Confrence Calls

Gosh this week has gone fast, in truth that’s probably got more to do with me only being in work for 2 days, time flies when you’re not doing boring stuff.

Today, I was involved in my first ever conference call, a long time coming really. It was on the fascinating subject of Library management systems.

The university has just bought a shiny new library system, to replace the grotty terminal based (but fully functional*) one. The only problem with this is how we now have to integrate it with all the other systems we have, principally the student and staff information has to come from somewhere.

This is where I come in I have been tasked with writing the code to make this system work with the others, however one little problem, after an extensive selection process it turns out that the company who we chose may have been a bit economical with the truth with regards to the interfaces of their product. There are none.

So after a conference call, where we asked for any interface at all, it looks like we have two choices, flat files every two or three minutes or writing directly to the database, a hack we have done more often than not (the only problem been how it invalidates the support contracts).

* At this point we could go on along the lines of if it isn’t broken don’t fix it, but I do work in the IT industry and if I took that line, I’d be out of work.