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Development of a centrally managed Web based notice board

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Topic Description

Summary
One of the main objectives of this project was to create a web based system to display and administer
content via a projector in the Derek Fatchett City Learning Centre. Meetings were arranged with the
school to clarify the initial requirements and derive any new ones. A prototype was then designed to
these requirements allowing the school to evaluate it and re-develop it into a fully functioning system.
The final solution has surpassed the initial minimum requirements and the users’ expectations. The
system has been designed and developed in such a way to allow additional elements to be displayed on
the system and more of the system to be administered from the web interface.
This report documents the development of the system, including research, design, implementation,
testing and an evaluation of the solution. The report also contains possible improvements to the
systems and recommendations for students undertaking similar projects in the future.

Table of Contents
Summary………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..i
Acknowledgements…………………………………………………………………………………………………………ii
Table of Contents…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..iii
Chapter 1 – Introduction
1.1 Derek Fatchett City Learning Centre ……………………………………………………………………..1
1.2 Problem Definition………………………………………………………………………………………………1
1.3 Project Aim and Objectives…………………………………………………………………………………..1
1.4 Minimum Requirements……………………………………………………………………………………….2
1.5 Project Limitations ………………………………………………………………………………………………2
1.6 Project Schedule………………………………………………………………………………………………….3
Chapter 2 – Background Research
2.1 Selection of development language………………………………………………………………………..4
2.2 Selection of database……………………………………………………………………………………………5
2.3 Selection of web server ……………………………………………………………………………………….6
2.4 Summary of proposed tools ………………………………………………………………………………….6
2.5 Current products and services ……………………………………………………………………………….7
2.5.1 News …………………………………………………………………………………………………………7
2.5.1.1 Existing Software…………………………………………………………………………….7
2.5.1.2 Screen Scraping ………………………………………………………………………………8
2.5.1.3 News Web Services …………………………………………………………………………8
2.5.1.4 BBC Syndication …………………………………………………………………………….9
2.5.1.5 RSS ……………………………………………………………………………………………….9
2.5.2 Media ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..10
2.5.2.1 Embed Tag……………………………………………………………………………………10
2.5.2.1 Object Tag…………………………………………………………………………………….10
2.5.2.1 Player Object Model (POM)……………………………………………………………11
2.5.3 Navigation ……………………………………………………………………………………………….11
2.5.3.1 HTML ………………………………………………………………………………………….11
2.5.3.2 DHTML……………………………………………………………………………………….11
2.5.3.3 JavaScript……………………………………………………………………………………..12
2.6 Evaluation of products and services …………………………………………………………………….12
2.7 Human Computer Interaction (HCI) …………………………………………………………………….12
2.7.1 Usability…………………………………………………………………………………………………..12
2.7.2 User Interface …………………………………………………………………………………………..13
2.7.3 HCI for disabled users ……………………………………………………………………………….14
2.8 Evaluation Criteria …………………………………………………………………………………………….14
Chapter 3 – Analysis & Design
3.1 Design methodologies………………………………………………………………………………………..15
3.2 Methodology Evaluation…………………………………………………………………………………….15
3.3 User Requirements …………………………………………………………………………………………….16
3.3.1 Essential Functional Requirements………………………………………………………………16
3.3.2 Desirable Functional Requirements……………………………………………………………..17
3.3.3 Non Functional Requirements …………………………………………………………………….17
Centrally Managed Web Based Notice Board
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3.4 Proposed System Functionality……………………………………………………………………………18
3.5 System Architecture …………………………………………………………………………………………..19
3.6 Database Design………………………………………………………………………………………………..20
3.6.1 Media table ………………………………………………………………………………………………21
3.6.1 News table ……………………………………………………………………………………………….21
3.6.1 Messages table ………………………………………………………………………………………….22
3.6.1 Events table………………………………………………………………………………………………22
3.6.1 User Admin table………………………………………………………………………………………23
3.7 Interface Design ………………………………………………………………………………………………..23
3.7.1 Back Office………………………………………………………………………………………………23
3.7.1.1 Content…………………………………………………………………………………………23
3.7.1.2 Navigation…………………………………………………………………………………….24
3.7.2 Front Office ……………………………………………………………………………………………..25
3.7.2.1 Splash Screen………………………………………………………………………………..25
3.7.2.2 Main Loop…………………………………………………………………………………….25
3.7.3 Heuristic evaluation of interface………………………………………………………………….26
3.8 Site map……………………………………………………………………………………………………………27
Chapter 4 – Prototyping & Implementation
4.1 Static Prototype Functionality……………………………………………………………………………..28
4.2 User Testing ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..29
4.3 Re-Development using user input ………………………………………………………………………..29
4.4 Problems Encountered ……………………………………………………………………………………….30
4.5 Dynamic Prototype Functionality ………………………………………………………………………..30
4.5.1 Database creation………………………………………………………………………………………31
4.5.2 Back Office – Administration Interface ………………………………………………………..31
4.5.2.1 Login……………………………………………………………………………………………31
4.5.2.2 Navigation.php………………………………………………………………………………33
4.5.2.3 Graphics.php …………………………………………………………………………………33
4.5.2.4 Security ………………………………………………………………………………………..34
4.5.2.5 Code Reuse …………………………………………………………………………………..34
4.5.2.6 Add Process ………………………………………………………………………………….35
4.5.2.7 Edit Process…………………………………………………………………………………..36
4.5.2.8 Delete Process……………………………………………………………………………….37
4.5.2.9 Media …………………………………………………………………………………………..37
4.5.2.10 News ………………………………………………………………………………………….38
4.5.2.11 Database Admin…………………………………………………………………………..38
4.5.2.12 Manuals………………………………………………………………………………………38
4.5.2.13 Logoff ………………………………………………………………………………………..39
4.5.3 Front Office – Projector Interface ………………………………………………………………..39
4.5.3.1 Splash Screen ………………………………………………………………………………..39
4.5.3.2 Messages………………………………………………………………………………………39
4.5.3.3 News ……………………………………………………………………………………………39
4.5.3.2 Events…………………………………………………………………………………………..40
4.5.3.2 Media …………………………………………………………………………………………..40
4.6 User Testing ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..41
4.7 Re-Development using user input ………………………………………………………………………..41
4.8 Problems Encountered ……………………………………………………………………………………….43
Chapter 5 – Testing
5.1 Functionality and capability ………………………………………………………………………………..45
5.2 Performance and scalability ………………………………………………………………………………..45
5.3 Usability and user interfaces ……………………………………………………………………………….46
Centrally Managed Web Based Notice Board
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5.4 System Handover and acceptance testing ……………………………………………………………..47
Chapter 6 – Evaluation
6.1 Minimum Requirements……………………………………………………………………………………..48
6.2 Desirable Requirements ……………………………………………………………………………………..48
6.3 Project stages…………………………………………………………………………………………………….49
6.4 User satisfaction ………………………………………………………………………………………………..49
6.5 Suitability of chosen tools …………………………………………………………………………………..49
6.6 Heuristic evaluation against HCI guidelines ………………………………………………………….50
6.7 Suggestions for further work……………………………………………………………………………….50
References………………………………………………………………………………………………………..51
Appendices
A: Project Reflection……………………………………………………………………………………………….52
B: Project Schedule …………………………………………………………………………………………………54
C: Database Tables………………………………………………………………………………………………….56
D: Section Topology …….

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