Web Application Creation and Management Made Easy
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What is Phoenix:O2?

Phoenix:O2 is a self-contained web-application creation tool and rendering engine. Designed and programmed by David Alan Schuler of Northglenn, Colorado, it began as a dream of sorts on August 6, 2003. Since then it has been expanded well beyond what it was originally conceived as, and continues to be developed and improved.

Why do you make Phoenix:O2?

My first database application was created on an old Commodore 128 in the mid 1990's. I didn't have a Windows machine. I had never heard of the Internet or of SQL (the database langauge, for you novices). I used this system to make games, which I used to program from scratch, taking me months. The new system allowed me to make even bigger games in half the time.

I started working in downtown Denver in 1999, where I was first exposed to MS Access. I began making applications in Access, simplifying many peoples' jobs. It wasn't long before my imagination as to what I could do and often needed to do went beyond what Access could do and remain stable. I was moved to the Information Technology department and began learning PHP to create web-based applications. Within two monmths I was handling a small project on my own. At the close of this project I proposed upgrading all of the Access systems into a new all-inclusive web-app.

One of the biggest differences between Access and web-programming was that many of the mundane aspects of basic system I took for granted in Access because Access applications automatically allow you to add, update and delete data, whereas in a web application I had to set up the database connections and individually create the entry and editing forms, plus any menus and all of the insert, update and delete queries. I adjusted to this change, but still wished for some way to get to the "fun stuff"--the aspect of any system that makes data entry, editing, and retrieval faster, easier and more useful than plugging data into a spreadsheet as many of my colleges resorted to doing without consulting IT. Let's face it, non-technical people just want to get their work done as quickly as possible, but the world of IT and automation can still be a rather daunting thought.

As I made changes to my system and gained more followers--people who wanted me to make their jobs easier by having me build an app withing my system--I thought of ways to make application programming faster. About a month before my project was shut down (some companies don't want their employees to get anything done faster--or don't understand the ease and benefit), I was looking at a particular form in my system, wishing to be able to move one column of information one column over. I imagined being able to click a button to make this happen. Of course I would need a button to move that same field to the right. I would also need to be able to delete that field, and add new fields. From this series of thoughts came the idea that became Phoenix:O2.

What does Phoenix:O2 do?

Phoenix:O2 does a great deal, taking over so much of the work that took me hours, even weeks to do in my former job. In that job I gave estimates for new systems to be “mostly complete” in two weeks. Now I give estimates for more than that level by the end of the work day. I can have a skeleton of the system done on a couple of hours, after which I only need to add polish and bells and whistles. This is the main purpose of the system: to get the mundane aspects of system development done very quickly so that bells and whistles can be added.

Here’s a comprehensive list of Phoenix:O2's capabilities:

  • General
    • Consistent look and feel
    • Site Creation
  • Navigation
    • Defaultable form buttons (just hit Enter to submit the form)
    • Next/Previous buttons for multi-page applications
    • Customizable form buttons depending on user level
  • Administration
    • Security
      • Page/Field Clearance
    • Page
      • Export/import
    • Menu
      • Sorting/Arranging
    • Database
      • Table creation
      • Field addition
  • Pages
    • Multiple queries
  • Forms
    • Free
    • Chart
    • Calendar
  • Fields
    • Adding/Moving/Deleting
    • Types
      • Text
      • Graphic
      • Buttons
        • Text
        • Graphic
      • Text Fields
        • Text
        • Area
        • Hidden
      • Drop Downs
        • Static (entered by programmer)
        • Variable (queried from database)
      • Check Boxes
    • Validation
      • Required field
      • Input filters
  • Scripts
  • Application Wizard
  • Common Bells & Whistles
    • Date formatting
    • Forms
      • Chart
        • Alternating bar colors
        • Grouping
      • Free
        • Multiple Columns
      • Calendar
        • Button bar on each day
  • Add-ins
    • Messaging system (remain in contact with other members of the programming/administration staff.)
    • Self Registration (Allow end users the ability to grant themselves limited access to the site)

This site was forged with Phoenix:O2.

For comments, suggestions, and additional information about this site or its content, contact da.schuler@comcast.net