible for a social service, we would need to capture the required data from the various agencies and put it on our database. However, all of this data is already on the Pathways database and our database would lead to information redundancy and might not be scalable as new organizations get added. However, after much deliberation, we have been granted access to the database as long as we define our portal to be separate system to comply with the federal regulations.

Today, we are creating a very basic initial interface. We would like the user to be able to enter his information and see his data. Bill has provided us with SSH and http access and dummy user account information and dummy data. All of the dummy data is in the same format as the Pathways’ database. We are creating our interface based on this data and once this is working correctly, we can then connect it to the Pathways’ database for actual user trials.

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