To improve the CC free computer seminar service that is given at each
semester to METU members, Computer Center worked toward a project of developing
a registration program that would enable the members to register themselves
to seminars on-line.
The users had to come all the way to Computer Center at the former seminar
registration periods and write their names on the registration lists to
register themselves to seminars. However, this would end up with accumulation
of people on the first days of registrations; therefore the users that
were able to come on the second and third days were being rejected and
Determined to eliminate these handicaps and to give each and everyone
the chance of registering themselves to the seminars, we thought the process
of registration should be automated to the greatest possible extent. Thus,
the project of registration program is launched. PHP4.0 was applied during
the coding of the program and PostgreSQL was used as the database.
To mention about the structure of the registration program that is developed
in a remarkably brief period of time as of one month:
The seminar registration program is made up of three parts, which is
a characteristic feature of all the automation projects. A User Interface
where the users can register themselves, an Operator Interface
where the operators can approve the registrations, an Admin Interface
where the system administration tasks could be handled. By using their
own interface, the users can get all the seminar information and register
themselves to seminars over internet at the address http://seminer.metu.edu.tr
After the users log on to the registration page, they select the suitable
option asking them whether they are student or personnel; then, they are
directed to the page where there are fields for them to be filled.
The Students should fill out the "student number",
"name" and "surname" fields, whereas the personnel
should fill out "Personnel Number", "Name", "Surname"
and "User Code" and/or "METU Internal Line Phone Number"
fields. [The personnel that does not own a user code must fill the "METU
Internal Line Phone Number" field during the registration so that
the CC personnel can get in touch with them later. If these users are
elected after a random selection, CC personnel will telephone them to
ask whether they will be able to participate in the seminars or not.]
The registration process of the user is completed after he/she fills out
the required fields on the page with correct and appropriate information
and clicks on the "Register" button. If the information that
the user submits is incorrect or insufficient, he/she is prompted to check
the information given in the fields and repeat the process.
When the deadline of the registration period is over, a random selection
is carried out by the Admin interface among the registered participants,
then an automatic message is sent to the primary participants and their
substitutes that were drawn. The user is prompted to reply to firstname.lastname@example.org
address to obtain "approval". Those users, who cannot send a
reply e-mail message due to some inconveniencies -such as users having
no PCs, users with no user accounts, users who experience problems with
their usercodes- can obtain their approvals via our Operators at Industrial
Eng. PC Room and Physics Department PC Room.
After the process of approving, the users who have not submitted their
approvals are deleted from the system by using the Admin interface. In
regard with the incoming messages, the approval process can be carried
out via Admin interface as well. According to the quota of the seminar
given, a second message is sent to a number of people. The final user
lists are announced publicly as well.
The www pages have been prepared with the registration program and the
informative pages on them. After this preparation process, the registration
informative pages have been introduced to the users. [These pages are
introduced under the links with the following titles: "General Information
About Seminars", "What will I do after the Application Process?",
"Information About the Previous Seminars".]
The seminar registration program was introduced between November
5th-7th, 2001 under the "Application Form"
link. This process can be named as preregistration.
The "Admin" page of the program carried out a random selection
on November 7th, 2001 among the users that have applied
for seminar registrations. As a result of the random selection, two groups
constituting of primary participants and their substitutes for each seminar
were formed. E-mails were sent to these participants and their substitutes.
Between November 7th-9th, 2001, approval
processes were completed at http://seminer.metu.edu.tr/operator
upon confirmation by the replies sent to these e-mail messages, confirmation
of PC Room operators who performed application processes, upon confirmation
by the telephone calls that CC personnel made with those users who did
not own an e-mail address but an internal phone number.
As a result of these approval processes, "Seminar Participants
List" link on the main page was activated at the evening of November
9th, 2001, the lists of the seminar participants were announced,
and e-mail messages were sent to the users on this list.