Vesica Blog - Taking museum and art collections to the cloud

March 23, 2013

Simplifying JQuery Dialogs

Filed under: Tech Talk — Tags: , , , , , , — Asif N @ 12:08 am

Working on a web application that uses multiple JQuery dialogs?

You’re probably sick of rendering dialog boxes with JQuery’s .dialog() function and all of its parameters.

So here’s a tiny little function that you can include in your AJAX application at the top level via a tag, and then simply call each time you need to render a dialog. So you can effectively accomplish what you need to do in one line instead of 10.

The function below requires multiple parameters:

  1. target_class – This is the name of the class you want the dialog rendered in. It doesn’t have to exist in the DOM, the function will create it.
  2. title – The title of your dialog
  3. width – The width of the dialog
  4. height – the height of the dialog
  5. load_file – An external file or view that you want to load inside your dialog
  6. buttons – A JavaScript array containing all the buttons your dialog needs. This array should contain a button id and button text, and can be formatted as:
    buttons[0]['id'] = ‘save’ ;
    buttons[0]['id'] = ‘Save this Content’ ;
    buttons[1]['id'] = ‘default_cancel’ ;
    buttons[2]['id'] = ‘button3′ ;
    buttons[2]['text'] = ‘A 3rd Button’ ; 

As shown above, you can add as many buttons as you want using an array.  The function also created a default cancel button that will close and destroy the dialog if you pass the id ‘default_cancel’ to it.

Note that once you have the dialog rendered, you can use more JavaScript driven by the ID of each button to decide what happens when that ID gets clicked. This should ideally go in a JS file tied to the view or page you load into the load_file parameter of the function.

There are several ways to to tweak and improve the function depending on what you are rendering your dialogs for,  so please feel free to make any changes and / or share your thoughts. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

 

January 27, 2012

Why SaaS is good for Museums?

I’ve been asked this question 4 times this month already – and the simple answer is that museums, like all other organisations, should focus on what they do – not on software maintenance.

Of course, there is always some context to such questions, so here is some perspective. Typically, many museums, when they ask such a question, think about external funding from governmental organisations to start digitising their collections and feel that they may not be able to get funding to rent a SaaS application to document, archive and digitise their collections. Whilst that may be true in some cases, it is 2012 and such funders and funding organisations need to get with the plan. If they want museums to get more mileage for their money, in majority of the cases, SaaS makes perfect sense – financially and technologically. In my experience, it is simply a matter of communicating this to the funding organisation. At the end of the day, funders want museums to get the most from their investment, not to acquire something that they own and which will become redundant in a short period of time and may require expensive maintenance.

By choosing SaaS to document their collections, museums are, in essence, hiring an external company to build, operate and maintain a system for them — letting the provider make the investments in equipment and software, as well as staff needed to operate the software and related hardware. SaaS vendors like Vesica will deploy, maintain, update, and optimise your collection management applications, along with providing the infrastructure required to run them, while you maintain complete control over your applications and data.

Why should a museum choose a SaaS model? To enhance the user experience, gain remote access, attain service guarantees, achieve compliance, and off-load the many IT responsibilities that aren’t core components of their operation. Spreading infrastructure, development, maintenance, and future innovation costs across a broad base of users and museums means that you can access tools available to large museums tools that would otherwise be out of reach. SaaS essentially allows museums to take advantage of the “pay as you go” model, freeing more time, money and resources for productive tasks. Finally, SaaS applications can be be affordable for smaller museums too. Unlike typical software, SaaS applications require little or no investment and do not tie museums in to long term commitments.

Blackbaud, a SaaS provider of fundraising / CRM software for charities and nonprofits, has a wonderful whitepaper on the benefits of SaaS. To sum up the 7 big benefits Blackbaud mentions:

  • Little or no upfront investment
  • Reliable cost forecasting – affordable and fixed subscription fee model
  • No extras needed – no need to purchase new or proprietary software or hardware
  • Up-to-date technology – SaaS vendors keep your applications up-to-date – it’s how they keep your business, year on year
  • Security and reliability – SaaS vendors maintain compliant, secure, sophisticated and high-capacity infrastructure which becomes available to you without any extra cost
  • Remote access – as long as you there is an internet connection, your staff can access the service
  • Scalability – SaaS apps are flexible and and can help you grow quickly, typically with a few clicks or a phone call – without having to buy additional expensive hardware or software

Still have questions? Our team is here to help – so comment away!

Subscribe to RSS Feed Follow Vesica on Twitter Join us on Facebook Join he Vesica LinkedIn Group

Home    •    Blog    •    Contact Us    •    Developers    •    Education    •    Partners    •    About    •    Help & Support    •    News    •    Privacy Policy    •    Terms of Use

Follow us on Twitterk Join Vesica on Facebook