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Global Link is an organization with hundreds of field workers performing mystery shopping or CATI or other research and data analysis services for their clients. Their top management needed of a custom tool to be able and monitor with one blink of an eye the work load and progress of their field work tasks.

Coding database scripts and creating counts/percentages is not that hard task. The hard task was that their main questionnaire system is based in Microsoft Ms SQL while all their other reporting and web hosting systems are based on LAMP servers (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP).


Jamming is privilege not only to gifted musicians but to gifted system designers and programmers.

By Panos Milis

They also asked that the reporting system should work in real time, meaning as they add / edit tasks or as tasks are getting completed by field workers in their questionnaire system reporting must be updated at all times. So we had to face a real time connection with messed character sets and other issues due to MS and LAMP completely different IT worlds, plus some severe customization in reporting.

We designed a system where admin users select the databases from Ms SQL and mark them as active. For the active databases they are able to mark each table / field also as active or inactive, plus they can edit the field name that holds the user unique code (is not the same in each table). This way they limit for users the number of the fields that they will see in their login area and have as active only the current projects that have unfinished tasks for them.

Users have limited access to information prepared by admins so they are in focus on their open projects and the number (also percentage) of tasks that they have to complete. A user just click on the FRESH tasks and gets a list of them where he can follow a direct link to the unfinished questionnaire so they can fill it at once within their browser tabs. A completed questionnaire is marked as FINISHED and is moved to COMPLETED tasks in realtime.

System admins can -in a blink of an eye- see the work load of each user or even better to measure their efficiency in performing the tasks in quality and quantity.

Yeap, great and useful tools we create before dinner!