Zulu Case Study
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Lisa Lemler is technology administrator for the DA's office in Mobile, AL and is responsible for DA Manager, their big FileMaker system. The solution manages the prosecution of all felonies there. Lisa began using Zulu iCal Server for FileMaker as part of our beta testing program so attorneys and staffers could see the court schedules in iCal.

"Since August of 1995 we’ve charged 97,254 felonies. How sad is that? I took over the database in 1998 and it’s been thru several incarnations since then. This is the latest revision done in September 2009."

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"This is the first time I've actually used beta software anywhere around my FileMaker Server, but I just couldn't resist because of SeedCode and 360Works rock solid reputations."

I look like a genius around here! — Lisa Lemler

3 Tables of Events, Over 36 Calendars

Lisa mapped Zulu to 3 tables in her solution: Trials, Prelims (which display District Court Preliminary Hearings), and Grand Jury which displays the Grand Jury presentation schedule. This translates into Zulu serving up over 36 calendars and counting.

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"We have one ADA assigned to each courtroom. We also have several specialty teams such as Murder Team, Child Advocacy Team, Drug Prosecution Team and White Collar Crime Team. The specialty teams handle cases in all courtrooms. When I asked John Tyson, the DA, if he would like the calendars by judge or by ADA he said, 'I want both'. He’s kinda greedy that way :) It was great to say 'OK, I can do that'."

Moving to iPhones

Lisa and her attorneys originally just used Zulu on their desktops, and synched these calendars to their iPhones. But not any more- Zulu lets you edit FileMaker events on your iPhone directly:

"I synced my iPhone this morning and it took quite long syncing the Zulu Calendars, so I decided to take the plunge and had port 8040 opened on my firewall. Now, with the port open there is only a few seconds delay when changing calendars and networks. Much better! And you don't have to remember to sync your phone!"

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Feedback

So what was it like setting all this up? Here is Lisa in here own words:

"The Web Server needed re-starting once and the FileMaker Web Service needed re- starting 3 times while creating the first 28 calendars. I don’t know if that was due to the number of calendars or my hiccups along the way. I did have to delete ZuluCalendarList records many times before they seemed to 'take'."

"I also had to delete my Trials tab layout twice. Suddenly I would get an error message telling me that one of the required fields was missing and advising that I start over."

"I should give you a bit more detail about my role here at the District Attorney’s Office. Due to budget cuts we have lost 31 employees. Since November 2009 my jobs are Technology Administrator, FileMaker Developer and Administrative Assistant to John Tyson. I’m forced to work on things in bits and pieces these days and I still haven’t gotten used to it yet. Being forced to work this way can certainly account for the problems I experienced."

"Would I go through it all again? Absolutely!!! I look like a genius around here! Here’s some of the responses I got just from the announcement email I sent this morning:"

“Love this lisa. Jealous I'm not in circuit court anymore.” — “That is awesome!” — “Thanks Lisa this is wonderful! — “It is great.” — “ur the best and the smartest — "My desktop support guy is in the process of getting everyone set up now. I can’t thank you enough for letting me in on this Beta!!! Extreme coolness!!!"

And finally, a few weeks later, Lisa writes:

"This has been fun! Zulu is amazing. There are no signs of slowdown or stress on my server at all!"

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