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Oxford College Student Database

The Problem

The University of Oxford has, in common with Cambridge University, a somewhat unusual method of storing its student data. Rather than using a single university-wide system, each College (there are 39 in total) is responsible for the administration of its own students.

St Edmund Hall had an inefficient system of various spreadsheets and Access databases, each kept by different members of staff. It was clear this system needed replacing, but less clear what it should be replaced with. OpenWorks took a prototypical approach to design, and supported the client from the early stages of determining its requirements right through to the deployment of the finished system.

The Solution

Initially, the client was unsure as to what exactly was required. OpenWorks built a prototype using Qt for the GUI front end and MySQL for the database engine. This prototype allowed the client to better understand its requirements for the final system, and during further discussions the design for the final system emerged.

ScreenShots from the Final System
Personal Form image
Personal Form
College: Exams image
College Form: Examinations
Archive: Academic Record image
Archive Form: Academic Record
The Result

OpenWorks staff worked both on- and off-site to install the system, manage the migration from the prototype, and support the client in using it. Even though it was very flexible, the final system was truly a "turnkey" system: i.e. staff could sit down and immediately start entering data into the system and producing reports. It was also a secure, multi-user system, with different users having access to different system facilities.

Additionally, users needed to be able to generate formal, high quality reports as well as export data based on arbitrary SQL queries. An intelligent interface was implemented to take away much of the work and knowledge generally required to design SQL queries. The results may be viewed as a table on-screen, exported as .csv files, printed, or used to generate custom reports.

Reports / Queries Interface
College: Exams image
Report: Query Overview
Universal Filter (Complex) image
Universal Filter: Complex
Universal Filter (Simple) image
Universal Filter: Simple



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