How ‘we’ built our crisis management tracking app in 24 hours (hint: magic)

I received a message at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 11. Well, that’s 11 a.m. Eastern time. It was 8 a.m. Pacific time for Francois Gast.

Francois is an R&D concept solution engineer on my team, and he had recently moved. And I mean literally just moved.

His wife recently got a new job on the west coast. We’ve had remote employees for more than 20 years, so I wished him well and off they went from sunny Cleveland to cold, dreary California.

I know, it’s an unfortunate move. He’ll regret leaving Ohio.

Developing magic

“Hey, I want to show you something,” Francois’ message read. “Can we do a Zoom?”

We’re not paid to plug Zoom, but it does feel like everyone is using it for telecommunication these days.

“Yeah, sure,” I replied.

As we started the meeting, he showed me something that I can only describe as magic.

I’ve worked with Francois for five years and if there’s anything you should know, it’s that he continually amazes me with the magic he creates. During our meeting, he showed me a “COVID-19 Illness Tracker” that he dreamt up.

What’s a COVID-19 Illness Tracker? Fast forward, it’s what we now call our “Crisis Management Tracking” application.

Inspiring magic

Let’s rewind from there a little bit. You see, Francois knows a few people who work in the healthcare field.

As I asked about the inspiration behind this application, he told me, “I know there are people working in healthcare that are out there on the front lines and there are many more supporting those front-line people. I wondered what we could do to help them and other companies that are affected by this situation.”

As organizations grappled to track individuals affected by COVID-19, Francois came to realize it would be helpful for many of our customers to have a tool that allows employees to voluntarily “self-report” if they’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19. That way, organizations can track and support affected individuals.

Francois set to work his magic.

Screen shot using dummy data. These are not real people.

Within a working day (okay, technically, he didn’t sleep and worked more than 24 hours, powered by sheer magic), he had assembled the first version of the crisis management tracking application.

In fact, these are the first screenshots he sent me via text.

Screen shot using dummy data. These are not real people.

Crazy, cool right?

How hard is it normally to assemble a spreadsheet that collects all the right information you need to run an organization that might be scrambling to roll out a remote workforce and manage increased demand on critical systems? Take that to the next level, and add a health crisis the world hasn’t experienced in 100 years.

How long does it take to assemble an application that does this? Apparently the answer is one day. And what he built is nothing short of magic.

Our crisis management tracking app can track the entire lifecycle of any incident – from initial self-report all the way through any actions necessary to close the case, such as working from home until healthy or utilizing additional services. The app also empowers you to track and support affected individuals – and anyone they may have come into contact with – as well as important supplies like medical equipment and vehicles you need to respond to emergency situations.

By tracking individuals, events, and equipment, your organization improves the way it responds to immediate needs and maximizes assistance, allowing you to focus on your most important asset – your people.

(Low) Coding magic

Luckily, Francois didn’t need to start from scratch. Using OnBase as a low-code app development platform, he was able to build the application incredibly quickly.

Francois didn’t have to assemble anything in SQL to build the tables. He didn’t have to mess with HTML or any programming tools to assemble the interface. And he certainly didn’t need to write any integrations to make the data appear on the screens.

As we excitedly talked about this new application he built, we wondered how we could get it out into the world.

It turns out there were many others at Hyland wondering the same thing: “How can we help our customers in these trying times?”

With a pre-made configuration in hand, the answer became obvious: “Let’s make this available as a download.”

Our crisis management tracking application is now available on If you’d like to have it for your own environment, it’s also downloadable at our Community Page.

If you’re not a customer, I encourage you to check it out. Because right now, we all need a little magic in our lives.

Eric Patalinghug

Eric Patalinghug

Eric, sometimes referred to as P.Hugs, is Hyland’s senior manager for R&D concept solutions. His team focuses on researching, incubating, and developing ready-to-deploy business applications on the Hyland product suite.... read more about: Eric Patalinghug