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Analysis, Design and Implementation of a Helpdesk Management System

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Topic Description

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Summary
This project has been established to fulfil the need at Diagonal Solutions, a software development
house, to create a new helpdesk management system.
Helpdesk management is central to many organisations that utilise Information Technology. They
ensure that incidents that Users encounter are dealt with by the relevant people as quickly as possible.
Diagonal Solutions operate a helpdesk for a number of different clients. Unable to resource a suitable
package from the open software market, it has been decided to carry out the work in house.
The project explores different project approaches and methodologies and outlines a number of
suitable technologies that could be used to create suitable software. After a requirements analysis is
carried out, the decision to design and implement an integrated software solution using Microsoft’s
ASP.NET and other Microsoft Server technology is made. The results of the implementation are then
assessed both in terms of the usability and of the functionality. The system is then evaluated and
conclusions on the success of the project are drawn.

Contents
Summary …………………………………………………………………………………….i
Acknowledgements………………………………………………………………………ii
Chapter 1 Introduction …………………………………………………………….1
1.1 Problem Statement ……………………………………………………………………………………………….1
1.2 Project Scope……………………………………………………………………………………………………….1
1.3 Minimum Requirements………………………………………………………………………………………..1
1.4 Further Enhancements…………………………………………………………………………………………..2
Chapter 2 Project Approach ………………………………………………………3
2.1 Project Management……………………………………………………………………………………………..3
2.2 Development Methodologies …………………………………………………………………………………5
Rapid Application Development …………………………………………………………………………….5
Joint Application Development………………………………………………………………………………5
The Waterfall Model …………………………………………………………………………………………….5
Software Prototyping…………………………………………………………………………………………….6
2.3 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….7
Chapter 3 Requirements Analysis ………………………………………………7
3.1 Business Analysis…………………………………………………………………………………………………7
Stakeholders ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..7
Customer Relationship ………………………………………………………………………………………….8
3.2 Requirements Capture …………………………………………………………………………………………..8
Research ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..9
Interviews ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………9
Sample Documents……………………………………………………………………………………………….9
Questionnaires ……………………………………………………………………………………………………10
Observation ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….10
3.3 Requirements Analysis………………………………………………………………………………………..10
Use Cases ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….10
Analysis, Design and Implementation of a Helpdesk Management System
iv
Functional Requirements……………………………………………………………………………………..11
Non-Functional Requirements………………………………………………………………………………12
3.4 Best Practice Guidelines………………………………………………………………………………………13
Incident Management ………………………………………………………………………………………….13
Problem Management………………………………………………………………………………………….13
Configuration Management………………………………………………………………………………….14
Change Management…………………………………………………………………………………………..14
Release Management…………………………………………………………………………………………..14
Chapter 4 Helpdesk Software Market ………………………………………..15
4.1 HelpSTAR 8.2……………………………………………………………………………………………………15
4.2 Intuit Track-It! 6.5………………………………………………………………………………………………16
4.3 Bugzilla …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….16
4.4 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..17
Chapter 5 Technical Analysis …………………………………………………..18
5.1 User Interface …………………………………………………………………………………………………….18
Task Identification………………………………………………………………………………………………18
Short Term Memory……………………………………………………………………………………………19
Execution-Evaluation Cycle…………………………………………………………………………………19
Form Filling……………………………………………………………………………………………………….19
Menu’s………………………………………………………………………………………………………………20
Current System…………………………………………………………………………………………………..20
Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..21
5.2 Diagonal Solutions Infrastructure………………………………………………………………………….21
Microsoft Active Directory 2000 ………………………………………………………………………….22
Microsoft Exchange 2003 ……………………………………………………………………………………22
Microsoft Internet Information Services ………………………………………………………………..22
Microsoft SQL Server 2000 …………………………………………………………………………………22
Desktop Applications ………………………………………………………………………………………….23
Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..23
5.3 Technology Options ……………………………………………………………………………………………23
Client / Server Architecture………………………………………………………………………………….23
Web Technologies………………………………………………………………………………………………25
Data Access ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….27
Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..28
Analysis, Design and Implementation of a Helpdesk Management System
v
Chapter 6 System Design ………………………………………………………..28
6.1 Application Architecture ……………………………………………………………………………………..29
6.2 Database Modelling and Design……………………………………………………………………………30
Conceptual Database Design………………………………………………………………………………..30
Logical Database Design……………………………………………………………………………………..31
Physical Database Design ……………………………………………………………………………………33
Normalisation …………………………………………………………………………………………………….34
6.3 Functional Design……………………………………………………………………………………………….34
Call Log…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….35
Customers………………………………………………………………………………………………………….36
System Maintenance……………………………………………………………………………………………36
6.4 User Interface …………………………………………………………………………………………………….36
6.5 Email Reminder Engine ………………………………………………………………………………………37
Chapter 7 System Implementation……………………………………………38
7.1 Development Environment…………………………………………………………………………………..38
7.2 Data Access ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….39
7.3 Page Template ……………………………………………………………………………………………………40
7.4 Email Reminder Engine ………………………………………………………………………………………41
Chapter 8 System Testing ……………………………………………………….41
8.1 Functional Testing………………………………………………………………………………………………42
8.2 User Acceptance Testing……………………………………………………………………………………..42
8.3 Usability Testing ………………………………………………………………………………………………..42
Qualitative Feedback…………………………………………………………………………………………..45
Comparison with the Old System………………………………………………………………………….45
Chapter 9 Evaluation………………………………………………………………46
9.1 Project Approach………………………………………………………………………………………………..46
9.2 Requirements Analysis………………………………………………………………………………………..47
9.3 Technical Analysis ……………………………………………………………………………………………..47
9.4 System Design and Implementation………………………………………………………………………47
Choice of technology…………………………………………………………………………………………..47
User Interface …………………………………………………………………………………………………….48
9.5 Future Enhancements ………………………………………………………………………………………….48
9.6 Conclusion………

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