Professional Quest is focused on giving you results, regardless of your technical knowledge. The survey scripts and databases created use industry standard technologies. Your level of involvement with the technology is up to you - let Professional Quest do all the work for you, or edit the scripts to customise their operation.
The success of Professional Quest as a product can be directly attributed to the elegant, uncomplicated approach the software takes to creating surveys. Key aspects of this approach are outlined below.
Professional Quest is installed on your desktop workstation, just like your wordprocessor or spreadsheet application. The application is not a Web-based application. While Web applications have advantages (eg. access from anywhere using your browser) there are major disadvantages, particularly with regards to limitations in the interface (have to work with lowest common denominator browser, only have a single window open etc.), and the inability to work without an internet connection.
As a desktop application, Professional Quest can provide the following benefits:
||Advanced, easy-to-use interface|
||Ability to design surveys in a disconnected environment (eg. on a laptop on a train)|
||Fast processing - all processing is done on your machine (processing on the Web is fine, until a large number of people are using the same Web server)|
The most functional type of survey that can be created by Professional Quest is a Web-based survey. All the files needed for Web surveys are generated and published to your Web site directly from within Professional Quest.
This process is simply a copy of common Web files (HTML, ASP or CGI) - there is no "Web Application" or components, thus there is no complexity. These script files are completely safe to use, and can not "bring down" your Web server or create any issues that poorly designed Web applications and components can cause. The files generated by Professional Quest can be run on an Microsoft-based or Linux-based Web Server. A Microsoft-based Web server is recommended - the ASP Web-surveys generated by Professional Quest are very feature rich (they include flow control, multiple pages, data validation, randomisation and data piping).
If an Access database backend is being used for the surveys, the database is copied onto the Web server along with the other survey files. This database can be downloaded periodically and new responses can be imported into your Professional Quest Project.
One area that a Web-based system would be handy is as a statistics viewer and response manager. The Enterprise Edition of Professional Quest allows you to generate a Web Administration Portal for each of your surveys for this exact purpose.
The portal is a single script file, just like the survey itself (again, no messy components or applications to install on your Web Server). Advanced functionality includes the ability to restrict different users to different areas of the portal.
Getting a Web server set up for Web surveys created in Professional Quest is easy. Let's consider a Microsoft-based Web server (the recommended type of Web server for our surveys). The steps to prepare for hosting of ASP Web surveys created by Professional Quest are as follows:
||Create a directory on the Web Server for your surveys (eg. "\Surveys")|
||Create a directory on the Web Server for survey databases (eg. "\Surveys\Database")|
||Set the rights on the database directory to read/write (so surveys can write data into databases in this directory)|
That's it! You're ready to publish surveys to your Web server. Files can be copied to and from these directories directly from within Professional Quest.