Information Management

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This collection of pages is intended to capture the various information management systems and technology used at the space as well as our goals for the future.

In general, ATXHS has had a problem with home-rolled or unfriendly information systems eating up a lot of volunteer time for basic administrative tasks. The ATXHS IT team has been charged with streamlining operations to reduce administrative overhead and enable membership growth.

Neon

Neon is our new member management system. It's already replaced FreshBooks for billing, and we intend for it to be the sole interface for administrative tasks and the source of truth for member authentication and authorization.

Neon account creation starts with the Join Form on the website. Existing users may log into Neon at https://atxhs.z2systems.com/np/clients/atxhs/login.jsp

We're currently (October 2020) in the process of putting all class scheduling in Neon.

Neon is a cloud service and has an API

Discourse

Discourse is the software that powers the ATXHS discussion site https://yo.atxhs.org/

Discourse maintains its own credential database that requires manual management of user permissions. We have a short-term goal of adding Neon hooks to update Discourse users automatically in response to member status changes. As of now we don't plan to change Discourse to update directly against Neon, because we can have Discourse users who are not and have never been ATXHS members and we don't want to put a bunch of non-members in Neon.

ATXHS Discourse is hosted off site and has an API

Skedda

Skedda is the group calendaring tool we're using to schedule access to the space. It replaced the old Google calendars for booking the CNC, lasers, and auto bay.

Skedda has its own credential database that requires manual management of user permissions. It also unfortunately lacks any kind of published API. We have a medium-term goal of implementing some mechanism to update Skedda automatically based on member status changes in Neon, but no work is being done on that project at this time.

For permission to book ATXHS spaces on Skedda, you must first sign up using the private invitation link in the members-only message area of Discourse. https://yo.atxhs.org/t/skedda-invite-link/203. You might be signed into Discourse and you must be a member of the "hax0r" (paying members) group to view the link.

Once you have created your Skedda account, you can log into Skedda directly at https://atxhs.skedda.com.

Skedda is a cloud service.

Smartwaiver

Smartwaiver is used for tracking liability waivers from members and visitors. There's a tablet in the entryway with the Smartwaiver app, or the waiver may be signed ahead of time.

The member waiver can be found at https://waiver.smartwaiver.com/v/atxhsmember

(Administrative questions: Do we have a separate visitors waiver? Does Smartwaiver talk to Neon yet?)

Smartwaiver is a cloud service and has an API

Mailchimp

Mailchimp is used for our email announcements and monthly(ish) update / newsletter mailings.

Users may sign up for the list here Users may unsubscribe from the list using personalized links in the footer of each Mailchimp email.

( Administrative question: Are users automatically added to the mail chimp list at some point in the signup process? )

Mailchimp is a cloud service and has an API

Wordpress

The new public-facing website runs on Wordpress. Currently (October 2020) the site is static; work is ongoing to pick up dynamic content from other sources, starting with upcoming classes from Neon.

Wordpress is hosted off site and has an API

Mediawiki

The old website runs entirely on Mediawiki. We're keeping Mediawiki around indefinitely as wiki.atxhs.org to maintain an ongoing knowledge base, but will update to a new host and updated software versions as an ongoing IT improvement project.

Right now our wiki uses its own credential database that requires manual management of user permissions. The new wiki host will authenticate against Neon so any ATXHS member can edit wiki content.

The wiki is hosted off site.

Physical Access Control

The key fob system is run on-site with a standalone database. The individual doors have various hardware configurations, but they all ultimately authenticate against the access database on chiefwiggums. We have a short-term goal of adding Neon hooks to update the access control database automatically in response to member status changes.

We have a long-term goal of supporting conditional access control based on user class history (eg you can only badge into the CNC if you've passed the CNC class) but there's no work being done on that project at this time (October 2020).

Shop WiFi

The wifi network in the shop is a Unifi network with a Linux controller running on-site. The server is in the electronics lab.

Interior Surveillance

The shop has basically two generations of video cameras. There's an older system of IP cameras connected to an internal DVR appliance in the electronics lab, and a bunch of newer Wyze cloud cameras.

BatPass

We have an internal FreeIPA server that was intended to be centralized authentication/authorization source for ATXHS but was never fully rolled out for lack of a convenient user management UI. That problem has been solved by Neon, so there's a strong possibility BatPass will live on as the on-site mirror or cache of member data for use by on-site systems so we don't lose any capabilities if our internet goes down.

Shop PCs

Several of the space's tools have associated PCs for operation. We also keep a some extra computers around for member use of paid software (eg VCarve) without tying up tool time. These PCs will be described elsewhere one of these days.

Physical Network

The cabling system in the shop is pretty crufty. It's mostly plain old cat5, switches are scattered around, and there's a lot of deprecated / zombie machines floating around. We have a short-term goal of purging zombie machines (especially in the lounge) and a longer-term goal of updating cabling and associated infrastructure.