Suggestions for application solution

I am working on a relatively small project for our internal staff using Confluence, to collect staff skills information. A brief description of the application process:

  1. User logs in, and answers some specific questions about their skills. For sake of discussion, let's say whether they speak French, Spanish, or Swahili, and whether they have experience with Confluence, Jira, or Snowboarding. The skills we need are pulled from lookup tables in a secondary data source.
  2. After the questions are answered, the answers are recorded as a Skills Profile, and I have been thinking of this as a Confluence page, a skills profile for that person.
  3. Another staff member reviews the person's skills page, verifying that they speak Swahili and have used Jira. Once vetted, the page is marked as "approved".
  4. Other users can search or browse "approved" skills profiles for particular skills they need, and connect those people through their Confluence profile information.

The main difference between this and some random skills you might put in the Confluence profile is that they are looking for very specific skills, the skillset being examined may change over time as needs change, and the approval process to vet the skills is somewhat rigorous. You can't just say "I know Spanish" if you know how to order a chicken chimichanga at Taco Bell.

Part 1, I've been able to get somewhere using the {card} and {deck} macros from Adaptavist to create a tabbed form, and using the SQL plugin I've been able to dynamically generate the forms I need. I've generated those forms using the FormMailNG plugin, but form mail will not work as an option, because we really want searchable pages, not e-mails flying about.

So, my general question is how would you approach this problem? What tools would you use or have you used to solve similar problems? What plugins work well and would fit in with the goals of this effort? My preference here is to pull from the pull of available plugins, rather than developing a new, one-off plugin for this effort. Also, budget constraints mean a preference for low-cost or no-cost plugins, rather than some fancy set of expensive plugins.

Looking forward to your suggestions, and a lively discussion!

Sincerely,

Chris van Hasselt, FHI360

6 answers

We did something similar using the Checklists Plugin (https://studio.plugins.atlassian.com/wiki/display/CHK/Confluence+Checklists+Plugin) to present a data entry "form", where each row represents a child page, and each column presents a data control that controls a label on that child page. User interaction with the plugin-generated "form" changes labels on the child pages. And then "Content by label" macros can be used for reporting.

It definitely had a quick and dirty feel, at least in our case, but it was quick and it was cheap.

I have pasted some of the "form" markup below.... I have to admit I miss the ability to see this in wiki markup mode.

Tables

      priorityhigh|High
      prioritymedium|Medium
      prioritylow|Low
   

0 vote
Joe Clark Atlassian Team Jan 30, 2012

"You can't just say "I know Spanish" if you know how to order a chicken chimichanga at Taco Bell. "

I laughed :-)

Glad I amused you, Joseph. But do you have a suggestion? :-)

0 vote
Joe Clark Atlassian Team Feb 02, 2012

I'm not sure of anything out of the box, sorry. I know SharePoint 2010 has good support for this kind of thing. Don't you guys have a SharePoint installation? :-)

Joseph - For a number reasons, but primarily the ease of use of Confluence vs. Sharepoint, we decided to do this with Confluence rather than Sharepoint. But, you are correct you could do it with Sharepoint as well. Neither solution is perfect, but what is? Anyway, after hitting some snags I have a scaled back plan to solve the problem at hand, using Confluence. Since you are at Atlassian, I'd be happy to go into more detail offline if you are interested.

0 vote
Joe Clark Atlassian Team Feb 12, 2012

Sure. I work on the SharePoint Connector and would be happy to hear any information about your solution that you're willing to provide (jclark at atlassian dot com)

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