The GeoTalent Administrator Console

An overview of the administrative interface for the GeoTalent enterprise Learning & Talent Management System

GeoMetrix Data Systems Inc. is proud to introduce GeoTalent. This new product suite is based on our TrainingPartner software but features a powerful new interface, enhanced performance, expanded modules and support for new workflows.

The GeoTalent Console is an administrative interface for our enterprise version designed to manage your behind-the-scenes workflows and processes and is compatible with existing versions of TrainingPartner Online as well as our latest version of the GeoTalent Online interface. GeoTalent is designed to support your organizational and employee growth, and carry forward the momentum you’ve already begun. Simple but powerful searching lets users locate and enroll in courses without leaving the screen. Drop-down accordions display details and provide simple on-click actions. Details are available in a pop-up that can be accessed from many places in the system. Users quickly acquaint themselves with the few screens they need to regularly access. Social learning, communities-of-practice and informal learning are all supported.

Building on our successful TrainingPartner solution, GeoTalent provides true enterprise-class architecture to meet the diverse needs of most organizations. The ultimate result of this redesign is increased productivity for both users and the organization as a whole.

Key Features

The GeoTalent™ enterprise version has all the same features and functionality that TrainingPartner users have come to rely on. But GeoTalent Enterprise has been redesigned to provide a contemporary interface with improved navigation, extended functionality and new workflow options.

Ribbon Navigation

The Console for GeoTalent Enterprise uses a Microsoft® Office-style ribbon that enhances navigation using graphical control elements grouped by functionality.

The Ribbon Bar provides the main navigation options within the application and allows access to all windows and settings within the system. The Ribbon Bar is customizable, as is the Quick Access toolbar and Status Bar toolbar.

Following are a few highlights from the new navigation.

Application Menu

The Application menu is located in the upper left corner of the GeoTalent Enterprise title bar and allows access to certain user-related commands.

Calendar Panel

The Calendar panel in GeoTalent Enterprise provides a search field, a small month calendar, and a day list. By default, the calendar indicates what days have something happening on them, and the Day List shows what is happening on the selected day.

The Calendar panel provides a quick method for working with scheduled items such as classes, facilities, equipment, and instructors. The Calendar panel provides a search field, a small month calendar, and a day list.

Shortcuts & Cards

Our software has always given users the ability to create Shortcuts, but GeoTalent Enterprise introduces the concept of Screen Cards that access the data you need to complete tasks. Cards can be created from any main screen or window using right-click or drag-and-drop. GeoTalent makes heavy use of the ability to drag-and-drop items throughout the main screen.

Shortcuts

In any of the slider panels, as well as many lists and windows within GeoTalent, you can drag the item to perform actions using a shortcut.

Shortcuts have two main purposes:

First, shortcuts let you access an item at a future point — without having to look the item up again. For example, by making a Shortcut to the Learner record for Mary Walker, you can double-click on the Shortcut later to display the properties of Mary’s record.

Second, Shortcuts let you use the item as an action on another item (or Card, see following). For example, by dropping the shortcut of ‘Mary Walker’ onto a class, the system knows that you wish to enroll Mary into the class.

Shortcuts are represented in a list or menu by the name of the item. In cases where items do not themselves have a name, they are represented by the names (and/or dates) of the items that they were created from. For example, an enrollment is titled with the learner’s name, the course name, and the date. Shortcuts are normally temporary ways of working with information. You create Shortcuts so that you can more easily work with information over a specified period, and then you remove the Shortcut when you are finished.

Cards

Screen Cards are visual representation of the item itself on the main screen. A Card is similar to a Shortcut, but has a number of key differences.

A Card shows more information on an item than a Shortcut does, and, more importantly, a Card serves as a target to perform certain actions on the item itself. For example, if you drop a course onto a Card representing an instructor, the system will add that course to the instructor’s qualifications.

A Card can be used to represent the target of an action while Shortcuts represent the items to add to the target.

If you drag multiple items onto the desktop, the newly created Card group will display the Card for the first item, while the other items will be added to the new Card’s history. Each Card group maintains a history of each of the Cards that have been placed on it. This lets you quickly locate Cards that you have previously used.

Once you have a Card open, you can perform an action by dropping Shortcuts onto the Card. The action taken depends upon what the Card represents and what Shortcuts are being dropped onto the Card.

It is also possible to use drop-lists with Cards. Cards can also be docked to either the left or right of the screen — similar to the way the navigation and shortcut bars are displayed.

As with navigation and shortcut bars, docked Cards also have an auto-hide feature. And you can auto-hide the cards but not the navigation panel, or you can have some Cards open and others hidden.

When you turn on the auto-hide feature, the Card will be displayed in its largest form — with its drop-lists visible.

Learner Window

The TrainingPartner Learner dialog has now been replaced by a window in GeoTalent Enterprise. Like the Class window, this now lets you switch back to the application without having to close the Learner screen. Like the Class window, it supports drag-and-drop actions.

Designer Enhancements

Components in GeoTalent Enterprise are now listed and added through a tool window rather than the toolbar. This makes organizing and finding components easier.

Portal settings are now listed in a tool window rather than a dialog. This allows switching between settings and the designer quickly.

Database Connectivity

GeoTalent Enterprise was completely redesigned at the database level to support Microsoft ADO. The GeoTalent Enterprise Console no longer utilizes the Borland Database Engine (BDE). This support provides exceptional performance, stability, and scalability.

Key differences include:

Installation is smaller, faster, and does not require the BDE

There are no longer any issues related to BDE support for current and future versions of SQL Server.

GeoTalent supports only Microsoft SQL Server. Support for Interbase™ and Oracle™ databases is discontinued.

The DBConfig program is no longer required. System administrators may setup database connections from within the application itself.

Unified Installation Program

GeoTalent Enterprise uses a single installation program. This is capable of setting up the server files, client installation, or TrainingPartner 2009 Online installation, from a single .exe file. The installation program provides options based on your license automatically.

Other Improvements Over TrainingPartner

The Options dialog from TrainingPartner is enhanced in GeoTalent Enterprise so that when accessed by system administrators off the main screen it shows only related options.

Scripting language has been updated to include support for new features such as cards and drag and drop.

Adding shortcuts to the status bar has been replaced by an enhanced shortcuts panel on the main screen. This allows easier viewing and manipulation of shortcuts and cards.

There are many more new features — too many to list here.

Conclusion

Our goal for GeoTalent is to provide a cost-effective alternative to high-priced enterprise systems with the customizability that TrainingPartner customers have come to know. The bonus is that GeoTalent offers a visual experience second to none in our industry.

We have always believed that software should be designed to fit the way users think and act rather than forcing users to modify the way they think and act to meet the needs of the system. Our new product suite provides users with a clean and modern interface that is dynamic and user friendly.

As always, our goal is to provide a cost-effective alternative to high-priced enterprise systems with the customizability that TrainingPartner customers have come to know. Our next version will offer that and a visual experience second to none in our industry.

We believe that the new product suite with our new web-based interface, GeoTalent Flex, and the changes to the existing product line will provide our current customers and the marketplace with the features and functionality they need to meet the business challenges of this decade.

Product Info: GeoTalent Admin Console Overview

The GeoTalent Console is an administrative interface for our enterprise version designed to manage your behind-the-scenes workflows and processes.