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CD & DVD Replication

and Data Delivery Solutions

The Background

The planning team for an annual international technology conference approached us to tender for CD replication and printing work regarding the packs given out to delegates at the show. The CD-ROM contains all key technology papers being discussed at the conference and allows delegates to keep abreast of the talking points and better understand the key points.

We had replicated their previous year's CD and had gone to great lengths to sort out some technical problems they were having with their master. This time they asked us to come up with a solution.

The Brief

Our task was the authoring of an interface and Content Management System (CMS) for the delegate CD-ROM. The key requirements specified were:
  • Easy to use interface
  • Database to hold attributes of approx. 60 papers (i.e. title, author(s), abstract, file path)
  • Maximum compatibility across Mac and PC systems
  • Navigation to a paper via 9 pre-defined category selections
  • Search function to find papers by author, company/organisation, keyword in title/abstract
  • Preview function on interface enabling user to overlook a portion of the abstract before opening the full paper
During preliminary discussions with the client we explored the various options available. They felt that a web browser-based solution would be best for their users due to widespread familiarity with the format.

Technologies Used

  • HTML
  • Javascript
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

The Solution

We decided that the simplest user interface would allow everything to be operated from one screen. We split this screen into 3 panels, one leading onto the next:
  1. Search
  2. Select
  3. Launch
Search gives the user the ability to choose the category that interests them, from 9 pre-defined options. It also allowed a custom search by author, organisation, title or abstract.

The select panel displays the results of the user's search, pre-defined and custom. If more than one paper matches a search keyword they are all displayed.

Clicking on a paper in the select panel will load the details in the launch panel. Here you can preview the paper before opening the full document. Clicking Open PDF launches the chosen paper in the browser via the Adobe Reader plug-in.

Of key importance was compatibility, specifically in this case cross-browser compatibility. The finished product was tested with full success on Internet Explorer, Opera, Firefox, Safari and Google Chrome.

The client was extremely pleased with the finished application.