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Automated Production of Graphs

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SUMMARY
The idea for this project came during my industrial placement, at Sun Microsystems Ltd, for the IT Operations department. It is important to know that the department themselves can not become end user because they do not have permission to install software from outside of the company. However they are happy for me to use the idea without referring to actual data about the organisation; therefore this is not an external project. The end user is to be my former colleague, who shared my job role, so has an understanding of the current system.
The aim of the project was to produce a system that took data, inputted from a database, in order to dynamically produce graphs at the request of the user. This would replace a manual system of graph generation, which is currently in operation for the department at Sun Microsystems, and thus speed up the process of completing this task.
Throughout the report there are certain terms that are labeled with a number inside round brackets, i.e. term1(1), term2(2) etc; these keywords map to a term found in the glossary of terms on page vi. This is in contrast to numbers within square brackets, i.e. [1] [2] etc, which is used to represent references.

Table of Contents
SUMMARY…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….i
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS……………………………………………………………………………………………….ii
GLOSSARY OF TERMS……………………………………………………………………………………………..vi
1. INTRODUCTION………………………………………………………………………………………………………1
1.1 Motivation behind the project…………………………………………………………………………..1
1.1.1 Explanation and purpose of the project…………………………………………………………1
1.1.2 Relevance to information systems degree…………………………………………………….2
1.2 Description of current method………………………………………………………………………….2
1.3 Statement of the Problem…………………………………………………………………………………3
1.4 Overview on how the problem is intended to be solved………………………………..3
1.5 Aims……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………4
1.6 Objectives…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..4
1.7 Minimum Requirements…………………………………………………………………………………….4
1.7.1 Possible enhancements………………………………………………………………………………..4
1.8 Deliverables……………………………………………………………………………………………………….5
1.9 Project Schedule……………………………………………………………………………………………….5
2. BACKGROUND READING………………………………………………………………………………………6
2.1 Methodology………………………………………………………………………………………………………6
2.1.1 Appropriate Methodology for this Project………………………………………………………8
2.2 Web development Tools……………………………………………………………………………………8
2.2.1 Appropriate web development tool for the project……………………………………….10
2.3 Database Options…………………………………………………………………………………………….10
2.3.1 Appropriate database to use for the project…………………………………………………11
2.4 Human Computer Interaction………………………………………………………………………….12
2.5 Similar solutions………………………………………………………………………………………………13
2.5.1 Jpowered graph software package……………………………………………………………..13
2.5.2 JpGraph graph software package……………………………………………………………….14
3. USER REQUIREMENTS…………………………………………………………………………………………14
3.1 Requirements Capture…………………………………………………………………………………….14
3.2 Types of requirements…………………………………………………………………………………….15
3.2.1 Functional requirements………………………………………………………………………………15
3.2.2 Non-Functional requirements………………………………………………………………………15
3.3 Appropriate method for requirements capture……………………………………………..15
3.3.1 Semi – Structured interview…………………………………………………………………………16
3.3.2 Alternate methods……………………………………………………………………………………….16
3.3.3 Choice of method with justification………………………………………………………………16
3.4 Applying requirements capture………………………………………………………………………17
3.4.1 Conducting the semi-structured interview……………………………………………………19
3.4.2 Summary of user requirements……………………………………………………………………19
4. DESIGN…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..20
4.1 Appropriate modeling tool for systems design…………………………………………….20
4.1.1 Justification………………………………………………………………………………………………….20
4.2 Model of the ideal system……………………………………………………………………………….21
4.3 Comparison of current system and new proposed system…………………………21
4.3.1 Model of current system………………………………………………………………………………21
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Automated Production of Graphs
4.3.2 Model of new proposed system…………………………………………………………………..22
4.3.3 Differences………………………………………………………………………………………………….23
4.4 Identification of outline design solutions………………………………………………………24
4.4.1 Solution 1…………………………………………………………………………………………………….24
4.4.2 Solution 2…………………………………………………………………………………………………….24
4.4.3 Solution 3…………………………………………………………………………………………………….25
4.5 Database design………………………………………………………………………………………………25
4.6 User Interface…………………………………………………………………………………………………..26
4.6.1 Menu bar……………………………………………………………………………………………………..26
4.6.2 Metrics…………………………………………………………………………………………………………26
4.6.3 Note interface………………………………………………………………………………………………27
4.7 Graph design……………………………………………………………………………………………………28
4.8 Final Design Solution with justification…………………………………………………………28
5. IMPLEMENTATION………………………………………………………………………………………………..29
5.1 Implementation Schedule……………………………………………………………………………….29
5.2 Implementation of chosen design solution……………………………………………………30
5.2.1 Pre-development stage……………………………………………………………………………….30
5.2.2 Development stage……………………………………………………………………………………..30
5.3 Implementation Summary……………………………………………………………………………….37
6. TESTING…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………38
6.1 Database testing………………………………………………………………………………………………38
6.1.1 Summary of test results………………………………………………………………………………38
6.2 User Interface acceptance test……………………………………………………………………….38
6.2.1 Summary of results……………………………………………………………………………………..40
6.3 Graph testing……………………………………………………………………………………………………40
6.3.1 Summary of results……………………………………………………………………………………..41
6.4 Testing Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………………….41
7. EVALUATION…………………………………………………………………………………………………………42
7.1 Criteria for evaluation……………………………………………………………………………………..42
7.2 System Evaluation…………………………………………………………………………………………..43
7.2.1 Minimum requirements………………………………………………………………………………..43
7.2.2 Further enhancements………………………………………………………………………………..43
7.2.3 User requirements……………………………………………………………………………………….44
7.2.4 Test Results………………………………………………………………………………………………..45
7.3 Project Evaluation……………………………………………………………………………………………47
7.3.1 Project Objectives……………………………………………………………………………………….47
7.3.2 Project Methodology……………………………………………………………………………………48
7.3.3 Project Management……………………………………………………………………………………48
7.4 Future Developments………………………………………………………………………………………50
7.5 Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………………………….50
BIBLIOGRAPHY…………………………………………………………………………………………………………51
APPENDIX A: Personal Reflection…………………………………………………………………………..54
APPENDIX B: Manual production of graphs……………………………………………………………55
APPENDIX C: Software Project Management Methodologies……………………………….58
APPENDIX D: Project Schedule……………………………………………………………………………….59
APPENDIX E: Commercial graph packages……………………………………………………………

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