Oregon Military Research Institute Wants YOU!

The Oregon Military Research Institute (OMRI), located in Portland, Oregon, is looking to gather names, service dates, and other information related to any and all persons involved in any branch of the military who is associated with Oregon in some way — generally, born, grew-up, lived, or died here. We’d like you to visit the site, search “Roll Call” for you or your loved one and submit or update your information with our online form.

The Challenge

Dick Gaarenstroom, Director and Researcher, is gathering and entering information into a searchable database for thousands of current and former military members. (He also plans to put together an annual report for sale.) He had originally developed a site with a database and to do this, but recently wanted and needed some improvements and upgrades.

The Solution

That’s where KP Services stepped in with consultation and action. The original site, a .com site, was built using ASP/.net. This works well as the backbone for the existing database that Dick is adding to daily, and we didn’t see any reason to re-create the wheel with a less optimum solution. What we did need was a .net expert to be able to make the database changes Dick desired, as that language is beyond KP Services’ scope. With a referral from the original site designer, Dick hired Kirk Masterson, who did a splendid job. Kirk was able to make the database changes, and had valuable insights on the back-end server environment. (Please contact me if you’d like Kirk’s info, I’m happy to recommend him.)

While the ASP/.net is great for the core workhorse part of the website (the Roll Call listing), it does not work well for the rest of the publicly facing website pages that Dick will want to update himself. An ASP/.net custom site is generally built as a ‘one off’ and are generally difficult and inflexible to work with once created. The contemporary solution is WordPress. So, that’s what we did. We secured the .org version of his domain name, installed WordPress, and custom stylized it based on the original .com style and layout (more economical than the other way around). (Kirk wisely suggested the two sections of the website — Roll Call database and content pages — run on separate servers as they ‘speak’ different languages and may not play so well together).

The Result

What resulted is a website that now has modern / flexible functionality based on the WordPress engine, with a fully operational database attached to it via a .net site that switches back and forth between two servers virtually seamlessly.