Project: Exposing internal logs to clients

published on July 30, 2007

Time range: 
September 2006 to November 2006
As a: 

Whenever a client asks to collect money of a debtor, NIAB and BID will create a new Excel file (starting from a specific template) and then describe the progress in that file. First they contact the debtors and ask them nicely to pay the money. If they won’t pay, legal pressure is used to force them to pay.

While this process works, it isn’t very open: the clients don’t really know what’s happening, unless they call for a status update. The goal was to offer a simple, reliable and secure online application for their clients to check how their cases were progressing.

However, the Excel files were in a format that could not easily be imported or processed by the web application. These files were also linked to each other, with links that only worked on that specific pc. Additionally, there were exceptions where the links would be incorrect, were the format of the files would deviate, etc. To work around this, I had to write an offline application that would transform the (large) set of linked, relatively unreliable Excel files into a managable set of .csv files, that could directly be uploaded for use in the web application.