Web Enabled Databases

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					              Web Enabled
              Anatomy of a project

December 11      Web Enabled Databases   1
    This lecture looks at what makes this
     type of student project into a good project
         Choosing a good title
         Making a good proposal
         Reviewing technology
         Choice of business focus

December 11                Web Enabled Databases   2
Reminder of Deliverables
Activity                 Date due
Project Proposal         30/10/2006
Initial Report           4/12/2006
Interim Report           22/1/2007
Completed Project        19/3/2007
(Report +
Demonstration            20/3/2007-23/3/2007

December 11         Software development       3
The initial report
    Current project status
         draft write up of the research done so far,
          including references.
         Any changes to project objectives and an
          updated project plan
         Any project outcomes e.g. choice of
          development methodology, programming

December 11                  Software development       4
Your title
    Take care about the title you choose for
     the project.
    It should indicate that you are doing some
     background investigation of the Web-
     enabled database area, not just building
     a system.
    The technology/systems/literature review
     can often help with the title

December 11           Web Enabled Databases       5
Improving your title
    Poor - Building a web enabled library system database
      Better - Investigation of role based access in a web
       enabled database using a library system as an example
    Poor - Creating a web enabled hair dresser booking system
      Better - Use of software design patterns in the creation of a
       web application using a hair dresser booking exemplar
    Poor - A web enabled pizza ordering system
      Better - An investigation into suggestive product
       composition using a web based pizza ordering system
      Better - Scheduling and load balancing for distributed JIT
       production using a web based pizza ordering system

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    Your project proposal should have contained a
     list of 3-5 major objectives of your project.
    Objectives are tasks that require specific
     activities and their completion will always result
     in specific deliverables
         e.g. literature/technology review,
         data analysis,
         design,
         implementation,
         testing and
         validation

December 11                     Web Enabled Databases     7
Keep up to date
    Project proposals are “work in progress”,
     especially at the beginning of a project,
     so update them when needed.
    Remember when you do the evaluation,
     to go through each of these objectives,
     and comment on how successfully you
     have achieved them.

December 11           Web Enabled Databases      8
        Choose a software engineering methodology
         and follow it, e.g. iterative prototyping
             (this can be a helpful method since it allows you to
              match your learning curve to the project by
              implementing simple features first).
        Make sure you produce good design
         documentation (e.g. dataflow diagrams,
         ERD’s, Use Cases, Sequence Diagrams).

December 11                       Web Enabled Databases              9
general principles
    A good project will aim to demonstrate a variety
     of programming and design techniques,
    It will avoid finishing with a number of screens
     which in essence all do the same thing e.g. data
     capture, data display.
    Examples of extended functionality would be:
         User logins and different access rights
         Flexible user-controlled search mechanisms
         Automation of business functions
         Intelligence or analysis of data

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Choice of service
       A key decision is the choice of
        business/service – try to use your own
        interests or contacts; possibly some work
        experience (e.g. online DJ booking service, or
        a Somali poetry site).
       You must have a specific focus – this is not
        difficult as there are many examples on the
        Web to help trigger your ideas.
       Aim to choose an area that is distinctive. Use
        some of your project time to work on this by
        doing research and individual reading.

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Open source
       There are a large number of freely available open source
        codes that implement standard web/e-commerce
        applications such as
             retailers,
             appointment schedulers,
             calendar managers,
             forums,
             help desks,
             customer relation managers, content managers,
             content syndicators, etc., etc.
       There is absolutely no point in re-inventing or re-
        implementing the wheel although wheels may be used in
        your project.
       Make sure that you reference open source material and
        don’t forget to describe (your contribution) how you
        selected, integrated and tested it.
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the basics …
       Go through the standard design
        procedures for a relational database.
       Research the business processes so
        that a good detailed data model can be
        worked out.
       The model needs to be normalised. This
        is really important.
       If your database has got obvious design
        problems then you risk failure.

December 11            Web Enabled Databases      13
Review properly
       Review the choice of technologies and
        sample some of the literature relating to
        your project (try typing the project title
        into Google Scholar, or the ACM
       Refer to the Literature Review Lecture
        for detailed guidance.

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    Decide how to implement the database –
     Oracle, SQLServer, Access, MySQL;
    Decide how to implement interaction with the
     Web client – Java, C#, VB.NET, Javascript,
     VBScript, SQL, ASP, PHP, XHTML etc.
    These decisions should match your project
     objectives as each choice of technology has
     specific limitations/advantages and there is no
     “one size fits all”.
    Since this is a distributed application expect
     some frustration with the implementation.
    Some choices require more low level
     programming than others.
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    Evaluate your project. You will find it
     helpful to have read some general
     articles on DBMS and the Web.
    You can add value to your project work
     by relating it carefully to specific issues
     that came up in your research
         user interface design,
         Web service standards,
         WebML, Web 3.0
         usability, security, maintainability.
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add a dash of pepper …
    a computer science project should
     include a non-trivial question of
     professional or academic interest to
     computer science
    a business oriented degree project
     should incorporate a critical evaluation of
     a key business issue

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High scoring features
        A realistic data model; if you only have a
         single many-to-many relationship to break
         then it is far too simple and you have not
         spent enough time thinking through the
             ordering, booking, contracting,
             making appointments, browsing data,
             invoicing, submitting, registering ….
        Your model should make a good attempt at
         representing the semantic complexity of the
         data (the practical outcome is usually a good
         number, say 10, of carefully related tables in
December 11                      Web Enabled Databases    18
cont …
        Some interesting functionality via the Web
         browser, requiring you to
             write and test procedures of your own,
             or to successfully integrate and extend any open
              source code you have acquired
        Typical examples might be
             asynchronous behaviours,
             support for accessibility,
             support for multiple client platform types,
             use of MING or programmatically generated
              shockwave, etc., etc.).

December 11                      Web Enabled Databases           19
cont …
    Some academic interest, in that you are
     exploring or investigating an area or
     application that is relatively recent or
     novel and not simply a well trodden path.
    e.g. (circa 2006)
         semantic web, web ontologies, AJAX, rich
          internet applications, accessibility, e-learning,
          design patterns)

December 11                  Web Enabled Databases            20
cont …
       Either some extensive data gathering
        activity e.g. interviewing specific people,
        or researching specific markets (e.g. in
        certain types of commercial websites,
        web services).
       Or a good literature survey in which
        you have discussed a relevant topical
        issue and related it to the project
        development and evaluation.
December 11              Web Enabled Databases        21
    A good project must integrate your
     reading and research with a well
     designed and featured implementation
     that is properly evaluated

December 11          Web Enabled Databases   22

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