Zope design for generic data entry and analysis

I want expert opinion for designing an Open Source, web-based data entry and analysis system for public health professionals who are not programmers. Users will create a questionnaire or input form in HTML (e.g., with Word). The software will scan the HTML, detect input fields (underlines and other structures similar to paper forms), store the information, and allow the user to add skip patterns, error response, and calculations as JavaScript or with an existing “CheckCode?? language.

A database of choice (ZODB, MySQL, SQL Server, or Access) will be set up automatically from the questionnaire information. Security settings and password or other authentication must be easy and foolproof. Users could enter data locally or remotely, in survey (1 record) or data entry(multiple record) mode, with limits set on reviewing previous records. Check code would function during data entry, mostly on the client side.

Data management and Analysis programs will provide for data cleanup, sending data, statistical analysis and reporting. They are interactive but generate code to run again. Output is in HTML.

The system is based on 20 years experience with Epi Info, a public domain Windows program with over a million downloads ([[url removed, login to view]][1]). Compatibility with Epi Info and its Access tables is desired.

Many users have intermittent Internet contact, and the system should function standalone on a laptop in field studies of epidemics. Data exchange among users in scores of countries is becoming more important, and the system would also be used for permanent disease surveillance systems with webmasters of minimal to expert skills.

Questionnaires in public health can contain hundreds of fields and may have relational (hierarchical) structures.

## Deliverables

The product I want is expert opinion, brief design, and risk assessment for doing this in Zope or an alternative system. I have experience with JavaScript ([[url removed, login to view]][2]), VB, and Pascal development, but none with Zope, so I need a quick tutorial on your ideas. This should be a quality system for a wide range of users, and a popular open-source product.

Please include answers to the following:

1. Your expert opinion on whether ZOPE is a good system in which to build this product??"why and why not

2. Other alternative systems you might recommend with advantages and disadvantages, if they are better choices than Zope

3. How you would manage data entry in large questionnaires in a browser? Can a form with a single polymorphous field be moved over the surface of the HTML page rather than creating a huge HTML Form with its limitations? Should we use XForms? Or are there Zope products already that can be used or modified for use? References to examples would be welcome.

4. How would you maintain both printable and Web versions of the questionnaire?

5. How would you make the system multi-lingual for human languages, and flexible for worldwide dates and other conventions?

6. How would you provide encryption for exchanging files between sites?

7. Does Zope or other recommended system provide for data synchronization between sites?

8. A diagram or description of the architecture recommended.

9. A description of the most difficult parts of this project, and also of the easy parts.

10. If you were to write or adapt the questionnaire setup and data entry portions of the project (excluding Analysis for now), how long would it take, or how much would it cost, in whatever units you deem appropriate? Obviously, without detailed specs, this will be a range, but tell us also what will be necessary to produce better requirements for further bidding and a more precise estimate.

11. Do you recommend a particular development strategy?

12. Other comments and suggestions you feel might be helpful

## Platform

The system must be easy to install, cross-platform, and work with as many browsers as possible. Specifically:

1. Open source

2. Runs in Windows, Mac, Linux

3. Works with IE, Netscape, Mozilla, and as many other browsers as possible. Older browsers less important than a variety of newer browsers.

4. Works on IIS, Apache, and from local hard disk without either installed.

5. Acceptable to government website maintainers in various countries

6. Options to work with various databases as outlined above, and to import/export as many other types as possible.

Skills: PHP

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$85 USD in 10 days
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