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17 poster session, the team passed out reduced-sized copies of the ponent is selected, a form or set of forms is displayed. If more poster as well as copies of the evaluation form and encouraged than one form is used within a module, tabs are used to facil- conference participants to provide an evaluation of ECREL itate navigation. The general layout, functions, and naviga- and the HPST. In addition, an opportunity to test ECREL and tion for each form was designed in an MS Excel spreadsheet the HPST and to complete a short evaluation form was pro- and reviewed by CRM staff before development began. vided to participants at a historic preservation and transporta- MS Access was selected as the platform because the final tion working conference held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in late application can be compiled and distributed as a "run-time" February 2004. The results of these evaluations are discussed program. Therefore, end users do not need a copy of MS in a later section of this chapter. Access in order to use the prototype. All HPST technical spec- ifications are in Appendix D.2, including use cases (D.2.1), architecture (D.2.2), entity-relationship diagram (D.2.3), and HPST data dictionary (D.2.4). The HPST would be placed onto a CD for distribution and testing. The CD would also provide the Design user guidance on installing the HPST onto their computers. The URS development team worked with URS CRM pro- fessionals to complete the requirements list for the HPST Develop (Appendix D.1) and develop the detailed design. The HPST design was driven by National Register guidance for eval- When the design was approved, the URS program devel- uating National Register eligibility. In order to complete a oper began working on the prototype. The tables and fields resource evaluation, the system must store data about proper- (i.e., columns) in each table were developed in MS Access. ties and key historic context elements (e.g., theme, time period, The data entry forms were developed in Visual Basic for and geographic limits, property types, and appropriate National Applications (VBA). Register eligibility criteria and integrity requirements). The evaluation version of the HPST prototype included Existing historic contexts generally include a lot of descrip- several example historic contexts and properties. Appendix tive text. Whether or not such long narratives are really nec- D.3 includes sample reports from the HPST showing some essary for creating a viable historic context will not be exam- of the data entered as examples. A user's guide (Appendix ined here. While these types of narratives may be relevant D.4) and evaluation form (Appendix D.5) were also devel- to some historic context creators and users, such extensive oped and included on the installation CD sent to prospective descriptive text is not strictly needed in the ECREL database. testers. Entering large amounts of text in a database field is not user- friendly, and formatting (fonts, bolding, italics, etc.) is not supported. Nevertheless, several methods for including text Verify and Validate were built into the HPST design. A historic context creator could type the narrative directly into an MS Word file that The HPST was verified by a URS archaeologist and archi- would be saved and linked to the database. Alternatively, the tectural historian. Each was asked to enter a property and a context creator could link an existing file in any format (PDF, historic context to the tool, and to evaluate the property. Each for example) to the database. The context creator might also was also asked to verify that the requested functionality was leave this section of the HPST blank. In order to use the HPST included and to provide comments on bugs or usage issues. evaluation functions, however, certain key components (i.e., Finally, each was asked to complete the evaluation survey text) are required for the historic context. These are form. Comments were addressed before the final HPST pro- totype installation CD was created. The contexts and proper- · A historic context, ties that the archaeologist and architectural historian entered · A description of the property to be evaluated, were included in the version of the HPST that was distributed · National Register evaluation criteria (i.e., A, B, C, and/ to outside validation testers. or D) to be applied to the property (as stipulated in the Potential outside validation testers were identified in sev- associated historic context), and eral ways. First, the availability of the HPST was advertised · The integrity of the property (again, as required by the in the e-mail letter sent to ECREL testers. Anyone interested associated historic context) (see the Property Types form in testing the HPST was asked to contact one of the research in Section 6.1.1 of the HPST User Guide, Appendix D.4). team members. Requests were received from two people as a result of this notification; however, none of them returned The CRM specialists on the design team emphasized the an evaluation form after receiving the HPST CD. need to make the interface as intuitive as possible. Therefore, An additional 30 HPST CDs were distributed at URS's a familiar "switchboard" listing all program components is poster session at the TRB 2004 Annual Meeting. A few peo- displayed when the system opens; from there, the user may ple spent some time working with the HPST during the select from the four components listed above. When a com- poster session. None of these people, however, submitted an