My school programming club is setting up a tutoring program. We have 12 tutors who specialize in a range of different languages, and each is available for a different set of hours each day of the week. I want to set up a web interface where students can select the language they need help in, and then be shown a list of the time spans each day that there is a tutor in that language available to help them.
My main question at this point is how I should go about storing tutor availability data - should I use a database (and if so, how), or should I simply store availabilities as fields in POJO "Tutor" objects. If the latter would be best, what data-type should I use? Can I get by simply storing them as strings or should I use joda or java.util Date objects? The task that seems particularly tricky to me at this point is combining availabilities of multiple tutors into a single time-span for each day - i.e., if I have one tutor available from 10-2 and one available from 12-4, I want a single line saying "10-4" to be presented to the user.
I'm just beginning to design my approach to this task, so I'm very open to general suggestions and/or having unforeseen problems pointed out to me.
I would like to use a Java JApplet as my web interface.