How do I setup a web page for users to enter maintenance requests?

Answer: ExpressRequest is a simple program for users to enter maintenance requests via the network.  Request are written directly into the ExpressMaintenance database for processing into work orders.  In addition, maintenance requests can be entered via a web page interface directly into the Requests table of the ExpressMaintenance SQL database.  We provide you with sample .asp files which you simply adjust to connect to your server and to fit your organization needs.

Using a website development tool such as Microsoft FrontPage or Expression, you can easily edit the sample website pages to work in your environment.  You must have your the computer which contains the SQL Server or MSDE on the network or the internet in order to use this method.  Your web page must include a connection to the ExpressMaintenance SQL database and the Requests table.  To make this connection in Front Page follow the steps below.  Other website development tools will involve different steps but basically work the same way making a connection to the SQL server and database.

Setting Up Web Requesting

1. Begin by setting up your website and web pages as desired

2. Include the three sample web pages we provide which are eRequest.asp, eRequestOk.asp and eRequestErr.asp.

Download the .asp Files in Zip Format.

3. Using FrontPage, open the website and locate the eRequest.asp page

4. Right click on the requesting form and left click on Form Properties

5. Click on Send To Database radio button

6. Click on Options button and the dialog will appear as shown below

What is the simplest way to distribute ExpressRequest to my users?

Answer: It is very easy to use setup ExpressRequest for use on your non-maintenance personnel computers. The target user workstations must be connected to the network where the program and database engine reside.

What is ExpressRequest

If you have purchased a copy of ExpressRequest, you can provide users with a short cut to ExpressRequest.exe. This program allows users to enter maintenance request in an easy to use screen. Users do not necessarily have to know the unit name or proper service to provide. They can simply enter a description of the equipment and service needed or problem.

ExpressRequest Defaults

There are a few defaults settings for ExpressRequest which are located in ExpressMaintenance. You can access these settings under Administration / Defaults / ExpressRequest Defaults help topic in ExpressMaintenance help. See that section of the help for more details.

Distributing ExpressRequest

Like ExpressMaintenance, you do not actually distribute ExpressRequest. You create shortcuts to the application. However, ExpressRequest is handled slightly different from ExpressMaintenance. ExpressRequest uses an ini file for its settings including the Server and Database names. The ini file is stored on the client workstation in the Windows folder. However, the first time the program is executed, the ini file does not exist. Therefore, the program looks in the folder of the executable program for the ini file and copies it to the client workstation. It is not necessary to pass parameters in the shortcut with ExpressRequest. Instead, follow the steps outlined below:

A. Server Setup

1. Install and make sure ExpressMaintenance runs properly.
2. Install and make sure ExpressRequest runs properly.
3. Make sure both applications point to the same database server.
4. Run ExpressRequest and click on the Setup button and to setup values.
5. Leave the Requester Name blank.
6. Save the setup settings for ExpressRequest.
7. Exit ExpressRequest.
8. Look in your Windows folder on the server for the “ExpressRequest.ini” file.
9. Copy the “ExpressRequest.ini” file to the \ExpressTech folder.
10. Make sure the \ExpressTech folder contains the following three files:


B. Client Workstation Setup

1. Go to the client workstation
2. Look in the Windows folders and remove ExpressRequest.ini if it exists.
3. Use the windows explorer to locate the server drive and the \ExpressTech folder.
4. Right click on the ExpressRequest.exe file and click copy.
5. Right click on the client workstation desktop and click Paste Shortcut.
6. Run ExpressRequest from the shortcut.
7. Click on Setup button to setup for the user.
8. Exit ExpressRequest and setting will be saved locally in ExpressRequest.ini.

ExpressRequest Help File 

As mentioned above, make sure the ExpressRequest.hlp file is located in the same folder with ExpressRequest.exe. This will insure users can run the help file from within the ExpressRequest application. The ExpressRequest uses the standard windows help system rather than the HTML help system (used by ExpressMaintenance). The standard windows help is more likely to be available on every computer. The HTML help system is more powerful and more compact. However, it is not necessary with this small application.