Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Welcome back Rod Marymor!

Rod Marymor was the founder of RegWeb, probably the first online registration application for event planners, which he sold to Starcite in 2002. He is now getting back into event planning software with ScheduleFlex, a scheduling tool for large multi-session events (>50 sessions), which he will offer to both event planners and registration company resellers.


They build ScheduleFlex for an enterprise software company that hosted a 4-day conference recently with about 4000 customer attendees, 700 employees, and 800 sessions. Rod's company Cardinal Communications worked with Mike Graves and Brad Neuman at metroConnections of Minneapolis to develop the application, which was written by the original RegWeb architect Stephen Chang.

"Flex" Architecture

The application was built using Adobe Flex, which produces a "Rich Internet Application" with a Flash-based front end. This allows users to have an experience more like a conventional desktop application (drag & drop text, select one option and dynamically update other options, etc.) compared to traditional web-based HTML forms. Cardinal uses a conventional configuration of Adobe ColdFusion MX as their middle tier and Microsoft SQL Server 2005 as the database.

Here are some screenshots showing the application. You really need to click on each image and view the full-size photo in order to appreciate the beauty of the Flex platform.

1. Attendee view of session scheduler, with filter-select-drag-drop capability to build your personal agenda.

2. After building your schedule, print a personal agenda as a PDF document.

3. The admin-side (for event planners) of the application uses Flex's features really well to manage the huge amount of information inherent in multi-session conferences.

Flex Performance

With the pilot event, several thousand attendees logged on simultaneously when the sessions opened, and Stephen Chang didn't notice an appreciable load on the web server running the application. This processing efficiency results from much of the processing occuring on the user's Web browser, which makes small, infrequent requests to the web server for data updates.

Integration with Registration Systems

Stephen built batch import routines to upload tab-separated values as text files for both attendee lists and session lists. For example, after the event completes preliminary registration, they transfer attendee data to the session scheduler and then begin the session management phase. Stephen also built an API to allow transactional import of attendee information, e.g., as each registration completes, the registration system passes that data to the session scheduler so that the attendee can immediately begin to manage their sessions. If any sessions have associated fees, then the session should be selected in the registration system and paid along with other fees.

Final Word

For more information about ScheduleFlex, contact Rod at Cardinal. They did a nice job building a simple interface for a complex problem in event planning, and I expect to see more use of Rich Internet Applications in the future.


Anonymous said...

what is the cost of schedule flex? Is it fully customizable?

Rick Borry said...

Any specific questions about ScheduleFlex should be directed to Rod Marymor at

JJeffryes said...

All your links to Rod, and the Cardinalware site, appear to be down. Did their server melt under the attention?

Rick Borry said...

Not quite sure what happened to Cardinal's Web site but you can contact Rod Marymor at or visit and contact Mike Graves.

Anonymous said...

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