Last week, I didn’t blog. Don’t know if you noticed. I really didn’t have time. I had a lot of things happening at work, and all of ‘em were tough.
Monday, I was notified by our ATR coordinator about yet another problem with the ATR search pages. I implemented, with a great smug grin of the Vaudeville hero, the fix I got from the programmer who’s the IT manager of the division with which we share the building. He did a bit of troubleshooting for us on one page a couple of weeks back because he owed our Quality Coordinator a favor. So, he solves a problem I bang away at for a week in about 10 minutes, and managed to make me feel inadequate and destroy the teensy bit of confidence I’d managed to build up all in one fell swoop. At least the bug was squashed.
So I put his fix in place, and you know what? Sure you do. It didn’t work.
So off to the debugger (I use Visual Studio because my free tool broke and my boss was kind enough to buy Visual Studio Professional for me when it did) I went. I spent hours poring over the code and still can’t fix the issue. (Now, it does what it should, but it repeats the results of the search so when there are a lot of records, the page gets long.)
I worked on that most of Monday and Tuesday, into Wednesday. Then I turned my attention back to Appmageddon, and tested an idea I had for solving my DAL (data access layer) separation problem. I found I could program dynamic link libraries, or dll files, once I learned what they were and how to create and deploy them in Visual Studio. And when those items came together, I tested with great success. I referenced my custom dll, and imported my custom dll, and my program was able to use the code in that dll just like it existed on my page. Awesome. I thought it was a very viable solution to my issue, since I can’t figure out how to reference and import an entire DAL program.
(Bryce, my buddy and programmer, doesn’t like the idea too much; he has good reasons for it and a ton of experience as a programmer I don’t have, so I give what he says credence. I’m not committed, but until a better solution comes along, I either have to put my data access code in every single page or I’m going to use my dll idea.)
Thursday, my boss called from North Carolina, where he’s visiting one of our manufacturing divisions for political reasons. He informed me the shipment report page I created (and deployed). He pointed out a couple of things on the open order report I created (and deployed) the day following the shipment report page. (I think I blogged about those major victories when they happened). After six months, I thought I’d slain those dragons, but here they are, rearing their ugly heads again.
One of the things he pointed out was easy to fix, so I took care of it. The other wasn’t easy to do, but wasn’t too time consuming either. I did those things on Thursday. Friday I decided to tackle the really hard one – getting a column from a different database table into the shipments table.
Now, I’d already done that in another way. So I just took what I did and enhanced it. Then, I realized I’d have to populate the column differently because not all the information sat in a single table. It goes like this:
I needed the part number and the manufacturing division from the shipment report.
Those both have to match a table in a different database so I can pull the division’s location zip code.
Then, I need the customer’s ship-to location zip code, so I have to also get the customer ship-to location from the shipment table.
I have a listing of the customer’s ship-to addresses in a different table in the second (non-shipment) database and so I have to pull the customer ship-to zip from there.
With the division’s zip and the customer’s zip, I can search a table in the second database (this is the third table now) which cross-references the customer and division zip code and produces the number of estimated days of transit based on standard UPS ground (said cross-reference having been built by hand using the UPS web site and some generic data about average shipment cargo weights, sizes, yada yada yada…)
Phew! So, it wasn’t a *poof!I operation, at all. But… I did it. I came home Friday night feeling like a million bucks and exhausted. I’d given my boss his wish list, not just the requirements. The only thing left to do is figure out how to format some dates when they’re exported to a spreadsheet (or before) so it saves a couple of steps in Excel. But that’s not a requirement, it’s another nice-to-have.
So Monday, I have to cover the ATR desk for the Quality Coordinator who’s using up the balance of her vacation before the end of the calendar year. And I’m going to have one day I have to burn in the next two weeks or I’ll lose it, too. And there’s my regular reporting to deal with, and the metrics report is coming up, and oh yeah, I almost forgot…
Appmageddon is due on the fifteenth. I haven’t started it yet. I’ve learned a ton of stuff (and I’m 71% of the way through my third video course, from which I’ve learned sooo much) and I’ve done a heckuva lot of research, but no results just yet.
How was your weekend? Sound off, y’all; I wanna know.