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Topic Description

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Summary
Every year at the University of Leeds, first and second year students within the School of Computing are required to select their modules for the subsequent years. The current paperbased
way of selecting modules is adequate, but it is believed that a computer-based application to aid module selection would be invaluable.
The problem was investigated by looking at previous attempts to solve the problem, various paper documents used in the current module selection process, information provided by members of staff and my own personal experience. A solution was designed and developed based on the information provided. The solution was tested on various students in the
department and an evaluation of the proposed solution was made with possible further enhancements.
The solution attempted to highlight to students the effect that second year modules have on the third year modules, in an attempt to assist them to make better module selections and thereby taking full advantage of their degree.
The evaluation criteria deemed the project a success, but the system would need slight adjustment if it were to be adopted into the department. This report documents the development of the solution from the initial stage to the further enhancements.

TABLE OF CONTENT 

1 BACKGROUND AND INTRODUCTION…………………………………………………………….1
1.1 SPECIFICATION OF PROBLEM……………………………………………………………………………..1
1.2 APPROPRIATENESS OF PROBLEM FOR IT SOLUTION ………………………………………………..2
1.3 AIM………………………………………………………………………………………………………………2
1.4 OBJECTIVES …………………………………………………………………………………………………….2
1.5 MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS ………………………………………………………………………………..3
1.6 POSSIBLE FURTHER ENHANCEMENTS…………………………………………………………………..3
1.7 THE SOLUTION ……………………………………………………………………………………………….3
1.8 DEVELOPMENTMETHODOLOGIES……………………………………………………………………….4
1.8.1 SDLC (Waterfall model)…………………………………………………………………………….4
1.8.2 RUP……………………………………………………………………………………………………….5
1.8.3 STRADIS…………………………………………………………………………………………………5
1.8.4 DSDM…………………………………………………………………………………………………….5
1.9 TECHNIQUES…………………………………………………………………………………………………..6
1.9.1 Entity-Relationship Modelling…………………………………………………………………….6
1.9.2 DFD……………………………………………………………………………………………………….6
1.9.3 UML ………………………………………………………………………………………………………6
1.10 CHOICE OFMETHODOLOGY AND TECHNIQUE………………………………………………………7
1.11 PROJECT SCHEDULE……………………………………………………………………………………….8
2 ANALYSIS…………………………………………………………………………………………………………9
2.1 ANALYSIS OF THEMODULE SELECTION PROCESS…………………………………………………..9
2.2 EXISTING SYSTEMS………………………………………………………………………………………..10
2.3 EVALUATION OF PREVIOUS PROJECTS………………………………………………………………..11
2.3.1 Previous Projects ……………………………………………………………………………………11
2.3.2 Critical Analysis Of Previous Projects ……………………………………………………….12
2.3.3 Conclusions drawn from Existing Systems and Previous Projects……………………13
2.4 SCOPE OF SYSTEM USING BUSINESS USE CASE DIAGRAM……………………………………..13
2.5 DATA FLOW DIAGRAMS………………………………………………………………………………….14
2.5.1 Context Diagram…………………………………………………………………………………….15
2.5.2 Context Diagram Decomposed to Level 1……………………………………………………15
2.5.3 Level 1 process ‘Make Selection’ decomposed to Level 2 (Lower Level)…………..15
2.6 BUSINESS RULES …………………………………………………………………………………………..16
2.7 NON FUNCTIONAL REQUIREMENTS……………………………………………………………………16
2.8 USER REQUIREMENTS …………………………………………………………………………………….17
3 DESIGN …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..18
3.1 THE THREE TIER ARCHITECTURE ……………………………………………………………………..18
3.2 PRESENTATION AND APPLICATION LAYER ………………………………………………………….19
3.2.1 Development Web Languages……………………………………………………………………19
3.2.2 Web Servers …………………………………………………………………………………………..20
3.3 DATABASE LAYER…………………………………………………………………………………………21
3.3.1 Data Storage………………………………………………………………………………………….21
3.4 FINAL CHOICES……………………………………………………………………………………………..21
3.5 DATABASE DESIGN………………………………………………………………………………………..22
3.5.1 Universe of Discourse ……………………………………………………………………………..22
3.5.2 Database Scheme ……………………………………………………………………………………22
3.5.3 Normalisation ………………………………………………………………………………………..23
IV
3.5.4 Entity Relationship Diagram…………………………………………………………………….24
3.6 INTERFACE DESIGN………………………………………………………………………………………..25
3.6.1 Usability ……………………………………………………………………………………………….25
3.6.2 Principles of Usability……………………………………………………………………………..25
3.6.3 Target Users ………………………………………………………………………………………….26
3.7 TECHNICAL SETUP …………………………………………………………………………………………27
4 IMPLEMENTATION ……………………………………………………………………………………….28
4.1 GETTING STARTED…………………………………………………………………………………………28
4.2 POSTGRESQL……………………………………………………………………………………………….28
4.3 CODING THE SOFTWARE………………………………………………………………………………….29
4.3.1 Database Connection ………………………………………………………………………………29
4.3.2 Sessions…………………………………………………………………………………………………29
4.3.3 Prerequisites ………………………………………………………………………………………….30
4.3.4 The Tables……………………………………………………………………………………………..30
4.4 PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED………………………………………………………………………………31
4.4.1 Database Problems …………………………………………………………………………………31
4.4.2 The Prerequisite Problem…………………………………………………………………………31
4.4.3 Modules Passed Problem …………………………………………………………………………32
5 TESTING…………………………………………………………………………………………………………34
5.1 TYPES OF TESTING…………………………………………………………………………………………34
5.1.1 Unit Testing …………………………………………………………………………………………..34
5.1.2 System Testing………………………………………………………………………………………..34
5.1.3 User Acceptance Testing ………………………………………………………………………….34
5.2 WHEN DID TESTING OCCUR? …………………………………………………………………………..35
5.3 TEST PLAN …………………………………………………………………………………………………..35
5.4 SUMMARY OF UNIT TESTING……………………………………………………………………………35
5.5 SUMMARY OF SYSTEM TESTING ……………………………………………………………………….36
5.6 SUMMARY OF USER ACCEPTANCE TESTING………………………………………………………..37
6 EVALUATION…………………………………………………………………………………………………39
6.1 EVALUATION CRITERIA…………………………………………………………………………………..39
6.2 IS IT ON TIME AND IN BUDGET? ………………………………………………………………………..39
6.3 IS IT RELIABLE? …………………………………………………………………………………………….39
6.4 IS ITMAINTAINABLE? …………………………………………………………………………………….40
6.5 DOES THE SYSTEM MEET ITS USER ANDMINIMUM REQUIREMENTS? ……………………….40
6.6 DOES THE SYSTEM SATISFY THE USERS? ……………………………………………………………40
6.7 COMPARISON WITH PREVIOUS PROJECTS ……………………………………………………………40
7 THE FUTURE ………………………………………………………………………………………………….42
7.1 EVALUATION OF PROPOSED SOLUTION BEING ADOPTED BY THE SCHOOL…………………42
7.1.1 Live Link ……………………………………………………………………………………………….42
7.1.2 Downloading Data………………………………………………………………………………….43
7.1.3 Manual Data Entry …………………………………………………………………………………43
7.2 FUTURE IMPROVEMENTS …………………………………………………………………………………44
REFERENCES ……………………………………………………………………………………………………45
APPENDIX………..

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