John Barclay


IEP-Q Quality

This help site was created to assist education professionals to improve Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for students. The site is driven by Drupal with several custom modules for developing IEPs through wizards. An excellent example of how Drupal can distribute editing to content experts (a handful of Graduate Assistants and Professors); coding to the programmers (Myself); presentation layer to the design person; and nitty gritty of user management, authentication, etc. development to Drupal core code. This keeps costs down, reliability up, and keeps the site up to date without waiting on developers to make small changes.

Lincoln Trails Annual Profile Summary

The Lincoln Trails APS is used by libraries throughout the region to report their annual activities, population served, grants, holdings, staff, etc. to Lincoln Trails Library System. It gives LTLS a sense of their member institutions' state.

Primary Technologies: PHP, Filemaker Pro Advanced Server 8, Apache, Mac OS X server.

Problems Solved: Taking a set of 30+ forms and automating the backend editing of questions, form inputs, etc. so Lincoln Trails staff could easily configure the forms from year to year without developers. Forms are confgured in Filemaker. The second major task was building an intuitive navigation scheme for the form set.

PolyTalk: A Library Interpreters Network

PolyTalk is the first statewide effort to provide telephone-based interpretation services to all Illinois libraries.  Website allows library staff and volunteer interpreters register, update profiles, search for available interpreters and record session results. Architected and developed the web interface using PHP and FX.PHP. PHP Smarty templates were used in presentation layer to allow PolyTalk staff to easily edit froms from Dreamweaver. PolyTalk received the SirsiDynix Building Better Libraries Award in 2007 at the American Library Association Conference..

Primary Technologies: PHP, Filemaker Pro Advanced Server 8, Apache, Mac OS X server.

Problems Solved: Connecting volunteer interpreters with patrons via library staff requires a very handy user interface for multi-tasking library staff. Filemaker connectivity limitations such as limited ODBC and lack of PHP, Perl, etc classes for database connectivy.


A web publishing system used in the College of Education official web site and several grant web sites. Authors use Macromedia Contribute to edit web page content. Faculty research data, biographical data, departmental data is stored in SQL Server database. Other data is stored in various formats (Google API via SOAP, UIUC Web services Calendar data via XML over HTTP, etc). All of this data is aggregated into XML and via XSL inserted into the College's web templates. I designed the server architecture and wrote all the COM objects and XSLTs.

Primary Technologies: XSL, XML, CSS, Javascript, XHTML, COM, Active Server Pages, VB Script, IIS 6 Web Server, SQL Server 2000, SOAP.

Problems Solved: Authoring College web content required technically skilled authors which took role away from department staff who knew content best. Difficult to migrate from one design to another because of disparate authoring tools and templates used throughout College.

Form Processor

An in house web-to-database form generator used as the backbone of the College Intranet. This application drives over 200 web database forms and makes creation and maintenance of web forms much easier than traditional web application platforms such as ASP, PHP, and Cold Fusion. Architected with ASP, COM, XML, and XSL the application allows developers to configure questions, sections, indexes, security, validation, and other elements of web-to-database forms by simply editing form configuration tables via a Microsoft Access interface. The configuration tables that drive the forms also document the forms and database tables they populate. Global changes to html, javascript, CSS, data types, validation, etc. can be made to all forms as browsers, standards, reusable questions, and default intranet designs change. Individual questions, forms, and indexes can have a custom look through custom XSL fragments.

Primary Technologies: Active Server Pages, COM objects, XSL, SQL Server 2000, XHTML, Javascript

Problems Solved: Growing number of individual web-database applications posed long-term maintenance and documentation threat. Developing web-database applications from scratch used excessive labor.

Group Management Suite

Active Directory (AD) groups are a powerful means of controlling access and permissions to everything from web servers, to file space, to exchange groups, to database objects. The College of Education uses a suite of in-house developed Group Management tools to automate the population of AD groups. This toolset capitalizes on existing College staff and Banner student data, automating a potentially onerous task, while also providing a user-friendly web interface for designated College power users to manually maintain AD groups. AD groups are more accurate, network administrators are relieved of tasks, and the investment in central databases provides yet more returns. The College's DBA (Kim Nystrom) and I developed the suite with my focus on the web interface (Group Manager) and Group Reconciler

Primary Technologies: Active Directory, Microsoft SQL Server 2000, VB Script, Active Server Pages, ADSI, LDAP

Problem Solved: Population and synchronization of group membership and group logic in disparate mediums.

Presentation Layer Unification System (PLUS)

PLUS is a general architecture for the College of Education for taking documents that are primarily intended to be delivered in HTML format (web forms, web pages, and other web applications) and delivering them in PDF and RTF formats. While an architecture starting from a more generic document format than HTML (such as DocBook or XForms) is better suited for generating print documents, I decided against this because of the College's large number of existing documents and applications using HTML and the lack of easy to use WYSIWYG editors for DocBook and other generalized markup languages. The PLUS system basically involves application developers creating a pre-print html document with additional metadata for print mediums from their existing HTML documents and applying a preprint HTML to XSL-FO XSLT From there JFor and FOP are used to produce RTF and PDF files.

Primary Technologies: XML, XSL, XSL-FO, FOP, JFOR, Apache.

Problem Solved: Avoiding multiple instances of code for generating print version of documents.

First In First Out Profit and Loss Calculation System

Worked in Perl and C with others at On the Job Consulting to develop profit and loss calculation system for Trimark/Knight Securities third market stock trading company. Challenges in this project were finding bad data and efficient processing of hundreds of thousands of transaction per day.

Primary Technologies: Perl, C, SyBase RDBM system

Problem Solved: Processing massive amounts of data with new P-L model.


Center for Women In Transition Database

Developed Filemaker Pro Client/Server database, documentation, and training for internal communication and government reporting.

Primary Technologies: Filemaker Pro and Filemaker Pro Server.

Problems Solved: Communication of staff working in different locations and different shifts. Aggregation of single set of demographics into five different government reporting formats each with different rules.

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