Custom JQuery Calendar Plugin

This tool provides a graphical responsive web application to facilitate a remote team managinag a 24x7 out of hours support rota.

Planning a rota with a remote team can be difficult, especially when eveyone has the option to select which days they are able to cover.

The Problem

  • The rota was populated historically by an Excel spreadsheet being sent to everyone that took part in the 24x7 support rota.
  • It was often the case that multiple people would select the same day and would then need to make adjustments
  • It was very difficult to acertain the current state of the rota as there were multiple versions of it
  • The final rota was stored on a network folder that was not accessible when out of office
  • It was difficult to see at the end of the month who was getting the most days on call

The Inputs

  1. Team Members
    1. Their Availability
  2. A rota period
    1. From date
    2. To date

The Requirements

  1. All team members must be able to access the rota at all times so they can see when they are next on call and to find out who is on call
  2. Each team member must be able to edit their own days on the rota but not for other members
  3. The department manager must be able to edit the days for all the members
  4. A report of how many days cover each member has for the rota should be available
  5. It must be possible to create new rota periods
  6. It should be possible to email the current rota to the team members
  7. The team members must log in before they can make any edits

The Implementation

  • An AWS VPS instance was created to host the application
  • A LAMP stack provided by bitnami was installed on the server
  • A domain and SSL certificate was configured
  • Server side a small PHP API was created to feed JSON data to the client side application
    • Each Rota Period is stored inside an independent JSON file on the web server
    • A small mariadb was created to help with the user management
  • Client Side a jQuery application was created that could update via asynchronous calls to the server
    • The jQuery application asynchronously calls the API to retrieve the team members for the month that is being viewed
    • It builds a styled responsive table with the JSON results
    • The calendar jQuery application has a tool bar with specific functions
      • Graph - an SVG bar chart graph to show the distribution of rota day assignments
      • Email - a button to email the rota to the team member
      • Settings - for the manager to edit the other members days and to add/remove members from the rota
    • The data input to the application is performed by clicking on a day, if a member is logged in, a request is sent to the server to assign that day to the user, if the member is not signed in the request is not made.
    • When a day is assigned the pay rate is added to the day i.e. you get 50% of a full days rate for a week day cover and you get 100% for a weekend cover.

 

Conclusion

 The application has been in use now for abotu two years and has been adopted well by the team. The old spreadsheet has been scrapped now as well.

  • jQuery
  • PHP
  • JSON
  • MySQL
  • AWS Light Sail
  • Domain Management
  • Email Integration
  • Vector Graphics
  • CSS
  • HTML


Screenshot from 2019-07-01 19-52-59.png

Screenshot from 2019-07-01 19-52-59.png