For UI development, custom database tables are created to hold the data. Web forms are typically created as a way to get the data to the database. Then the UI (user interface) is created as a method of displaying, sorting, and manipulating the data.
A custom database development project can be of use in many ways. The most popular UI is probably just storing contact information and the ability to send emails to them all at once, or selected by lists. Some other examples of useful UIs include employee time sheet organization, inventory control, sales management, customer data and retention, marketing purposes, property listings (for real estate)... the list goes on. And the list is pretty much up to your imagination and the type of data your business collects. Please contact me if you would like to go over some of your business goals and/or discuss how a custom database and UI can help your business to grow or run more efficiently. Here are some snapshots of previous administrative UIs that I've created for clients, and myself. Also, down the page are more details on the use cases I mentioned.
Database/Working UI Demo
I have created a sample database and user interface for demonstration purposes. You will need credentials (a user and password) in order to access most areas in order to input or manipulate data in the database. Please contact me to request credentials so you can log in and get the full impact of this demonstration.
Please note that the data set in this database is limited. You can look at the full set of data and select date ranges within that set or leave the date range empty.
Example Use Cases
Contact Manager: A way to collect contacts (usually from your website or email sign up, but other methods can be used), storage of the contacts’ data in a database, and a place to view or edit the data in an easy to use table. Typically, with a contact manager, you’d also want to send emails out to these contacts in one shot (without getting marked as spam). Some clients also want to be able to separate their contacts into lists so that specific emails can be sent to specific contact lists. In which case there would also be a simple email list manager.
Labor Manager: This can either be entered via a web form or a time clock function can be built in where the employees can clock in and out. This data can then be viewed, analyzed, and exported for payroll. Some clients like a little more analytics data like dispositions (if employee was late, worked overtime, didn’t show up, etc.), type of work/department, etc.
Application Management: This could apply for a plethora of industries. Like a rental application for rental agencies, employment applications, applications for wholesale dealers, etc. After an application is accepted, it is usually just stored and available for viewing. Maybe the ability to export the applications, email them to the business owner, or create a 'short list' for final selection.
Website Content Management: If you don’t have a CMS for your website like WordPress, for example, this could be a place where you enter news or blog articles, upload a picture, and save for automatically displaying on your website. Even if you do have a CMS, the procedure for adding content could be simplified or made so you can easily add articles from your phone.
Sales Manager: Basically, this would just keep track of your sales, individual's sales, commissions, and contacts. It could also be used to keep track of bids and proposals, follow ups, and acceptance of proposals/bids.
Property Listings: For real estate agencies, a system can be built for keeping track of their properties, appointments, open houses, pricing data, and other data related to the property. For this, there could also be functionality for exporting for printing out and giving to potential buyers.
Schedule Manager: Probably self explanatory… you would select a date, employee, and hours. This would then go into a table or calendar where employees can access on the web to check their schedule.
These are only some examples. There are lots of other possibilities for administrations, databases, and user interfaces. That’s pretty much up to your imagination, but I’m always looking for new and different ways to create these systems. As long as it will help your business, that is. I’ll be honest - if I think it isn’t worth it for you, I’ll tell you.
Also, these systems are scalable. They can be added onto with new functionality very easily. From major functionality to minor functionalities like the ability to sort, separate into pages (pagination), import or export the data for viewing in Excel (for example), search database by keyword, search database by date range, etc.
Costs vary quite a bit. I’ve built simple contact managers for as little as a few hundred dollars. And I’ve built very complex systems that combine several of these functions, contain and show advanced analytics data, and other custom functions that obviously cost exponentially more. The only way to really narrow down what it would cost is to learn your needs, create a task list of included functionality, and a proposal price or estimate.
Location of System
If you have a website, you already have a place to build this system. It can be built on the ‘back end’. For example, your website might be ‘mywebsite.com’. And the system could be built at ‘admin.mywebsite.com’. If you have a CMS like WordPress or Joomla, it’s even easier to build since those systems provide functionality for easily accessing and modifying records in the already existing database. In that case, only a table or tables need to be created in your CMS’s database. This also ensures a higher level of security. But, no matter what, the data will be secure.
Lastly, I recently built a page on my website with screenshots of some of these examples. It’s difficult to show someone a live working example, because they normally have sensitive or confidential information stored in them. So I created these screenshots from some previous projects and blurred out the sensitive information. Below is the link…