(Yet Another Mobile Challenge) — so, as some of you will know, a number of years back (maybe more than I know, since the original homepage was written in HTML 4.01) I designed a system to be used by any DeMolay jurisdiction in the country to offer an online way of submitting their new member information electronically, thus speeding up an old “fill-out the form and snail-mail” process. In an era when this was unheard of, this was a very unique program – any jurisdiction just needed to contact me, provide some basic information (like who did you want to review the forms for accuracy and completeness) and they had a system that could handle their new member reporting (at no cost to the jurisdiction). This was circa 2004-5.

The system has run since then – some jurisdictions were early supporters and fell away (using their own web forms) – others have been using the system since.

But recently there has been some buzz from DeMolay International about having such a system. So when the query went out, I answered twice – once to describe how Michigan DeMolay currently handles the submission – and a second to discuss the system I had developed some 8 years ago.

It was a fairly simple system – PHP and MySQL – simple web form to look up the information on a DeMolay Chapter, and capture the data necessary.

I decided that it was time to give it an overhaul — so overhaul I did. The result was a HTML5, PHP, jQueryMobile, jQuery, MySQL system that works well both on a desktop and most any mobile device.

Here are some of the new features:

    1. Validates Birth Date – 12 or older and under 21
    2. Validates Initiatory Date – no future dates, no dates over 1 year old
    3. Validates DeMolay Date – as above – also, no longer requires this field, so no need to enter xx/xx/xxxx or 00/00/0000
    4. “Remembers” the Chapter last submitted a Form 10 on, and automatically selects that Chapter the next time you use the system.
    5. “Remembers” the Advisor Information last submitted, and automatically fills those fields.
    6. Allows you to copy address information from the new member to the Parent/Legal Guardian fields
    7. New database field to track when the form was submitted.
    8. If you access the form from a desktop computer – you will see all the form fields exposed, as in the current Form 10. (i.e., “expanded accordion”)
    9. If you access by a mobile device – you will see a “condensed” accordion form that will let you expose each section as you need to to complete the data.
    10. Mobile version of the form has been enhanced to provide a cleaner display of form fields.
    11. The database has been enhanced to include two new fields:
      1. A unique ID that could be used for linking to a financial system for tracking payments
      2. An indicator to delineate if the form was submitted by a mobile device or desktop(Both of the above also are included on the completed Form 10 when it is emailed.)
    12. Additional jurisdictional defined parameters for definition of the program.
    13. Ability for each user to select one of 5 pre-defined “color themes” for the web app – more can be designed and added

(Here is a screen shots of the main data entry screen on a mobile device (my Samsung Galaxy SIII): Entering New Member Details.)

Each Jurisdiction can determine if they want an integrated payment system, or not.

The system uses a POST-model which can be integrated with any backend payment system (PayPal, Acceptiva, WePay, etc.) that will accept data from a POST model.

The reason for the POST-model, is so that no credit card information is ever processed on the Form 10 system – it will always be handled by the payment processor – who would need to deal with the PCI DSS (Federal Credit Card security mandates).

The POST-model is designed to pass information about the transaction:

      • Unique transaction ID
        • Chapter name – applicant name – date of initiatory degree
          (So that matching can be done between payments & the Form 10 system)
      • The Jurisdiction’s fee amount
      • A web page that the jurisdiction wants the system to return to once the payment is processed.
      • Calculation of the processing fees by the payee

The current POST-model supports PayPal, and Acceptiva. Other payment providers that support a POST-model can be added.

The nice thing about this is that everything looks the same, until you get to the Thank You screen. If you have a payment processing service defined – then you get a button to make the payment – otherwise, it looks the same as before.

So, that’s my latest “Yet Another Mobile Challenge” – how about yours?

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