What is your role and how does your organization use PowerShell?
I am the Director of IT of Paper Transport (PTI). I have worked at PTI for 11 years and I have been in the transportation industry for 11 years. I have used PowerShell for over 8 years now. We initially used the language for common Sys Admin tasks. Exchange, file movement, backups, etc… Now we use PowerShell in a lot of our integration work between our systems. It is a great language to interface with pre-built .net libraries, which we had a lot of, and work with standard file types. Now we are doing EDI translations, Web Service Integrations, dashboarding and user input collection, winforms, etc.
Why were you initially interested in Universal Dashboard?
We have a lot of PowerShell modules built out with business logic built into it. When I saw UD, I immediately got excited when I realized that it could host web services. Now we could interface all of our work internally or externally with standard JSON web services and nobody knew the difference that it was PS under the covers. This really was exciting as we have several customers that will interface with us using file transfer, etc and we do not have to rebuild the logic to move it to WS. We can just plop it in a UD endpoint, tweak it a little, and let’er rip! What additionally excited me was the prospect of quickly building forms and calling the same business logic. This expands our capabilities far beyond what we could have before. A majority of our workforce is remote and being able to build quick data capture process that they will interact with is critical
How are you using Universal Dashboard in your Organization today?
We utilize a Transportation Management System. This tracks our orders, drivers, tractors, and trailers. These systems are very powerful, but they do not integrate with everything…nobody does. So if we bring in a new product into the mix and need an integration we have ways that we can embed information right within the TMS. Having a tool that can present interactive content to users that makes it feel like it is a part of the original TMS is very powerful. UD fills that gap.
One example is that we have a ticketing system for our drivers. If drivers have issues with their tractors, it creates a ticket. Not a new concept, but it actually is a very new idea for transportation. These tickets contain any sort of triage information between the driver and the equipment manager. We use UD to display this information within the TMS so that operations is now in the loop on what the driver and equipment manager is talking about.
Another example is that we did not have flexible interactive maps that we could build out. UD now gives us the opportunity to build these maps and embed them right within the TMS. This is hugely powerful and we are in the process of building these out now.
One of the great things about UD is the simplicity of building very well-designed websites with a very small amount of code. My web coders are amazed at how it looks and how little effort was put into it.