PHP Developers Network

Visitor Entry System
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Author:  nebin2010 [ Sat Feb 18, 2017 8:42 am ]
Post subject:  Visitor Entry System

Hi Guys

I want to design a Visitor Entry system - just wondering if PHP / MySQL would be best suited to achieve my goal.

Let me explain:

We have a system at our company we sell - it was passed it us from another company who could no longer support it as the guy that made it vanished.

Its currently made with a aspx back end (admin website) which uses IIS. It also collates all visitors into a few different access databases. The system is compiled by our "developer", using Visual Studio. He knows nothing about CSS etc, so the entire system just looks dated and is very temperamental.

Basically, we use some Russian made D Logic Fob/Card RFID readers - these output an 8 digit code, we then use the backend to apply these numbers to a user.

User then swipes the card and it will sign them in and out. You can also fill in the backend, staff members etc and they can log in/out without a fob or card.

I just need to know if PHP is the route I should go down. Ideally I would like the program to be an Executable file, that I can just install - I assume PHP cannot do this.

As developers, and people who know what they are doing, what would you design this in?

I'm an IT Support Technician by trade, but consider myself durable enough to fugure it out, but would like some initial advise on what area to start in.

Thanks for your time.

Author:  requinix [ Sat Feb 18, 2017 10:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Visitor Entry System

This does not sound like a job for PHP, but it could probably still do it one way or another. This doesn't sound like a job for ASP.NET and IIS either, for that matter.

The issue is getting the codes from the RFID readers. How does that work now?

Author:  nebin2010 [ Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Visitor Entry System

The RFID reader has software that opens in the background called ufr simple.

The guy who made the app somehow then incorporates this into the app so they can log in and out.

I would ideally want to use one of the cheap RFID USB readers off eBay that are plug and play. It outputs the RFID tag to notepad or any field you select.

Author:  requinix [ Sat Feb 18, 2017 2:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Visitor Entry System

Is the signin process just a matter of swiping a card? Or does the person have to do something with the admin site, like click a button or whatever?

They claim to have Javascript examples, however it looks like it's really backed by a Java applet so that's not fair.

Without knowing too much about how the system works, I think that ASP.NET is the best option for you: they have an SDK that works with C#, ASP.NET can run processes in the background of the web server which PHP cannot do (not in the same way at least), and most importantly you already have a system that works. Sure it looks bad, but even if you rewrote it from the ground up you could still use whatever code already exists to deal with the reader so you're already saving some time.

Author:  nebin2010 [ Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Visitor Entry System

Yeah, if the users are assigned fobs or cards. Then they just place their card over the fob reader and a little boring looking grey box pops up saying "John Smith In" etc.

I agree with making the existing program look a little better, just wanted to know if it was easy enough to create a new one (more of a personal project really)

I have never used C# or ASP, only ever PHP. So just wondered if it could be done using the cheaper RFID readers.

The readers we use are very expensive, have to be ordered from Serbia, and they are very slow. Plus we have to pay customs tax every time!

These are what we currently use.

These are what I want to use.

Author:  requinix [ Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Visitor Entry System

Well, like I said before, neither PHP or ASP.NET (that is, webpages and a server) sound like the best tools for this job. But they could do it.

Whether you use the current RFID readers or something else is a different matter that you need to take up with your boss. IMO that is what decides what you do:
- The current reader looks like it would work better with C# and I would recommend redesigning the app instead of rewriting it.
- The Mifare reader is essentially a keyboard, so anything that works with a user typing in their ID would also work with the reader. PHP, ASP.NET, Windows app, it would all be the same.

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