Disabled parking goes .Net

An Auckland-based software developer has mapped out a new and improved method of authenticating disabled car park users.

An Auckland-based software developer has mapped out a new and improved method of authenticating disabled car park users.

Augen has developed Mapp (mobility accessible parking portal) for CCS, formerly the Crippled Childrens’ Society, which now helps disabled people of all ages.

It is looking at exporting the software next year with the help of CCS.

The system is an update of the previous one used by CCS, which North Island east coast manager Nigel Mead says was “a number of interconnected databases”.

It wasn’t the optimum arrangement “and we were running the risk of completely losing it in a crash”.

The new system, which is web-based, allows local authorities to check online whether cars in disabled parking spaces are meant to be there.

“The old one didn’t allow real-time information. It was updated monthly and by the time data was sent to CCS branches, it was two months out of date.”

To qualify for a disabled park, the user must have a doctor’s certificate and must register with CCS.

Under the old system, “there was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing and phone calls between CCS and councils”.

He says in Gisborne, where he is based, “we get 400 calls per year re the legitimacy of cars and if we eliminate that, it’ll free us up to do other things”.

Mapp allows new registered users to be added at any time and also contains a database of doctors.

At the moment Mapp is geared so that parking wardens radio back to council offices to check the legitimacy of cars in disabled parks, but the potential exists for wardens with wireless devices, which some councils operate, to be able to call up details from Mapp on the street.

Augen director Mitchell Pham (pictured) says wireless capability is being worked on.

“We’re looking at working with Microsoft’s latest wireless development tool in the second quarter of this year.”

Mapp was developed in ASP.Net, VB.Net and JavaScript, using SQL Server 2000, IIS and Thawte SSL 128-bit encryption.

Mapp offers several layers of access, giving parking wardens less detail, CCS staff more, and most detail to the Augen-based system administrators.

It is live at CCS and Mead says CCS is meeting the New Zealand Parking Association this month to discuss it further.

The association makes recommendations to local bodies about parking.

Augen charged CCS 50% of its normal rate for development work and jointly owns the technology with CCS.

“We intend, with CCS, to take it overseas and are looking at Australia next year,” Pham says.

The bulk of the Mapp development work was done by Augen senior analyst programmers Mike Mayer and Logan Brownlee.

Augen is also updating SM2K, or Service Manager 2000, the platform it developed for CCS’s mainstream services.

SM2K was originally produced in Microsoft Access and was re-developed this year using .Net for the web.

Augen isn’t charging CCS for the re-development, but will retain full ownership of the intellectual property.

“We want to take it overseas.”

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