The idea behind AccuTrack came to life in 1994 when Jay, one of Engineerica Systems' founders, was studying for his Master's in Computer Engineering at the University of Central Florida. Jay also worked as a tutor in the Academic Resource Center. At the time, the staff at the tutoring center was spending almost 2 weeks at the end of each semester manually tabulating usage data from sign-in sheets. As you can guess, this was a time-consuming and painful process. Knowing that he had a strong background in computers, the director of the center asked Jay if he could write a program to automate the data reporting process. With assistance of his Engineerica partners, Jay designed and wrote a sign-in program for the tutoring center. This program was written in Clipper and ran on a 386 computer using MS-DOS.
The tutoring center used this sign-in program for a few years and it made the process of tracking sign-ins much easier. By observing how the program worked in real usage situations and how students and staff interacted with it, Jay envisioned many improvements. In 1997 the program was re-written for Windows 95 using MS Visual Basic and Access. The enhanced sign-in program looked much better that its predecessor and included new features such as the ability to report on visitor's demographics.
Shortly after developing the UCF software, Engineerica decided to take the concept to a commercial level, and AccuTrack was born. The software was completely re-written using Visual FoxPro. It took many months of hard work to create and market the new software. Finally, in April of 1998 AccuTrack got its first customer when the University of West Florida ordered a copy. Over the years, many other colleges and universities followed.
As more centers examined the software, administrators from these center requested new features. For example, Pima Community College and Laney College introduced the appointments scheduling module. Pima Community College also added the media checkouts module. De Anza College ordered the staff work-hours tracking module. The idea for the traffic analysis module came from The University of Akron. Appointments and no-show reporting came from Loyola Marymount University. Many other colleges and universities contributed by giving feedback which went into constantly improving the software. Of course the developers and AccuTrack employees also contributed with their own ideas.
As a result, AccuTrack grew from a simple sign-in program to comprehensive learning center software. Today, thousands of learning centers in colleges and universities across the U.S. and abroad depend on AccuTrack for collecting their data and managing their day-to-day operations.
In 2007, AccuTrack developers decided to provide their customers the option of using Microsoft SQL Server as the backend database. The conversion required rewriting every database call in thousands of forms and programming routines. This conversion effort took well over a year, and in May 2008 the first version of the new software, called AccuSQL, was announced. This was followed with the conversion of the AccuTrack WebLink and the Computer Lab Plug-in add-ons to support the new SQL Server backend. It's an accomplishment we are all proud of and needless to say, we've come a long way since that first MS-DOS program was written so many years ago.